The Electric Factory saw a historic pairing of icons as Phil Anselmo and Glenn Danzig shared a stage and tons of mutual respect on a brisk October Friday night.
Anselmo was out first with his newly rechristened Superjoint project, no longer called Superjoint Ritual, apparently due to the lack of Hank Williams III’s involvement in this iteration of the group. Phil swaggered onto the stage clutching a giant bottle of white wine, with a personality as enormous as his intimidating frame. “This next one was number 4,000 on the top 20” he bellowed into the mic, “You’re gonna hate this one but we love it”, sardonic and image unconscious as ever. Being the former frontman of one of the biggest Metal acts of all time, Phil has no reason to be so refreshingly self-deprecating, and could teach a thing or two about humility to several other metal gods out there (cough, Lars Ulrich, cough cough, Kerry King), including his notoriously camera-phobic tour mate. Anselmo did have a piss take or two for the erstwhile Misfits mastermind, “brother… can you teach me how to lift some weights…” it was all in good fun though, and with that, the band flew into a blistering rendition of “Fuck Your Enemy” and their too-short set of hardcore thrash stompers was sadly over.
The break between bands seemed interminable, a long setup that involved many (admittedly rad looking) creepily lit skull shaped statues being strewn about the stage, until Danzig burst on the scene with an explosive take on Circle of Snakes’ “Skincarver”. The set was a great trip through his near 30 year solo recording career, including standouts like “How The Gods Kill” and “Until You Call On the Dark”. The biggest surprise for me though were the three tracks from the upcoming covers LP Skeletons, my favorite being guitarist Tommy Victor (whose band Prong played a hard hitting and well received set earlier in the night) squealing and shredding through an awesomely slow paced and sludgy version of Black Sabbath’s immortal “NIB”. Towards the end of the set Phil Anselmo could be seen nodding his head in approval and rocking out side stage. After the one-two punch of self-titled Danzig classics “Twist of Cain” and “Mother” Phil joined Glenn center stage for a well-deserved bow, which would’ve been an awesome photo opportunity if, uh… anybody was allowed to take photos. Drummer Johnny Kelly returned to the stage following a short break and began to play the slow, slinky beat to another self-titled favorite, “She Rides”, and the band put things to bed for good with Lucifuge’s “Long Way Back From Hell”.
You can say what you want about Glenn Danzig, and most people do, but he still brings it when it comes to the live performance, his voice understandably a tad shaky, being in the midst of a lengthy touring cycle for a new record, but his energy as high as ever as he stalked one end of the stage to the other and belted it out to the rafters. And it was worth the ticket price alone just to see Phil Anselmo back at the top of his game after years of well publicized personal and professional tragedies. The two heavy music giants standing side by side, completely devoid of any ego bullshit or professional animosity, was the icing on the cake.