Fans of the Misfits, also known as fiends, gathered at Growler’s American Grill and Venue in Roanoke Wednesday night for a loud, horror-punk show of songs new and old.
Singer/bassist Jerry Only – a Misfits’ founding member and the only one remaining in the band — former Black Flag guitarist Dez Cadena and drummer Eric “Chupacabra” Arce followed a pair of Roanoke acts, Black Mountain Revival and Gloom Despair N Agony.
The Misfits have been gathering fiends since the band formed in 1977. Evidence of the band’s longevity could be seen in the layered crowd, with younger fiends moshing and throwing each other around in the front while seasoned fiends took to the back parts of the venue so they could rock without getting rolled.
Considering how Growler’s looks from the front, it seems that it wouldn’t be big enough to contain this band and all the hyper fans that would soon be immersed in a flood of fast riffs and vocals. But the restaurant’s concert space was the right size to fit all the fans and allow the Misfits to interact with the crowd.
Only paid attention to the audience, noticing one man who had sang along to every song and inviting him on stage to sing a duet on “Dig Up Her Bones.”
Fiends were rocked by a range of songs from the Misfits’ catalog, including “Father” from their latest album “The Devil’s Rain,” “Helena,” “Scream!,” “ Die Die My Darling,” “American Psycho,” “Teenagers from Mars,” “Skulls” and “Saturday Night,” a song Only said was for the ladies. The concert ended with an invitation to remember “Halloween.”
After the last song, instead of retreating back stage and avoiding fans, Only, Cadena and Arce made themselves very available to the fans for autographs and photos; Only sat on the surface of the bar, Arce was in various places around the floor of the venue and Cadena was outside near the trailers.
The Misfits want to ensure that their fans have fun. Further proof of this point can be found on their website in an interview with Only about why the Misfits focus on horror, monsters and such instead of more worldly issues.
Only said “fiends who buy our records and come to see us perform enter another world — from the guy all the way back in the balcony, to the guy getting his head banged around in the front — they come to have a good time. And we make sure they have it.”
And have it, they did.