By: Cesar Glanville
It’s great to walk into one of Chicago’s classic theaters and see a rock show, and a punk rock show at that. The underutilized Portage Theatre, on Chicago’s Northwest side, was the showplace for the latest stop on The Misfits ‘Static Age Revisited’ tour. Framed as a tour that would showcase the mystical album ‘Static Age’ in the very hip –play an album from start to finish- trend, The boys did just that.
This incarnation featured the patriarch, Jerry Only, being joined by Eric “Chupacabra” Acre on drums and Only’s son Jerry Jr. on guitar. As we long for that one in a million reunion Of Danzing and Doyle joining in, this will have to do.
The She Demons opened the show trying to borrow from the legends, that are The Misfits, aura. Subpar songs, subpar singing and lack of stage presence hurt this all female review. The concept was great and despite really wanting to like them I found their performance flat and uninspired.
Next the Misfits took the stage blasting into ‘Static Age’. The room erupted from the first note and the energy level turned electric. As the pit grew and headbanging ensued I noticed how Jerry Only has been right in his estimation of how The Misfits have become ‘a new band to a new generation of fans’. Sure the room was half filled with ‘geezer punks’ (Geezer Punks is a Facebook club, don’t get mad at me for using the term!) but also half young kids: teens and early 20’s.
After running through most of the album ‘Static Age’ Jerry and the boys turned to some old favorites like Where Eagles Dare’, ‘Astro Zombies’ and ‘Die, Die My Darling’ also sprinkling in some of the Graves era Misfits as well. The only lowlight that provided a highlight was the dip into the new when they debuted ‘Vampire Girl’. The tune was OK, but Jerry then brought out Alicia from ‘She Demons’ to play bass while he crooned. I think we can all agree for a punk rock band The Misfits have had 2 pretty amazing singers in Danzing and Graves – and, well, Jerry holds his own BUT when freed of the bass guitar I was surprised at how he really let loose and channeled his inner Elvis: his singing was of Vampire Girl was quite impressive.
The only thing better than the show that night was the bands commitment to the fans. After the last note was played Jerry stayed and took pictures, signed everything handed to him and even talked to kids about how they were doing in school – this is how you treat your fans. At the same time Jerry Jr. and “Chupacabra” were just as cordial walking through the crowd chatting and taking selfies.
For one night at the Portage Theatre, the old classic movie house, Marilyn Monroe’s ‘The Misfits’ wasn’t the feature – but the namesake band was and the old theater was certainly rocking.