Live 1984 Starland Ballroom


Looking for technical proficiency or a high-quality, remastered, digitally enhanced DVD? Don’t bother. This is the post-Misfits, pre-Danzig band in all of its glory; raw, pissed-off and scary as hell. The footage trembles with fear as Glen Danzig’s voice skips like scratched vinyl. The band is literally in the frenzied crowd’s faces, and Danzig is purposely confrontational on a foot-high stage at the now-defunct Stardust Ballroom in Hollywood. The small venue resembles a dank American Legion hall, and security does everything in its powers to keep the audience at bay.

Yes, the quality screams bootleg, but no matter; this is horror-punk at its finest and most intense. Samhain’s 15-song set is mostly material off Initium, along with a pair of Misfits covers and songs that ended up on the Unholy Passion EP. Their rendition of “Die, Die, My Darling” is loud, aggressive, passionate and out of control, just as it should be, Metallica. And you too, Jerry Only!

Luke Hackney writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to