Goblin - The Fonda Theatre - May 3, 2014

Categories: concert review

Photo of Goblin at The Fonda Theater by Scott Feinblatt
The Fonda Theatre

Not too many progressive rock bands are primarily known for frequent contributions to film soundtracks -- much less horror film soundtracks. This is one of the distinctions that attracts a very special cult to the rare performances of Italian band Goblin. What makes these crowds even more rabid than the fact that they are mainly horror fans seeking a fix of something horror-related, is the rarity of Goblin's shows.

While the band had performed fewer than two dozen concerts since 1976 (starting with a series of reunion tours in 2009), 2013 was the first year in which the band toured the US. Last year, online magazines and the blogosphere were drenched with the ravings of fans -- both prior to, and then following their experiences at the shows. Dr. Scarlet, from Rock Revolt Magazine, wrote, "As a huge horror and music fan, this is one of those bands that you need to see once in your life in order to feel complete."

Photo of Goblin at The Fonda Theatre by Scott Feinblatt
Last year, Orange County fans had to make the trek up to Los Angeles in order to check out any of Goblin's three performances at the Egyptian. This year, on May 3, we had only one opportunity to see them at the equally historic Los Angeles venue, The Fonda Theatre. Although the band has existed in various incarnations over the years, this conservative nine-stop tour of the US featured four of the original five members of the band: Massimo Morante (guitar), Fabio Pignatelli (bass) Maurizio Guarini (keyboards), and Agostino Marangolo (drums). Rounding out the gang, on second keyboards, was Steve Moore of Pittsburgh's group Zombi.

The show was opened by experimental rockers Pinkish Black. Given the fact that Goblin's music was predominantly written in the '70s and '80s, the anachronistic sound of the two-man opening band seemed appropriate. Drummer Jon Teague mainly provided vicious and grooving drum rhythms which were accompanied by some pretty heavy, overdriven keyboard bass lines by the group's lead keyboardist / vocalist, Daron Beck. On top of this, Beck moaned his lyrics, and the whole thing was polished off with a coating of both his and Teague's eerie and hypnotic '80s sounding synths. After Pinkish Black's 45- minute set caused a few heads to rock / thrash in tandem, the few empty spaces of the fairly intimate, two level, Fonda Theatre filled, seemingly, to capacity and Goblin took the stage.

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