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Supergroup the Damned Things Make Their Live Debut

What do you get when you take half of Fall Out Boy, add the guitar players of Anthrax, and top it off with Every Time I Die singer Keith Buckley? You get the Damned Things, who started off June by playing their first-ever show to an enthusiastic crowd at Brooklyn, N.Y. venue The Knitting Factory. The six-piece band (which also includes ETID’s Josh Newton as touring bassist) blazed through a nine-song set sounding like a well-oiled hybrid of their full-time bands. In addition to getting their first show jitters out of the way, they also got to road-test material for their debut album, coming out on the Island label later this year.

The genesis of the Damned Things began several years ago when Fall Out Boy guitarist Joe Trohman met Anthrax axeman and frequent VH1 spokesperson Scott Ian. After writing together, they each brought another band member in (Fall Out Boy drummer Andy Hurley and Anthrax guitarist Rob Caggiano, respectively). Buckley was the last member to join.

While a supergroup consisting of those three bands sounds odd on paper, Trohman and Hurley were in metal and hardcore bands before Fall Out Boy blew up, and the common ground they have was evident while watching them play live for the first time. There were similarities to all three of their members’ original bands, but the Damned Things had a sound of their own. Buckley’s voice and range are immediately recognizable to any fan of Every Time I Die, but he sings more than in his main band. And the uptempo songs were definitely more rooted in straight up rock than punk or hardcore. And while choruses like the one on ‘We’ve Got a Situation Here’ could fit in on an a Fall Out Boy album. With their three guitar attack, the band sometimes sounded more like Kiss or Thin Lizzy, with dual guitar harmonies rounded out by Ian’s solid rhythmic riffing.

While it was the Damned Things’ first show, it would have been hard to tell if Buckley didn’t mention it several times. The band’s take on Quicksand‘s ‘Fazer’ got the few people already not won over on board, while they followed it up with ‘Grave Robber,’ the most metallic-sounding song of the set. The crowd and the band seemed to be enjoying theirselves, with Ian calling the gig his “best 1st show ever” on his Twitter account later that evening. “This is the first show I’ve played sober in 10 years,” Buckley said a few songs in, although towards the end, with the show clearly a success, he opened a Bud Light and toasted the crowd.

The Damned Things’ album will be out later this year on Island. The band is currently overseas playing festival shows.

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