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The Damned - 40th Anniversary Tour - Warsaw, Brooklyn NY 5-23-2017

    Ian Jane

  • The Damned - 40th Anniversary Tour - Warsaw, Brooklyn NY 5-23-2017

    The Damned (with support from California's The Bellrays) took the stage last night in Brooklyn at the Warsaw concert theater in front of a sold out crowd. The date that had to be rescheduled after guitarist Captain Sensible tumbled off the stage and did some damage to his ribs towards the end of the Toronto show earlier on the tour. While the good Captain was put away in the hospital for a spell after the incident, you'd have never known it last night. He played with the energy and enthusiasm of a man half his age, never missing a beat and offering up plenty of the mouthy wisdom he's become known for over the years.

    As the band winds up this tour, celebrating their fortieth (!!!) anniversary, all five members were in fine form. Monty Oxymoron was a madman behind the keyboard racks, at one point taking a break so that he could dance around on stage and then spin wildly on the middle of the stage floor. Stu West's bass playing was right on target, holding down the back end nicely and providing some interesting musical contrast to the Captain's more aggressive and unruly guitar work. Pinch was just as good as everyone else behind the drum kit, keeping the show moving at a good pace and being adorned early on with a disco ball over his head (which was, of course, when the band launched into Disco Man). Of course, vocalist Dave Vanian, looking less vampiric than he has at times but still delightfully 'goth' in his own ultra-stylish way, was the perfect ringleader for this circus. The man's flair for the dramatic was in fine form and he basically owned the stage all night. It's also worth noting just how strong his voice still sounds, having not faded seemingly one iota since the band formed in 1976.

    As to the set, it was a full two hour run covering the expected 'greatest hits' material and a few interesting unexpected inclusions as well. The show proper was made up of Melody Lee / Generals / Disco Man / I Just Can't Be Happy Today / Alone Again Or / Love Song / Machine Gun Etiquette / Street Of Dreams / Eloise / Ignite / Stranger On The Town / Plan 9 Channel 7 / Wait For The Blackout / The History Of The World (Part 1) / New Rose / Neat Neat Neat.

    But if that wasn't enough, the band came back for an encore where they played Jet Boy, Jet Girl / Nasty / Nights In White Satin / Smash It Up and then a second encore for Born To Kill / Fan Club and last but not least Anti-Pope. Not content to simply play the songs in the same style in which they were originally recorded, the set last night did see some experimenting, something that the band has never been afraid of, at times bringing things into borderline psychedelic territory while still very much anchored in the classic punk sound that they helped create.

    All in all, an excellent set from one of the most important bands to emerge from the seventies, and one of the longest lasting! The North American leg of the tour finishes up with the rescheduled Boston and Montreal dates before the band heads back to the UK. If you're able to catch them before it all finishes, do it - last night was no exception, these guys consistently deliver on stage.

    A few pictures from the show last night below…

    And while we're at it, some video too!

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