The demonic quartet's set started slowly, as Danzig's booming voice was rendered fairly impotent by the mix, and even drummer Joey Castillo's amazing display of skill couldn't fill the void. When Danzig, in one of his few statements, asked the sound crew for louder vocals, the problem was instantly alleviated. While guitarist Todd Youth and bassist Howie Pyro banged their heads and thrashed about in vintage metal fashion, Danzig, wearing one of those see-through long-sleeve fishnet shirts that only the extremely muscular would dare to wear in public, raced from one side of the stage to the other. He also exhibited dance moves that would probably result in merciless heckling if anyone lacking his size and celebrity status mimicked his choreography.
With Castillo continuing to provide the backbone, Danzig strolled leisurely through a set that emphasized its plodding, groove-heavy material. It looked as if the majority of the audience had purchased Danzig's latest release, Danzig 6:66 Satan's Child, because nearly every tune, new or old, was greeted with loud vocal accompaniment. Just when the slow pace and repetitive formats of these songs might have started to become tiresome, the camera-flash light show would kick into blinding overdrive and fans would again become spellbound.
Danzig seldom spoke, often letting slow, sprawling compositions slam up next to one another without even a song introduction to separate them. At his wordiest, he revealed the album origins of several selections, but mostly he seemed content to croon, move to the music, and catch his breath for a few seconds before launching into another tune. Perhaps because he's now surrounded by an entirely different lineup than the band's early-'90s incarnation, Danzig played only a few songs from the group's early albums and placed these tunes toward the end of the night's proceedings. After ending its regular set with an uptempo rendition of "Mother," Danzig returned with the bluesy "She Rides," also from the first album, before romping through one last selection and capping the strangely professional performance with a brief "thank-you" to his rabid following. Perhaps no one expected the demonic frontman to engage in clichéd stage banter or to see this former punk rocker and still-staunch straight-edger indulge in rock star moves and cheap-cheer-courting shout-outs to substance-abusers, but the all-business angle (reminiscent of Chris Cornell's stage presence at his Valentine's Day show at the Uptown) seemed surprising coming from a larger-than-life icon with a reputation for inciting controversy.
Much chattier was Chris Barnes, frontman of death-metal supergroup Six Feet Deep, who cheerfully addressed the weed-smokers in attendance and ominously dedicated a threatening tune to the police in attendance. Between Barnes' frequent profane proclamations, his group played mid-pace, grinding death metal that, between the rhythmic percussion and the near-synchronized hair-twirling of the bassist and guitarist, had a strangely hypnotic effect. As the band's lighting crew projected spinning saw-blades onto its backdrop, providing suitable imagery for gore-themed songs from the band's latest album, Maximum Violence, the boisterous crowd's enthusiasm far surpassed that which is usually afforded opening acts.