Concert Review: Misfits, Rancid, The Damned, & Cro-Mags In Oakland, CA

Last night (September 11), I attended The Original Misfits’ show at Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA and it was an extraordinary night of legendary punk.

Harley Flanagan’s Cro-Mags opened the show, which they dedicated to the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The short, hard-hitting set was the perfect way to kick things off and those who showed up early were not disappointed. The group played a number of tracks from their catalog, but one of the highlights was “No One’s Victim” off their latest EP “Don’t Give In.”

As soon as Cro-Mags were done, The Damned took the stage for an awesome set. The band sounded great and they were certainly one of the strongest acts of the night. They were also very energetic, especially keyboardist Monty Oxymoron, who kept breaking out in crazy dances. Highlights from their set included “Smash It Up” and “Love Song.”

Once The Damned finished up, it was time for the East Bay’s own Rancid. The band busted right out of the gate with “Roots Radicals” and continued to play hit after hit with several songs from their latest album “Trouble Maker” thrown in for good measure. The band seemed to be having a great time onstage, which is cool to see and they even had a few humorous stories for the fans. One notable one was from guitarist Lars Frederiksen, who said he asked his son if he wanted to celebrate his 12th birthday with his dad’s band and the Misfits, or if he wanted to go see Iron Maiden at the same venue the night prior. He said the kid rejected the offer to see his band almost instantly, saying “Maiden bro!” Aside from that anecdote, other highlights from the group’s set included performances of “Fall Back Down,” “Time Bomb,” and “Ruby Soho.”

After Rancid, the legendary Misfits descended upon the stage to bring Halloween to the crowd 50 days early. The band opened with “Death Comes Reaping,” before launching into “I Turned Into A Martian” and “Vampira.” The nearly 30 song set was amazing and the band sounded absolutely incredible. Despite the years of feuding between Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only, everything went off without a hitch. Danzig’s vocals were as powerful as ever and Only and Doyle’s stage antics were fun to watch. Having a masterful drummer like Dave Lombardo (ex-Slayer, etc.) and a killer guitarist like Acey Slade (Dope, Murderdolls, etc.) only enhanced the experience as well. Aside from the music and showmanship, the band also had solid stage production with big screens that changed the imagery for each track, cool light displays, big jack-o’-lanterns, etc. As far as highlights go, it was definitely cool to see the group perform tracks like: “Mommy, Can I Go Out and Kill Tonight?,” “Horror Business,” “Hollywood Babylon,” “Skulls,” Where Eagles Dare,” “Last Caress,” “Die, Die My Darling,” and their closer “We Are 138.” All in all, it was phenomenal show full of timeless classics.

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Rancid were sick earlier! #rancid @rancid

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The Damned killed it earlier! #thedamned

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Cro-Mags rocking earlier! #cromags

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Harley Flanagan’s Cro-Mags Release New EP “Don’t Give In”

Cro-Mags have digitally released a new EP titled “Don’t Give In.” The effort comes with three songs including the title track, “Drag You Under,” and “No One’s Victim.” You can stream those below. A limited edition 7″ vinyl pressing of the effort will also be released on August 2.

Harley Flanagan commented:

“In late 2018 I went into the studio to start working on a new CRO-MAGS album. After recording the first few songs, I got a strange phone call in the middle of the night that turned out to be from Tony Brummel of Victory Records.

I thought it was a prank call; it turned out not to be, and I worked out record deals with Victory and Arising Empire in Europe. One of the many things that make me happy about signing with Victory and Arising Empire is that they are genuinely fans of my music and know the history; they are not just labels trying to make money off us or the genre. I know that I am working with the best team, and the best musicians to launch the next era of CRO-MAGS.”

In other news, Cro-Mags have also booked some European “Best Wishes” 30th anniversary dates:

09/27 Essen, GER – Turock
09/28 Limburg, BEL – Limburg Hardcore Fest
09/29 London, UK – Underworld
09/30 Paris, FRA – Gibus
10/01 Stuttgart, GER – De Keller Klub
10/02 Prague, CZE – Futurum
10/03 Budapest, HUN – Hu Dürer Kert
10/04 Graz, AUT – Explosiv
10/05 Leipzig, GER – Naumanns
10/06 Berlin, GER – Musik & Frieden

There Is Now Two Different Versions Of Cro-Mags Following A Recent Settlement

The lawsuit regarding the Cro-Mags trademark has officially been settled resulting in two versions of the band. Harley Flanagan’s version will continue to be called Cro-Mags, while John Joseph and Mackie Jayson’s version will be called Cro-Mags JM. The change will go into effect on August 1.

Joseph and Jayson commented:

“As all of our loyal fans and supporters know, John Joseph, Mackie Jayson, A.J. Novello and Craig Setari have been performing as the “Cro-Mags” for many years. Due to recent litigation involving Harley Flanagan, John Joseph and Mackie Jayson, we have all agreed that for the benefit of our fans and supporters we want to make sure that everyone knows who it is they are coming out to see.

Therefore we have reached a settlement designed to avoid any further confusion. The lead singer and drummer on Age of Quarrel, John & Mackie, along with A.J. and Craig, going forward will perform under the name CRO-MAGS “JM” which we have a legal right to use. The “JM” stands for John/Mackie. Of course, we need some time to make this change.

There will be a three month transition where our shows may still be advertised as Cro-Mags and Harley will also be performing as Cro-Mags. During this transition period, to confirm which band you want to see, please check on our websites or social media pages. As of August 1, 2019, all shows under the CRO-MAGS “JM” name will feature us, and all shows under the CRO-MAGS name (on its own) will feature Harley.

Thanks for your patience as we wrap this up. Now that this is all said and done, we will be working on a new studio album, while continuing to deliver the live performances our fans have come to know and love over the years. A win/win situation. See you out there on the road.”

Flanagan has also shared a video statement:

Harley Flanagan Sues Cro-Mags Over Their Name

According to the New York Post, Cro-Mags founder Harley Flanagan is suing the group for allegedly using the name without permission. He claims the band was his idea when it formed it in 1981, and that they are guilty of copyright infringement, due to him apparently trademarking the “Cro-Mag” name for recording in 2010 and for merchandise in 2009 and then again in 2017. The suit goes on to say the other members took over in 2002 when “Flanagan’s first son was about to be born… and Flanagan had to stop touring to help with the baby.” Flanagan was previously arrested in July 2012 after attacking several members of the group with a knife at the CBGB Festival.

Eyehategod & Cro-Mags Announce Spring 2018 Tour

Eyehategod and Cro-Mags have announced a spring tour together. Check out the dates for that run below.

Tour Dates:

03/15 Houston, TX – White Oak
03/16 Dallas, TX – Trees
03/17 Little Rock, AR – Vinos
03/18 Kansas City, MO – Riot ROom
03/19 Omaha, NE – Royal Grove
03/20 Iowa City, IA – Gabes
03/21 Evansville, IN – Docs
03/22 St. Louis, MO – Fubar
03/23 Lombard, IL – Brauerhouse
03/24 Cleveland, OH – Grog Shop
03/25 Buffalo, NY – Mohawk
03/26 Cincinnati, OH – Northside
03/27 Johnson City, TN – Hideaway
03/28 Raleigh, NC – Pour House (with Buzzov•en)
03/29 Charlottesville, VA – Champion (with Buzzov•en)
03/30 Atlanta, GA – The Earl (with Buzzov•en)
03/31 Gainesville, FL – The Atlantic
04/01 Margate, FL – O Malley’s