As The Misfits prepared to rock the music world with their upcoming reunion shows with Glenn Danzig, Jason Cain of Gemini Light Sound Video got the call his superfan side had wanted for many years - the opportunity to control lighting for the horror punk pioneers’ classic lineup. For Cain, there was only one lighting console for the job, his flagship High End Systems Hog4.
Along with Danzig. band members Jerry Only and Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein were joined on the shows by Aces Slade and Dave Lombardo. Cain modestly says there was a degree of good old-fashioned luck in Gemini getting this gig. He comments, “Glenn Danzig is managed by the same organization that handles Slipknot, Lamb Of God, Megadeth and others. Gemini had gear out for the better part of the past few years with each of these acts. I was the LD for Slipknot on the ‘Subliminal Verses’ Tour way back in 2003, so the connection was made then with management. Slipknot’s PM / Set Designer Jordan Coopersmith was putting together looks for the Misfit reunion shows, and I offered my services, if they were needed. Being a fan of The Misfits from the early days, during my adolescence, I was very familiar with the imagery, lyrical content, and the music.”
“There wasn’t much time for a design per say. The call came in on a Friday afternoon around 4pm. It was Glenn and the management team, and they were looking to see if I would fit into the scheme. Again, insert FANBOY! Glenn told me about some of the set ideas and the gags that they wanted to achieve, and it was imagery taken from the early 7" EP’s, and ‘Fiend Club’ fan club goodies. So I got the LD gig, and at 5pm the truck arrived at Gemini; we literally started running through the warehouse and grabbing a mixture of items, to ‘throw it together’ onsite in Los Angeles for a few days of rehearsals.”
While the selection of lighting instruments was last minute, Cain’s lighting console of choice has always been the Hog. “I bleed blue,” he enthuses. “I have been on Hogs since the beginning, and I feel very comfortable with them. I know what I want/need, and know how to get it out of the Hog family of desks. Just give me the plot/patch/Hog and a wing, and get out of the way! ‘Wing-it’ shows are very near and dear for me, and the support I get from High End has always been fantastic. I really like the flexibility of the Hog line. I always lay out a ‘Punt Page’, breaking out as many of the parameters of the fixtures as I can ... nothing new there! And I’ll break the house rig into an odd-even scenario. The video content was fired from the Hog4 as well, and we used Catalyst as the Media Server.”
Gemini crew joining Cain on the reunion shows included Wes Jacobs and Chris Thrash. Jason comments, “Wes is a great guy; a hardworking, smart dude - with a fedora! We have been using Wes on a lot of the tours we have been fortunate to work on this summer. He has good knowledge on the fixtures / LED screens / servers, and best of all has the ability to walk in and see what is going to be the reality of the day … on the fly if need be. Chris built all the video content. - all the Misfit images were pulled online at the highest resolution available. There really wasn’t enough time to have management send images, so DIY! The Misfits have a lot of iconic imagery, and we were very specific about the time frame and era of each song, and what album it was on, and tried our best to tailor it to fit the ‘message’ and ‘looks’ to each of the 26 songs played those two fiendish nights! There was an overlay that we put into each of the video clips, to try to bring them all a little closer, and give a static age B-Horror, Sci-Fi undertone. Chris was great about bringing it together at a very fast and intense rate - not the preferred way, but he pulled it all together to make it happen.”
In closing, Jason remains ‘blown away’ by the Misfits reunion experience, saying “It was a super amazing couple of nights for the fans of The Misfits. I’m glad I was asked to be a part of it, for sure, and like many others I hope for more of it in the future - we’ll see!”