Original Misfit Jerry Only has the unenviable task of filling the slot left by former lead singer Danzig, that superstar sausage. While Only’s attempts are appreciated, it’s true that the band just isn’t the same. The word I heard thrown around a bunch last night was “depressing.” Only at least looked like he was having a good time. He frequently flashed a handsome smile and made sure to high-five every single kid that got up on stage to stage dive. His signature devil lock hair style now protrudes from a receding hairline, but he did his best to act the part and keep the crowd amped. He gave typical banter (“St. Louis! Since you’re such a small crowd you’re going have to be THAT. MUCH. LOUDER!” or something like that) and basically let us know he knew where his bread was buttered. Keeping this audience happy required playing few new songs and tons of old Misfits classics (“Halloween,” “Die Die My Darling,” etc.), and the band obliged. As a nod to current guitarist Dez Cadena’s former band, the Misfits also ripped through a few Black Flag treasures (“Six Pack,” “Rise Above”). Sadly, this was my favorite part of the show.
In the 30 years since Jerry Only joined the Misfits, he’s become a particular favorite of the band’s fans — even if saying Only is your favorite Misfit is akin to saying Ringo Starr is your favorite Beatle. Each musician’s contribution to his respective band is underrated and both have their own strange qualities that attract audiences (Ringo’s playful sideburns, Jerry’s muscular authority). After the departure of bloated former lead dude Glenn Danzig, Only continues to bring the Misfits’ classic punk/horror-style music to the masses. With backing from original Misfits drummer Robo and former Black Flag guitarist Dez Cadena, the band soldiers on, still ready to induce furious fist-pumping at every stop along its tour. The St. Louis stop finds them in good company, with local punk gods the Humanoids and sludge-rockers Holy Python taking the opening slots.