Written by: Kirsti Heitz
Show date: November 12, 2013
Oderus Urungus (Dave Brockie) - Lead vocals
Pustulus Maximus (Brent Purgason) - Lead guitar/Background vocals
Balsac the Jaws of Death (Mike Derks) - Rhythm guitar/Background vocals
Beefcake the Mighty (Jamison Land) – Bass/Background vocals
Jizmak Da Gusha (Brad Roberts) - Drums
Label: Metal Blade Records
Band of Orcs
Gogog Bloodthroat - Vocals, Growls
Cretos Filthgrinder - Lead Guitars
Hulg ElfR.I.P.per - Crunchy Guitars
Gronk! - Shamanic Bass
Oog Skullbasher - War Drums
Phil Bozeman - Vocals
Ben Savage - Guitar
Zach Householder - Guitar
Alex Wade - Guitar
Ben Harclerode - Drums
Gabe Crisp – Bass
Label: Metal Blade Records
Tony Foresta - Vox
Landphil Hall - Guitar
Mark Bronzino- Guitar
Rob Skotis - Bass
Ryan Parrish – Drums
Quick! Cover the amps in plastic and hand out raincoats to security, because GWAR is ready to soak Toronto in blood (and then some). Finally! The day I long for more than Christmas and Halloween arrived as Gwar invaded Toronto yet again. Sporting my bridal costume complete with veils and flowers, I charged to the Phoenix along with other fans in white to receive our blood sacrifice.
A Band of Orcs opened up the night to a disappointingly sparse crowd. The band mimics GWAR’s theme with the amazing Orc costumes and the habit of spraying fans with a canteen of water. First time Canada visitors, Iron Reagan, took over with a punky/thrash sound and high energy. Their tracks left much to be expected and the vocals were a little too rip-my-throat-up punk for my taste, but their cracks at mayor Rob Ford and bottle tossing on stage won me over a tad.
Whitechapel took over, tearing up the stage and motivating fans into a moshpit frenzy, with songs like “I,Dementia” and “Possession,” Whitechapel fans were given the chance to throw down up front while those in the back bobbed along to the beats. There seemed to be a big divide between Whitechapel fans and GWAR fans, the first up front and most of the latter at the back, but everyone was brought together when the Scumdogs themselves stormed the stage.
Gracing us with their half-naked, monstrous forms, GWAR took the stage to save human kind from Mr. Perfect plans, and to rock our brains out while they’re at it. Hitting up “Madness At The Core Of Time” and “The Salaminizer” early on in their set, GWAR gave fans a taste of their new album Battle Maximus (2013), dedicated to the late Flattus Maximus (Cory Smoot).
Fans kicked up into high gear as soon as the fake blood started showering down on us. Fans were jumping, moshing, dancing, crowd surfing, pretty much anything that will get you moving. Vocalist Oderus Urungus proudly sprayed some lovely blue goo on the front row fans with his “Cuttlefish of Cthulhu” (i.e, his dick). But the spraying didn't stop there. Whether Scumdog slaves were pointing giant guns on the crowd, or seemingly innocent props on stage all of the sudden started squirting blood, fans were getting soaked on all sides.
The third best part of a GWAR show (first being the music and second being the fake blood) is the ritual sacrifice of celebrities. GWAR doesn’t only give you great music, but also a show! Encouraged by cheering fans, GWAR ripped the Queen of England’s chest off while throwing the royal baby around and strangling the Queen with its umbilical cord, and that was just the start! GWAR also wheeled out a tied up Justin Bieber (my personal fav sacrifice of the evening), and continued to rip off his arms, clothes and skin exposing his teeny weeny package whilst Oderus called him a “Haaack!” Gwar then beheaded the Pope and successfully slaughtered the fully transformed Mr. Perfect (saving the Human Race I might add).
Amidst all this slaughtering and blood spraying, GWAR hit all the fan favs with “Bring Back the Bomb,” “Let Us Slay” and “Metal Metal Land” with a dedication to Flattus Maximus. GWAR even treated us some old-school tracks like “Hate Love Songs” and “Pre-Skool Prostitute” from Carnival of Chaos(1997) which unleashed another wave of madness amongst fans. Soaked to the bone and splashing in puddles of fake blood, fans begged for an encore after GWAR left the stage. They came back on with the predictable “Sick of You” and the not so predictable Billy Ocean cover “Get Outta My Dream” and the Who cover “Baba O’Riley.”
I crowd surfed like crazy (a big sorry to those who got contact with my boots and a thanks to those who caught me, especially the security dudes), got so soaked that my once pristine wedding dress is now entirely red, and moshed so hard that I’m still nursing those cuts and bruises. That only means that it was an amazing night! Now to mark off the days until the next GWAR show!