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One Night: Danzig Sings Elvis at the Grand Ballroom in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, 10/31/21

November 6, 2021

Always lived, very quiet life
I ain’t never did no wrong
Now I know that life without you
Has been too lonely too long
One night with you

Elvis….and Danzig

As any good goth kid, Halloween is my New Year. Though it is celebrated all month; donning multiple costumes…. upping the ante on horror films, buying a little extra candy. I’ll admit though, these last few years I haven’t celebrated as much as I used to. But this year would be different. I guess you could just say there was something in the air- that fine line that Halloween is supposed to toe between the silly scary and the seriously sinister. And isn’t that truly not the best way to describe the times we live in? I mean, things would be kind of funny if they weren’t true…

The day before Halloween I went to a little horror convention in Victorville to meet Joe Bob Briggs and Darcy the Mail Girl. As a Texas kid who loved horror movies- I just adored MonsterVision growing up. And I super loved the show they’ve brought back on Shudder. Anyway, I don’t do ‘cons’ and have met a ton of famous people in my days running this site, but I got really nervous in this autograph setting! Probably because I don’t leave my house anymore. But they were very nice and it was a great experience. Horror icons number 1 and 2 √

I don’t go back to LA hardly ever; transitioning from the desert to the bowels of Hollywood blocks away from where I once called home was like visiting the ghost of Halloween past. First we had to navigate through hoards of Deadheads zombie-walking to a Dead & Co show at the Hollywood bowl, which is indeed my own personal nightmare. I could smell them with the windows up.

The Hollywood Roosevelt is the most overrated hotel in LA, I said it. I only stayed there for convenience; the Sunset Marquis or Petit Hermitage were my former haunts. It has a vibe but it is never not annoying in some way. Quickly grabbing food at the diner overlooking Hollywood Boulevard, it was hard to watch the passersby. Some I was used to: tourists thinking, “this is it? gross.” Performers hustling. But there were just so many lost souls out there, by every definition of the phrase…. high out of their minds….homeless and desperate….or just trying to find some way to hold on to a lifestyle that is not gonna last. Searching for something unfindable. The boulevard of broken dreams is the only enduring part of this street.

We had to line up a while before the doors opened, but luckily you could drink and get to know your neighbors (shoutout to the Scattered Hamlet bassist!). This wasn’t a cheap show. This also wasn’t a true Danzig show, so I was very curious as to who would be here. It used to be my fave HRC thing to do back when I went to everything– go to the side projects, the off-shoots, the guest appearances, etc. of artists you love! Smaller shows, happier artists, trve fans…

Anyway, as expected, a lot of these attendees were not really Elvis fans. Heyo- I got married by Elvis, I’ve been to Graceland twice three times, I’ve even stayed in Elvis’ childhood apartment in Memphis… convinced? Yup, this was down my alley. We own an autographed Danzig Sings Elvis album… so when this show popped up, I got tickets faster than I’d bought tickets to anything in years. My husband is a huge fan.

It also used to be hard to find a venue I’d not set foot in; I’d not been in here. But after scanning my phone and not checking my vax card as stated lol, I lamented the olden days of hard tickets and harder times as we found a seat elbow to elbow with fellow Danzig fans. ‘Evil Elvis’ was kind enough to buy us Voodoo doughnuts but I didn’t eat any. I follow the news and was shocked that no one was wearing masks but for the festive kind…aren’t we in LA?! I have to admit all of this crap is an absolute buzzkill so it was very interesting that everyone was just pretending that we were living in the Before Times. I guess it was just for one night…

Anyway, there was a spooky DJ as the room filled in and everyone indulged in sugar and libations. The buzz nearly became a roar as a cellist warmed us up with some instrumentals. There were some really cool costumes around- the best being a guy dressed like the Twilight Zone episode where everyone ends up having a pig face.

Finally, the lights dimmed, the sheets came off large, lit red Danzig letters in the back of the stage. Out walked the band, including Jesse Dayton, who I interviewed for this site probably over 10 years ago. Then saunters out Danzig, as much as you can imagine him sauntering. I say this because I’ve seen him a couple times over the years, and this show had such incredibly different energy. He was happy!

The crowd went nuts and then immediately didn’t know what to do with themselves. But Evil Elvis persevered, doing excellent intros to the songs, highlighting how fucked up most of Elvis’ songs are. Think “Little Sister” is innocuous? Read the lyrics! It’s about dating the big sister and then moving onto the little sister…

He introduced “Always on My Mind” and mentioned Willie Nelson, which got me thinking… and then he launched into “She Thinks I Still Care” which, as a Texan, I know of more as a George Jones song. I noticed him connecting with someone in the front row, so I focused in and realized it was Shooter Jennings, dressed in a god-awful orange Dumb And Dumber suit haha. Cool moment. I remember that I can’t wait to see Danzig’s Vampire Western “Death Rider”. Big fan of Verotika, it’s fun.

Before we had joked around about what he might be wearing. An Elvis suit maybe? No! The usual. It’s a uniform, it’s a costume, it’s Danzig.

Danzig’s voice doing Elvis songs truly shines. As a girl with a Wild At Heart tattoo- “Love Me” was my highlight of the night. “Fever” gets the award for most inappropriate in the era we live in. “Mystery Train” was the encore song and we truly did not want it to end. Yeah I know, everyone secretly wanted him to bust out some songs from his other work but it truly would not have felt right.

What did feel right was when, after he left the stage, it was announced that “Danzig has left the building”.

I cannot stress how important it is to spend the time, money and effort to see the artists you love now. There may not be a tomorrow, and everyone should really have learned that lesson now, though for some reason, live music still seems to suffer. But especially with these artists; this is an era we will never see again… sorry, these new artists will never hold a candle. Share the space with the living legends while you can.


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