The Misfits with Elvis Manson and Alexisonfire at the Docks, August 11. Tickets: $25. Attendance: 700. Rating: NNN
You gotta wonder if buff misfit Jerry Only was experiencing an ominous flash of prophecy when he chose his moniker all those years ago. Jerry Only.... Flip it around and what do you get? Only Jerry. And only Jerry remains out of all the original members of the Misfits. It's downright spooky, I tell you. (Is your hair standing on end?) Completing the current lineup are Marky Ramone and Black Flag's Dez Cadena (both recruited in 2001 for the Misfits 25th "anniversary," if you can call it that when only one member remains) to form what is surely one of the ultimate supergroups of the day, each and every member having been part of a much larger legend.
Elvis Manson opened the show with a growling, solidly hardcore performance, riding tried-and-true galloping metal bass lines.
The prospect of a Ramone presence was exciting in itself, since it's the closest I'll ever get to seeing the actual Ramones, or at least one of their heads; Marky remained stoic and inconspicuously ensconced behind his drum kit through most of the performance.
And in fact, a good proportion of the songs were Ramones tunes, including Sheena Is A Punk Rocker, I Wanna Be Sedated and Blitzkrieg Bop. Of late, many an aging artist has copped out by playing Ramones covers, including Joe Strummer, who ended his show with Blitzkrieg last summer.
One sardonic observer pointed out that the Misfits might well realize their heyday has passed and feel obliged to ride on others' works. Sure, Ramones tunes are glaringly superior, but when set against Misfits tunes like Attitude or Last Caress, it's amazing how well these compositions actually fit together.
There was also a Black Flag tune or two, causing attention to turn to Dez, who looked alarmingly like Kid Rock's goth older brother while Jerry Only's famous pecs flexed and quivered with an apparent mind of their own next to him.
Alas, while the Fiend did make a brief appearance, the much touted fun and humour I'd heard happens at Misfits shows failed to materialize. And if the low turnout is any indication, the frankenrockers may not be able to ride their legend status much longer.