During October 2018, The Damned toured the United States to support the release of their new album Evil Spirits. On This tour they stopped in Salt Lake City and played to an intimate audience. The smaller size of the crowd was surprising. Especially since The Damned played on the Friday before Halloween. However, getting a chance to see them up close was well worth it, but was it to a band with their notoriety?
The Darts opened the show. They are a kind of gothic-garage rock quartet. Their style blends haunting icona-pop with the snotty attitude of punk. They are a kind of super group that boasts the talents of members of The Love Me Nots, Motobunny and The Dollyrots. The impressive size of the venue almost swallows their vibrant presence as they play. Although, they still knock out a brilliant gig that is tight. Numbers like My Way are well received.
The interim between the Darts and Radkey is brief. During the break the Depot plays a sound track that tugs on the Damned’s punk roots and garage rock inspirations. During this, more attendees slowly file into the venue.
Radkey are a volatile trio from St. Joseph, Missouri. Wasting no time, they blasted onto the stage with the fury of The Bad Brains and the high energy of Rancid, but with catchiness of The Misfits. They play out a unique style that mixes metal sensibilities with pop punk spunkiness. From start to finish their presence is formidable as they dominate their stage and hold nothing back.
Seeing the Damned is always a treat. They are the first British Punk band to come out of the London scene in 1976-77, release a record and tour the States. After 40 years they maintain their magic and never fail to deliver a timeless performance. On this occasion, they opened up with Nasty, much to the excitement of their audience. Playing in this cozy setting is unlike any other time witnessing them. Other instances would invite the struggle of finding a keen vantage point to see these legends. With tonight’s attendance, audience members are close enough to the Damned to a get an unforgettable personal show.
Some of what makes a Damned show is their charming banter between band mates and the audience. The other is obviously the music. The Damned play quite a few tracks from their new album. Songs like album’s title track Evil Spirits are pretty well liked. This new number has a similar style to older material, its punky, with a gothic edge but noticeably more mature. Arguably the new material sounds a bit better live than on the record. Most folks though are at this gig to here older material. This is a fact not lost on The Damned. Captain Sensible says, “Don’t worry, we’re going to get to the fast stuff.” They perform favorite such as Waiting For The Blackout, Stranger On The Town, Lively Arts, and the gothic cover of Eloise.
Other top tunes played out include, Neat Neat Neat, and New Rose. These tunes are better received as they are better known. As they conclude their show, The Damned delivers two stunning encores to their loyal fans. The first includes Ignite and their second Smash It Up. The Damned played an absolutely stunning show and I can’t wait to see them again.