Back in Dallas for the first time since October 2015, Doyle returned to Trees in support of their newest album As We Die. The band, named for Misfits guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein, was received by a rabid crowd whose size was at least twice as large as the last time they were here.
Singer Alex Story looked possessed as he teetered between delirious and deranged throughout his performance. Between nearly every song he told the crowd, “This next song is a love song. You can dance to it if you like.” By the fifth or sixth song, the crowd had bought-in, some screaming “Play a love song!” or “Something we can dance to!” Doyle, the guitarist, stalked the stage with his large-than-life presence. Switching out guitars between each song, Doyle plays his instrument like he’s having a fight with it. Doubtless, he was knocking it out of tune over the course of a song. Alternating between huge, doom-y riffs and high-speed punk, there aren’t many people out there who play like Doyle. Collectively, the band puts on a live show that would make many of their peers cower in a corner. They’re loud, ferocious, and deliver each song relentlessly.
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Playing a set that was almost 50/50 drawn from their 2013 Abominator album and their new release, the band was in fine form. When the band only had one album under their belt, they had previously played a handful of Misfits songs. This time around the band exclusively played their own material. Certainly a few in attendance would’ve like to hear “Skulls” or “Die, Die, My Darling,” but as a whole the crowd on hand last night was there to see Doyle and that’s what they got. Of course, it helps that the Doyle material is great and their live performance can match anybody in terms of energy and intensity.
The tracks from Abominator, like the title-cut, “CemeterySexxx,” and “Learn to Bleed,” whipped the crowd into a frenzy. “Valley of Shadows,” the bands very first single, got the loudest sing-a-long, but the new songs from As We Die also generated plenty of excitement. “Run For Your Life,” “God of Flies,” and the extremely catchy “Witchcraft,” sounded like the band had been playing them for years, not just a few weeks. “We Belong Dead” and “Beast Like Me,” also from the new album, fit seamlessly alongside the material from their first album.
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The bands hour-long set went by far too quickly and I wasn’t the only one who wished they had returned for an encore. But, the old show-biz law of “leaving them wanting more” is certainly effective. Here’s hoping they come back to Dallas soon.
– J. Kevin Lynch