The "big name" attraction of the first set of Fun Fun Fun Fest Nites was the Misfits, because you could only get in to see Sarah Silverman if you were invisible and had the ability to pass through a very firmly closed glass door. Obviously, the Misfits are one of "those" bands, that you probably liked in your teenage years and that adult you would like to see to relive a few things. A line around the block to get into the small dark dingy punk club Elysium attested as much. Indeed, I was pretty excited to get to see them in a small venue, on a night out in Austin thankfully one block north of the apocalypse of college students and alcohol that is 6th Street on a Friday night.
And the band was terrible. Oh my God, they were awful. It was almost overwhelmingly bad. If you had a beloved family pet as a teenager, it was like watching that being beaten to death -- not spectacularly, but really incompetently, by someone who didn't really have their heart in it.
On before said disaster was generic punk band #23987234, or "The Attack" to their friends and family, and I have no doubt that said generic band produced a performance of infinitely more competence than the Misfits.
It must be said that I had been warned in advance that the Misfits have the worst sound tech going. "How hard can it be to sort out the levels for the Misfits?" I naively thought. The answer, it would seem, is extraordinarily hard. I've never heard a concert where you could hear everything but also nothing at the same time. It was like listening to mud pulsating at 180bpm.
Was there a guitar tone? I'm not sure. Could the band even hear each other? Not if the bass drum timing was anything to go by, as said drum was about as consistent and punctual as Johnny Marr (that's funny because Johnny Marr was really late on stage today, before playing a set of Smiths covers despite not being Morrissey).
Not only was the sound apocalyptically bad, like listening to bricks in a tumble drier, the band had to stop and re-start one song twice, another song once, and seemed unsure throughout of what was going on. Sometimes Jerry Only would just wave his arms and shout "NO NO NO" at the rest of the band, who had carried on regardless. Then he'd explain the problems to the crowd in the least Misfits voice ever. At least, I think that's what he did and what his voice sounds like, only I couldn't hear shit because who needs vocal EQ nowadays?
I know they're old, but this was really something else. If you see the Misfits come near you and think, "Hey, that would be a fun revisiting of my teenage years," do not go. Save the money and spend it on a sweater or something, now that you're middle-aged. If embracing middle age means never having to see this current lineup of the Misfits, then bring on the Harley Davidson and the tragic bandana.