The group, comprised of vocalist Keith Buckley (of Every Time I Die), guitarists Joe Trohman (Fall Out Boy), Scott Ian & Rob Caggiano (of Anthrax), drummer Andy Hurley (of Fall Out Boy) and bassist Josh Newton (also of ETID) played a gig last night at the Roxy on Sunset in anticipation of the release of their debut record, Ironiclast, which is set to drop next month from Island Records.
First off, I was confused as to the small-ish crowd at the show; this is Hollywood, and I assumed rock super groups like this wouldn’t have any trouble filling up the place, but it was curiously not sold out…yet the VIP section was full to the brim. So I guess that makes sense.
Anyway, after a slew of forgettable opening bands, The Damned Things finally hit the stage around 10:30. So far, they’ve only released two songs, the beer-soaked Friday Night (Going Down in Flames) and lead single We’ve Got a Situation Here. Friday Night was 2nd in the set, after opener Ironiclast.
One thing I noticed during the 45-ish minute set was that the dudes in this band don’t treat this as a silly side project. Every one of them put so much into every song it was hard to realize this is a ‘side project’. Scott Ian, a 46 year old who acts like he’s 20 onstage, was ripping guitar riffs all over the place, as was his fellow Anthraxian Rob Caggiano. While they all frequently struck rock star poses, there wasn’t too much hamming it up, something I appreciated.
Buckley, wearing a black shirt and black hat, frequently took swigs from bottles of Budweiser and spoke to the crowd between a few songs. At one point he said “this next song…is another song by the Damned Things. Hope you enjoy it” or something like that, all in the same faux-Southern accent he uses onstage with his day job, ETID. He also introduced the song Grave Robber with the statement “This next one is about one of my deepest sexual fantasies…”.
Because it was the Roxy, the vocals were somewhat hard to hear from up in front, but that also could have been due to the blistering 3-guitar assault provided by Caggiano, Ian and Trohman.
After years of seeing him alongside Pete Wentz and Patrick Stump, Trohman was really the star at this show. His guitar riffs led most of the songs, leading me to believe that he’s one of the main songwriters for The Damned Things. Caggiano and Ian slammed away themselves, but Trohman seemed to be playing lead guitar on almost all of the 9-song set.
You might not have pegged Fall Out Boy’s guitarist to be a master on the 6-string, but he definitely was impressive last night.
On a side note, Stump was at the show, and almost looks like a completely different person. He’s lost a TON of weight, and it was hard to recognize him for a few seconds. Interesting.
The Damned Things played what looked like 8 songs from Ironiclast and a cover of Fazer by Quicksand.
The set blazed by in a hurry, and the crowd seemed to dig it, even though most of us only knew the 1 or 2 songs already released on the Internet.
Ironiclast is set to come out next month, and I’ll review it here. If the songs I heard last night were any indication, that album is going to be just what it’s advertised as: balls-to-the-wall hard rock played by a team of musical juggernauts from all over the rock landscape.
Be warned, the Damned Things are coming.
Before you go, check out this video of We've Got a Situation Here.