This was recorded by the Flipside crew in 1984 at the long-gone Stardust Ballroom in Hollywood, CA. At this time the band had only the Initium album out and were in the process of making the Unholy Passion EP (a couple of the songs that would end up on that record were played at this show). The lineup was Glenn Danzig, Steve Zing, Eerie Von and Damien (I believe). The show was 47 minutes in length and featured most of the Initium album, a couple Misfits songs, and the aforementioned tracks from Unholy Passion.
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This hand-filmed, single-camera narrative documents a time when underground music was still struggling to find its path, and while the quality may not be that of a slick professional recording, the delivery of the band is captured in as much detail as is needed. The sound, when it is not cutting out, is good and separation between instruments and vocals can be heard clearly. Glenn Danzig is an energetic vocalist without either the jaded reserve or overindulgent showmanship of later years, and the crowd looks shellshocked and unsure of what they’re seeing, which has the advantage of them doing fewer stupid things to mar enjoyment of the performance. The band are economical with their onstage motions, and tight in their playing, which gives these songs the same power they have coming off of a CD. An enclosed sticker provokes some nostalgia for the time, an age of xeroxed posters and grimly absurd art, of people gathering in long-forgotten clubs to bash out violent performances. For those who like what Samhain were about, this DVD is everything that could be desired from this foundational band.
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