Celebrating their 40th Anniversary, Punk rock legends The Damned crush Louisville’s Mercury Ballroom with Bleached and Vice Tricks.

Emphatically Captain Sensible shouts to an appreciative crowd of new and old fans at Louisville’s Mercury Ballroom, “We might be old but we can still fucking rock”.

As the house lights drop a huge roar from the crowd greets Keyboardist Monty Oxymoron who is the first to take the stage.  His plaid pants, psychedelic shirt, and his curly black hair that bounces up and down as he plays the intro music for his bandmates. One by one, The Damned take the stage, greeted by bigger and louder cheers. As vocalist Dave Vanian takes his place center stage the venue erupts, well aware of what is about to occur.

Dave is looking dapper as ever this evening with his hair greased back, an elegant looking outfit and black gloves grasping the microphone.

With a set list that spans their entire catalog of music, there is more than enough content and memorable moments to satisfy even the most ardent fan.  It’s not often you see a disco ball at a punk concert but this is The Damned. As the opening chords of “Disco Man” are played a spotlight shines on the sparkling ball behind the drummer, Pinch’s head casting this surrealistic aura.

A super rendition of “Eloise” showcases the energy and attitude of the guys, immediately followed by the fun-loving antics of the Captain during “Ignite”. He is all over the stage, his mic fully extended into the crowd as everyone close fights for a chance to sing a few words of the song.

Captain Sensible is at it again. Since we don’t smoke anymore and lighters are outlawed he urges everyone to “get their phone cans out and flashlights on” as they drop into a riotous rendition of “Blackout”. It’s Monty’s turn to provide a brief history lesson and the fun fact of the day “If time is an illusion then history never happened” as “History” bellows from the venue speakers.

With the venue chanting “Smash It Up”, The Damned return to the stage for the first of what proves to be two three-song encores. Tonite also marks Captain Sensible’s 63rd birthday. 

As the initial chords of “Jet Boy, Jet Girl” are played two girls are on stage dancing with the Captain drawing huge smiles and laughs. At the song’s end he proclaims “Hey, I’ve still got it”.

“Without the Ramones, none of this (Punk music scene) would have ever come and we would probably be stuck listing to Phil Collins and Mumford and Sons” proclaims Captain Sensible as they launch into their last song of the evening, “Antipope” drawing a close to a magical evening of music by a legendary band.

Throughout the evening each song draws a bigger ovation than the last, the smiles and antics from the band escalate as the show progresses. The band is sharp and tight but very loose, clearly enjoying every moment of the evening.

Los Angeles-based pop-punkers, Bleached provide the main support with a lively set of original music.  Vocalist Jennifer Francis Clavin’s bubbly and upbeat persona is almost contagious.  The band’s music is a solid mix of surf, pop and garage punk providing an upbeat, catchy and edgy vibe that plays well across the room while proving to be a perfect set-up for The Damned.

Dynamic Louisville locals, Vice Tricks, open the evening.  The band features the demonstrative Verity Vice on the upright bass and King on vocals and guitar. Vice Tricks roll thru an impressive set of “Psychobilly Rock” combining a mix of 50s-60s Rockabilly with the energy of punk-rock creating a sound and show that is both different and fantastic.

The Damned
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Vice Tricks
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The Mercury Ballroom
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Event Date: 24-APR-2017