Every time I go to a show I generally have some sort of expectations – a preconceived notion of what is to come. For the most part that’s true but Tuesday, April 11’s Michale Graves show at Club X in Salt Lake City included a big fuck-up on my part and a totally unexpected solo acoustic set from the former Misfits vocalist Michale Graves.
My fuck-up? – Well I forgot to change out the batteries in my camera, but I was expecting to see a full-band with crazy lighting. I got some cell shots, took a crappy bootleg video. Back to those preconceived notions – if I would have done research I would have known that Graves was going to be performing solo acoustic. I was not disappointed in the slightest in fact it was at times somber and at times a fun filled atmosphere with the small but loyal crowd signing along and requesting songs.
I remember in High School I had some Cross Country and Track buddies that new I liked metal and kept asking and telling me that I should listen to the Misfits – I finally got around to listening to them. It’s really not a debatable fact that Glen Danzig era Misfits are superior in every way. That said when the Misfits reformed with Graves as the vocalist, the enjoyed a lot of success he made his mark as the frontman and for the die-hard Misfits folks Graves era is just as important as the Danzig era.
While yes, Graves played versions of Misfits cuts he wrote he also played a wealth of his own material which peaked my interest quite a bit, the songs that were written as acoustic songs such as “Blackbird,” “Wanderer,” “Man Versus Train” and “Butcher Shop” saw Graves change up his vocal style significantly. After the said, I thought to myself his addition of a little country twang or just that less kind of rockabilly persona that comes out of his Misfits and electric songs sounded better for his voice the next morning I jumped on the ole youtube and re-listened to those original songs and promptly changed my mind – having that versatile voice especially as a solo artist is hugely important. Out of his solo material in the end I found the track “Wanderer” to be my favorite with “Man versus Train,” a close second.
The acoustic renditions of the Misfits material that Graves wrote of course seemed to be the crowd favorites, with Graves taking on “Dig up Her Bones,” “Saturday Night,” “Forbidden Zone,” “Fiend Club,” “Scream” and more had the crowd singing along and hanging on every word. Graves made those songs feel like a special treat playing them acoustic while he sat on a chair the whole show – where the original songs are rocking and hard hitting he transformed them into a different form “Saturday Night,” and “Dig up Her Bones,” especially had a vastly transformed feelings, “Saturday Night,” turned into a dark but kind love song, “Dig Up Her Bones” came out particularly somber.
Although the whole night Graves sat in a chair playing his set he rocked and kept the beat with his feet the genuine emotion he put forth just in his face and vocal expressions gave a great credit to his showmanship. I wasn’t bored for one minute of the set where sometimes an acoustic set can become tedious. I’m now out to pick up some of the acoustic non-misfits material from Graves. I do have to say it was interesting to see a