Venom Inc. @ Fivepoint Amphitheater – 11/03/2018It was a wicked night at Fivepoint Amphitheater in Irvine on Saturday November 3 as Danzig celebrating 30 years as a band played the last date of his short west coast Halloween Hell Bash. Hand picked by Glenn Danzig himself to play this musical soirée were Mutoid Man, Power Trip, The Meteors, Venom Inc and The Damned, a varied group of bands all representing a niche in extreme music and all present to help celebrate 30 years of Danzig.

Mutoid Man kicked off the festivities at 4:45pm to a very thin crowd but didn’t seem to care if there were 10 people or 10,000 people present – they hit the stage and cranked out some heavy tunes and thanked Danzig for inviting them to play. The Meteors and The Damned both put on noteworthy sets during their time on stage, both bands a bit outside of the dark menacing tone of Danzig, The Meteors are a fabulous psychobilly band and The Damned served up a helping of good ole English punk infused rock. It was great to see (and hear) the legend Dave Vanian lead The Damned through a 60 minute set.

The Damned Photo Gallery

The two highlights of the day were Dallas, TX based thrash-masters Power Trip and the old-school extreme metal lords Venom Inc. Power Trip followed Mutoid Man in the late afternoon and put on a thrash-tacular set highlighted by their 2017 Loudwire Award for Metal Song of the Year – “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe)” from their early 2017 release Nightmare Logic as well as a blistering new song “Hornet’s Nest” which can only mean that a new Power Trip album is in the near future.

Vocalist Riley Gale is all over the stage jumping off monitors, etc as he led the band through a killer nine song set. Power Trip (who also includes Chris Ulsh – drums, Chris Whetzel – bass, Blake “Rossover” Ibanez – guitar, and Nick Stewart – guitar) is one of, if not the hottest band out on the road right now. With a sonic assault to the ears, their flavor of crossover thrash incites immediate circle pits and headbanging throughout their shows.

Power Trip Photo Gallery

Venom Inc. took the stage after the sun went down and schooled all in attendance in some classic extreme metal. Now if you are not aware, Venom Inc. is spin-off of Venom that includes original guitarist Jeffrey “Mantas” Dunn along with former Venom vocalist Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan with Jeramie Kling of the Tampa-based melodic death metal band THE ABSENCE on drums. Venom Inc. put out an album Avé back in August of 2017 that kicks you in the teeth with driving metal and mixed a few songs from that CD in with several Venom classics equaling a brutal set.

The band kicked off the set with a ferocious track off of Avé, “Metal We Bleed” before laying into the older Venom material “Welcome to Hell”, “Black Metal”, “Witching Hour” and more. These English blokes without a doubt educated the younger generation on how to deliver a set of kick-ass metal. Demolition Man is just that – he demolishes the bass and along with his raspy vocals is the perfect frontman to deliver the evil. Mantas’ guitar riffs really define Venom and he is a beast on guitar as he rips through each song effortlessly. Holding down the rhythm on the drums is Jeramie Kling who is an absolute monster behind his kit as he anchors the band through the set.

Venom Inc. brings the metal to the masses and successfully does so with conviction. Their pioneering brand of metal remains as relevant as ever in 2018 and has never sounded better.

Venom Inc. Photo Gallery


Danzig hit the stage and opened the show with the brutal riffs of “Skin Carver” then two newer songs “Eyes Ripping Fire” and “Devil on Highway 9” before stating “Only old shit from here on out” as the remainder of the set featured songs from through-out  the Danzig catalog including “Twist of Cain”, “Am I Demon”, “How the Gods Kill” and many others.

For the entire time on stage Danzig sounded great and demonstrated his vocal range with his doom-driven, sometimes bluesy and always heavy lyrics. Danzig has put together one of the tightest bands in a live setting, with Tommy Victor (Prong) on lead guitar who is the perfect fit with his guitar tone and stage presence. Bassist Steve Zing plays about as fast as humanly possible and along with his rhythm partner on drums Johnny Kelly (former Type-O-Negative) they provide the sinister backbone for Danzig.

The set ended with the hit “Mother” and it seemed the Fivepoint Amphitheater stage manager wanted to end the show (most likely to adhere to a curfew) but Danzig went ahead and pushed on with his two song encore of “She Rides” and “Long Way Back From Hell”.

An epic night of music with some amazing bands all to celebrate 30 years of Danzig. Next up Danzig is set to appear with Jerry Only as The Original Misfits in April of 2019 in Chicago.