Somehow, it’s been over twenty years since I last saw Rewind It Magazine interviewee Michale Graves perform on stage with the Misfits (one of my absolute favorite punk bands during my formative years, who I’ve personally seen live more than any other band in my lifetime – a half a dozen times from 1999-2003, plus a Misfits set during a 2005 Danzig show with guitarist Doyle as a special guest, and now Graves solo). And although “they”have tried to cancel him for having views that simply don’t fit in with what they’re “supposed to be” these days, it was apparent he was more than welcomed by the crowd at Oasis on the River/Oasis After Dark in Sanford, FL this past Saturday, October 23.
Upon arrival, Graves had already started his set (we came directly from another engagement we had already committed to prior to learning of the show earlier last week), fully in the middle of a passionate performance of “I Believe.” The night was much more low key than the last time we visited Oasis (for Stevie B), and the light breeze and outdoor, ocean back drop added to the overall atmosphere of the evening. Another more recent solo track in the form of “American Prayer” followed before going into the Misfits track “Descending Angel.” Another Famous Monsters-era Misfits number, “Die Monster Die,” found itself tucked in between “Locked Away” and “Dawn of the Dead.”
A couple of favorites from the American Psycho album, “Resurrection” and “Dig up Her Bones” (the latter of which Graves gave the crowd a little back story on how it was written) before a cover of Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You” found it’s way into the set list. Graves then broke out a harmonica for “Lucifer I am,” before another couple of Misfits songs, “Scream” and “Saturday Night,” segued into two more final solo tracks, “The World Turned Upside Down” and “New Song.” By the time he was finished, I realized I actually prefer this more stripped-down version of Graves, then the one I saw fronting the Misfits so long ago.
After his set, Graves stuck around to of course mingle with guests for awhile. An unexpected after party show of sorts with local rockers FYRE Insyde actually kept the party going. Their arena-rock presence coupled with anthems like “The Truth Behind the Lies” (which could compete with any of the generic rock that gets played on mainstream radio these days) was a sheer, welcomed surprise.
But something else happened this evening I felt I needed to address; much like when I interviewed Graves last year, I once again found myself being attacked and harassed online – while still there – for supporting someone with conservative beliefs. Since starting Rewind It Magazine in late 2017, I have always maintained as open a mind as possible, and have worked with/interviewed clients of all walks of life. And unlike larger mainstream media outlets with biased agendas, I have tried keeping politics as neutral – or completely out of all together – our work (we are after all, an entertainment publication). These hypocritical morons in the punk and metal scenes don’t even know what it is they actually hate about Graves and other conservatives, just that their herd leaders have brainwashed them so deeply to hate anyone that doesn’t comply with their same conformist views, even to the point of applauding their deaths (so much for “freedom” or “individuality,”right?).
I honestly have a deep respect for Graves – and anyone else willing to stand up for their beliefs against the grain – especially these goons in the scene with their group think mentalities. Open your eyes, and see who the real fascists are that you should be fighting against.