English punk icons The Damned just released their new album, “Darkadelic,” at the end of April, their first release since 2018. The guys stopped by The House of Blues in Anaheim to celebrate and brought The Dictators along for an epic night of music.
The Dictators were a good fit for this leg of the tour. The New York-based punkers are very reminiscent of The New York Dolls with a Beastie’s attitude. Turn on the spotlight, wind them up and off they went. Electric with a sense of humor is best way to describe this band. Formed in ’73, the band’s core remains intact with Ross “The Boss” Friedman on lead guitar, Andy Shernoff on bass, Albert Bouchard on drums, and the kid, Keith Roth are the newest additions of the band. You couldn’t tell as the band was tight, to the crowd’s delight.
May 24, 2023
With the anticipation mounting, the House of Blues vibrated with electric energy as the lights dimmed once again and The Damned took the stage. They opened with the first notes of “Street of Dreams,” from their 1985 debut album, “Phantasmagora.”
Stepping onto the stage donning his Invisible Man ensemble (as seen in the music video), vocalist Dave Vanian exuded an aura of intrigue and mystique, clad in a sleek black suit and a fedora. The enigmatic ambiance intensified as Vanian’s resonant baritone voice filled the venue, captivating every listener.
Sporting a suit adorned with a skeleton head, keyboardist Monty Taylor became the band’s charismatic wildcard, injecting a captivating element into their performance. Bassist Paul Gray skillfully drove the basslines, perfectly in sync with the newly appointed drummer Will Taylor, resulting in a pulsating low end that ignited the crowd’s enthusiasm!
The vocals, instrumental prowess, and captivating stage presence transported us back in time, evoking the spirit of bygone eras. The energy and enthusiasm emanating from the audience electrified the entire venue, etching an enduring recollection in the minds of all who witnessed it.
Taking the stage for an impressive duration of one hour and 45 minutes, The Damned delivered a phenomenal performance featuring 22 songs. The crowd was turned from attentive listeners to a seething mass of excitement and energy thanks to songs like “Love Song,” “Born To Kill,” “Neat, Neat, Neat,” “Follow Me,” “Second Time Around,” and “Standing on the Edge of Tomorrow.”
Vanian and crew concluded the night with a remarkable dual encore that included “Eloise,” “Smash It Up,” “Girl I’ll Stop at Nothing,” culminating in a breathtaking rendition of “New Rose.”
Many say that words can fail but music never does. The Damned proved that saying to be true as the crowd left experiencing a great night of music.