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Live: Misfits Frighten Fans Into Submission

With the help of two opening acts, band spooks crowd with their
maniacal musical ways. 

Addicted To Noise correspondent Nick Melucci reports:

OSAKA, Japan -- On the outer part of 
Osaka there stands the most spectacularly enormous ferris wheel you've 
never seen (unless you've been over here). 
It's so big you have to take an elevator two stories just to board it. 
It's sleek, modern and gives the surrounding area a futuristic carnival 
atmosphere even though it is the only such attraction in the area. 

The only one, that is, until Bayside Jenny opened its doors Tuesday 

The Misfits, along with two kindred opening acts, did their best to 
transform the small hall into a sideshow of dark chaos that night. The 
second band, a spirited Japanese quartet of lanky rabel-rousers called 
Balzac, started things off by blasting out a brief and powerful set of 
chant-laden tunes. Unfortunately, my limited understanding of Japanese 
doesn't cover lyrics, so I was left to lose myself in the power of their 
awesome presence. 

Their energy, contrasted by universally recognizable spoken-modesty, had 
my and most of my fellow dungeon-dwellers' full attention. 

Moments after they disappeared, a guitar dirge shattered the house mix 
and the crowd jerked a glance at the stage. It was good old Mr. Death, 
dressed in the typical, simple, elegance of a deep-purple-hooded robe. 
To the delight of the J-youth quickly amassing at the foot of the stage, 
he strolled about with a candelabra, beckoning them forward. 

An invitation they would accept shortly and with great vigor. After 
stepping out of sight for a second, he re-emerged with his chain-bound 
captive, which as luck would have it was Misfits' vocalist Michale 

Apparently against his will, Graves was being hauled in agony to pay his 
penance of thrash, stomp and bellow to his ravenous nemeses -- namely 
his audience. 

He writhed in resistance briefly, but as soon as his brawny, ax-toting 
henchmen (both dressed as torture-chamber employees) took position at 
his flanks, he embraced his ordeal with grave determination. Then, as he 
probably knew, there was no hope of return. 

The stage became a place no longer safe for the likes of him. That realm 
where most vocalists find sanctuary was instead a world of pandemonium 
and uncertainty. The flood of bodies onto the stage was constant and 
pervasive. It only varied in volume as a reaction to the song at-hand. 

Despite the obstructions, he launched into the usual mix of songs off 
the new release, American Psycho, interspersed with old favorites. 
Highlights, as measured by bodies willingly leaping from the stage into 
the pit of dispair, were "Speak of the Devil" and "Mommy Can I Go Out 
and Kill..." 

Bassist Jerry Only seemed slightly apologetic when he introduced an old 
one that was clearly rockabilly inspired. 

He probably wasn't aware that he was playing to an audience of the most 
polite kids on the planet. 

Also, it was refreshing amid the hyper-frenzy. 

There was a three-song encore, where the singer for Balzac and various 
audience members were invited to help project the lyrics amid the 

At last, the show ended with a heartfelt "we love you" from the 
gentle-giant bassist for a band that seems to frighten as much as it 
rocks. But perhaps we shouldn't fear the Misfits. 

That is, of course, when they're not playing. [Mon., Dec. 15, 1997 9 
a.m. PST]