Danzig's San Antonio performance was theatrical but grounded in timeless tunes

The tour celebrating the 35th anniversary of Danzig's debut album also included the satanic likes of Behemoth, Twin Temple and Midnight.

click to enlarge Glenn Danzig and band perform at Boeing Center on Saturday. This photo was taken before security began telling audience members to put away their cell phones. - Brianna Espinoza
Brianna Espinoza
Glenn Danzig and band perform at Boeing Center on Saturday. This photo was taken before security began telling audience members to put away their cell phones.
If any evangelical church was itching to stage a protest, Saturday's Danzig show at Boeing Center at Tech Port would have been the perfect excuse.

Alongside the main act, Behemoth, Twin Temple and Midnight helped turn the South Side venue into a temple of darkness primed to open a direct portal to hell. All of the show’s exaggerated theatrics, blasting riffs and blasphemous themes also seemed like a great opening to spooky season in San Antonio.

Too bad Glenn Danzig, the headliner's frontman, declared cameras — even those wielded by the media — off limits inside the venue.

Sporting trademark black hoods and leather jackets, Midnight opened up the night with an angry and fast brand of rock ‘n’ roll fused with black metal. Despite the having the appearance of menacing figures who might kidnap and torture you, the group’s songs exuded partying-in-the-name-of-the-devil vibes.

Twin Temple raised the bar further with a set of its self-described “satanic doo-wop." A saxophone player proved to be the main surprise, but vocalist Alexandra James’ pipes also drew screams of praise from the crowd. Bodies swayed to each melody, and the group premiered its soon-to-be-released song “Be a Slut.” For the finale, James and Twin Temple's guitarist commenced a small ceremony that involved spitting fake blood into the faces of giddy audience members.

A familiarity washed over the crowd as Behemoth — no stranger to San Antonio on recent tours — performed a set that resembled a ritual of whispered incantations, compete with shouts of “Hail, Satan” and burning incense. In keeping with the night's anti-religious theme, the Polish group mixed its oldest and most blasphemous tunes, including “Ov Fire and the Void”, with newer black metal tracks including “Once Upon a Pale Horse.” Vocalist Nergal offered up the night's second mouthful of bloody spit, and members of the audience welcomed the crimson rain.

Finally, Glenn Danzig — the deep-voiced frontman of Misfits and Samhain fame — stepped on stage with his self-monikered band to perform its first album, Danzig, in full. The tour was scheduled to honor the revered LP's 35th anniversary.

Red stage lights bathed towering towering gargoyles and a horned skull set piece as the band rocked hard amid the satanic imagery. Before the song "The Hunter," a song often decried as misogynistic, Danzig bragged to the crowd that he tells "the PC" — presumably meaning the politically correct — to “fuck off." Fans cheered at his proclamation and sang along as the band kicked in.

Around that time in the set, security flashed lights on members of the crowd to enforce the singer's no-pictures rule. It was pure Glenn Danzig, a performer known for being difficult and more than a little uptight.

In addition to the whole debut album, which includes the career-defining anthem “Mother,” Danzig performed other hits such as “How the Gods Kill” and “Her Black Wings." Despite Glenn Danzig being Glenn Danzig, his vocals remained strong and true-to-the album, and his band brought its A-game.

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