Punk is alive and well in in Salt Lake City and its fans got an early holiday gift this year as Michale Graves brought his “Beginning of the End” fall tour to Liquid Joes on December 11, 2017. The evening started with some local and long time favorites LHAW (Life Has A Way), Zombiecock and ImAlive.
It seems when there is talk of The Misfits, the debate starts on who was a better front man, Michale Graves or Glenn Danzig. They both brought their own styles to the band and The Misfits were successful with both at the helm. I don’t feel one is better than the other and believe it more associated with whom you grew up. Regardless of how you feel about Michale Graves, he is an amazing vocalist and thrilled the crowd with Misfits classics as well as his solo work. The great thing about punk is that the songs are intense and typically short. That being said, Graves was able to play over 20 songs in his 90 minute set. He played songs from his Misfits era including “American Psycho,” “Speak of the Devil,” “Pumpkin Head,” “Scarecrow Man,” and “Scream.” One song I am always excited to hear Graves sing is the Misfits classic “Saturday Night.” The song has a classic punk sound but it also has a Beach Boys surfer music vibe and it sounds amazing live. Not only did Graves play his Misfit era songs but also he played “Seasons of the Witch” from Gotham Road. It was probably one of the heaviest songs on the set list.
All of the previous mentioned songs are a must on a Michale Graves set list, but not forgotten and also musts to hear are Graves’ solo work. “3 Days til Dawn” and “When Worlds Collide” from 2016’s When Worlds Collide were amazing songs to hear live. No matter what Graves played he brought that punk rage to every song, which made them that much better. He jumped on stage throughout the night and as his signature face make up began to run from his intensity we knew unfortunately the end of the show was near.
As the set came to an end Graves thanked everyone for coming out on a Monday night and finished the set with Misfit classic’s “Helena” and “Dig Up Her Bones.”
Afterwards the crowed was welcomed to stick around to say hi to the band. Graves and the band hung out and signed items for fans for almost an hour.
I am always impressed when bands acknowledge where they came from and give back to fans that helped them grow. Fans told stories to the band of how the music helped them through hard times and helped them grow into who they are today. Misfit tattoos were shown, pictures were taken and every fan left the venue feeling like they made a connection with Graves. That perhaps, will the gift that will keep giving for a lifetime to a lot of the fans that night. We all got see a Punk Rock icon which was amazing but under all the makeup we all got to connect with a humble man who believes in giving. And isn’t that what the holidays are really about?