Your singer dies - should your band ever go on? In my experience I say yes.
I realize my yes is based on the fact that I never got to see the originals.
I saw "The Doors of the 21st Century" a few summers ago with Ian Astbury of the Cult filling in for Jim Morrison who died (or did he?!?) when I was a mere babe of 6 months of age. I'll go on record and say I thought it was a great show, I've seen them lambasted, but goddamn it, I thought Ian was the perfect Jim and the band was hot.
I was a bit older when Darby died (about a week before my 10th birthday - the same night as John Lennon was shot and killed) but still years before my first concert and I'm pretty sure the Germs never made it anywhere near the East Coast. I love the music and when they came around to B.B. King's in 2005 I checked it out and thought they were great. I think they've been back through the area on a Warped Tour, but haven't seen them in four years until a few nights ago when they returned to the Big Apple to play the tiny Mercury Lounge.
As far as I could tell, I wasn't the only one who didn't care that it wasn't Darby Crash up there with Lorna Doom, Pat Smear and Don Bolles - this was as close as we were going to get and the band absolutley delivers. Lorna is still a punk queen holding down the rhythm with wildman Bolles pounding the skins (I know Keith Moon is often compared to Animal from the muppets, but Bolles is the current living embodiment). Pat lays out the raw speed guitar through all the songs - often looking as if he's in a trance while playing the mostly one to two minutes classics, but then smiling widely for the brief seconds of breaks between tracks. Shane West looks and sounds the part, but is not acting the role. You don't feel like you're watching a show - this isn't Germsmania, in these past years since he got together with this classic Germs line-up while filming "What We Do Is Secret" (which I finally saw a few months ago and highly recommend) he has become the current lead singer, he knows and loves the songs and delivers them with immense energy. Three years ago I felt he was almost there, but was still doing a few Darby lines and antics - the slurred yelling of "Somebody get me a beer" or spraying ketchup all over himself. It was parlor tricks which took away from the immediacy of the music and the show. This band is a punk rock machine and I hope I get to see them again soon.
They played damn near everything off the MIA collection...here's the setlist mixed with some pics I took right up against the stage. The opened with
What We Do Is Secret
Throw It Away
We Must Bleed
Now I Hear The Laughter
Land Of Treason
Richie Dagger's Crime
And encored with: Forming, Out Of Time, The Slave
So Will I be going to see Alice In Chains with their new guy - probably not...I saw the real thing. What About Nirvana again some day? I'll probably pass...but a Joe Strummer-less Clash? I don't think that one will happen, but if it does...what the hell, I'll give them a listen.