Watching An Icon

In the world of music there are icons and those that most would argue defined a type of music. In the larger spectrum, probably see the names of Elvis Presley and the Beatles thrown into that discussion. However, in the world of punk rock, the Misfits defined what horror punk is. In addition, they brought a look and names to the mix that forever cemented their icon status. Since the time of the band, three of them split off to form their own projects. One member to do this was Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein. His latest project, simply known as Doyle, was in town this night. With Doyle we had the local rockers of the Dead Beat Hymns, Sanitation Squad, and Zombeast bringing a touch of a few genres the guitarist has played over his storied career.

Opening up is one of the best discoveries this year out of Phoenix, the Dead Beat Hymns. Their brand of hardcore punk rock is the exact explosive energy you want in an opener. Theron’s vocals show through to his facial expressions with the energy of his lyrics.

Though look no further than Danny on guitars for more of the expressive nature of this band. As he pushes out lyrics, he brings more expression to their set. I love the little bit of geek culture of this band, with Danny’s usually video game related shirts and Chris’s Sinestro Corp themed bass.  Seeing the Dead Beat Hymns on this bill certainly brought a smile to my face.

Then we went a little more to the metal leanings with the guys of Sanitation Squad. Probably can use them as the definition of what rocking out looks like. They bring more melodic vocals and shredding guitar riffs behind their performance. Jason and Ryan, in particular, were doing a lot of moving around that stage as they perform.

They are full of emotion and clear joy. This was further reinforced by the remarks and joking around Jason did between songs. If there was a band on this night that you wanted to head bang to, it was Sanitation Squad. These local rockers brought an exclamation mark to the early part of this line up.

Then was a band I hadn’t seen performing before, Zombeast. Their sound was probably the closest to the old school Misfits brand of horror punk. It was quite appropriate once that clicked in my head listening. While our headliner has gone more of the way of Metal, I was joyed to hear this genre of rock be the setup to Doyle.

Although that made it probably the slower music of the night, giving everyone a little more time to catch their breath. That wasn’t to say they lacked energy, because there was fun in what I watched on that stage. With lead vocals usually garbed in hair, he did an excellent job as front man. Zombeast went from an unknown for me to a band with a great set to lead into the last act of the night.

Then we came to one of the original Misfits himself and his band appropriately named “Doyle.” This was my first time watching the icon perform. Doyle towers over everyone in a muscle built mass of guitar playing. He embraces the audience in almost every moment of that set, moving to the front of every part of that stage constantly.

Though his bandmates not only match that enthusiasm, but put forth a strong performance to not be overshadowed. Specifically, Alex Story aka “Wolfman” puts on one of the best frontman performances I have ever watched. He was singing from the floor of the stage, climbing to the top of the stack of amps, and doing his best spiderman pose in front of the drums all the while singing. I was left thoroughly impressed, as even mentioning it here shows how big an impression it left on me. The performance of Doyle was one I will remember for a long time to come.

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