The Damned are Damned Amazing

The Damned

w/The Bellrays, and Grave Return

May 12, House of Blues, Lake Buena Vista, FL

all photos by M.A.Rivera

The Damned are on tour celebrating their 40 year anniversary of their seminal debut, Damned Damned Damned. the Damned (659) vgBut this show wasn’t about nostalgia for it’s own sake. No, the band pushed through every part of their catalog.

Vocalist Dave Vanian was a darkly imposing figure onstage, lurking and prowling the stage, his voice in fine form. Slowed by a spill off stage a week ago, Captain Sensible soldiered on, playing the show sitting on a toilet seat/throne designed just for him. Being confined didn’t hinder him in any way, still stealing the show with blistering leads. Nuanced and by turns explosive, the set ran to two hours with 2 encores. “Ignite” was an intense highlight, as was “Street of Dreams.”. And when Captain sensible took a moment to introduce the oldest material, the audience erupted. “A New Rose,” and “Neat Neat Neat” were positively combustible.

Captain Sensible took lead vocal duties and leading the singalong on the second encore of “Jet Boy/Jet Girl.” “Antipope” proved to be the blistering finale to the show. There was an air of disbelief that the band could be so good. The Damned had exceeded expectations. Not just playing the songs everyone knew so well, but serving them

photo by M.A. Rivera

photo by M.A. Rivera

up with urgency and attitude.

Local support Grave Return from Orlando kicked off the show with an intense set of originals. There are murmurings a cd of original tunes is forthcoming and we all should all be on the lookout for it.

The Bellrays made sure everyone in attendance was going to remember them. With a high octane performance that brought to mind the over the top live performances of Ike and Tina Turner, the band kicked off the show in 5th gear and never slowed. Singer Lisa Kekaula’s powerful delivery was soulful, uncompromising and vital. The 3 piece backing band, pushing her with the subtlety of a wrecking ball bringing down a home.