Friday night was my 7th GWAR show, and it was awesome as usual. Openers were DevilDriver, Cancer Bats, and Legacy of Disorder. It was pretty cool seeing this because one of the best shows I'd ever been to was GWAR and DevilDriver at this same venue, almost exactly 7 years prior to this one.
Legacy of Disorder:
First opening band was Legacy of Disorder. They were okay, but didn't get much of a crowd response and I really wasn't into them much. Don't have a setlist as I don't know any of their songs.
Second up was Cancer Bats, and they were hugely popular. A lot of people at the show were clearly there just for them, and they got the biggest response of all the openers. This was my second time seeing them, as they had opened for DevilDriver last year. Overall I thought they weren't bad. I always hear people slam them for being a "scene" band or whatever but they've never really come off that way to me. They put on a pretty decent live show, though their music isn't really my thing. A good band to get the crowd warmed up though. Don't have a setlist for this band either as I'm not familiar with their songs.
Finally, it was time for DevilDriver. They've been one of my favorite live bands for a long time so I was quite excited to see them, and they didn't disappoint. Since this was an opening gig and their setlist was obviously shorter than what they would do as a headliner, so it was mostly a "best of" setlist from their albums (and once again, Beast gets underrepresented for some reason, which is unfortunate as I think it's a really good album). They did play Cry For Me Sky, though, which I wasn't expecting to hear at all, so that was a very pleasant surprise.
I have to say Dez was really on fire at this show. I've seen them 6 times prior to this show, but he had a certain level of aggression that I hadn't seen before. In particular, the last two times I'd seen them (both in 2011) the band had seemed like they were just kind of going through the motions and doing it for the sake of doing it - not that much energy (maybe due to the fact they were playing a tiny venue with not that many people in it). This time, however, was a different story.
Maybe he was just having a bad day or something, but he seemed genuinely angry and hostile at this show. It was definitely beyond his normal stage persona, there was something else to it that night, and it definitely reflected in his voice. As soon he started up in End Of The Line I could tell there was some real energy in his vocals.
He kept telling people to open the pit up (sadly, they weren't getting quite as wild of a crowd as Cancer Bats had). He said it twice right when EOTL started, and then when he had to say it a third time he sounded really pissed, said something about "take your arm off your girlfriend and get in the pit", and then pointed at some guy and yelled at him "Don't stand there staring at me, you FUCK!" as though the guy had personally insulted him.
Later, right when they started playing Pray For Villains, Dez made some short speech about how he was a proud American gun owner and if you came to his house he would kill you, and "Damn right I feel safe in the US!". He was just going on all night and throwing middle fingers, calling people "bitch", etc. Moreso than usual. Don't know if this was all done intentionally to up his stage presence or legitimate anger about something, perhaps someone else who's seen (or will see) them on this tour can confirm.
The whole band had some real energy though, much better than the last couple times I saw them. Rather than ending with Meet the Wretched, as usual, they finished off with Clouds Over California and got a pretty decent circle pit going. Overall a very good show once again.
End of the Line
Cry For Me Sky
Hold Back the Day
Horn of Betrayal
Pray For Villains
Head on to Heartache
Not All Who Wander Are Lost
Dead to Rights
I Could Care Less
Clouds Over California
After a half hour set change, it was time for the almighty GWAR to come back. I was in 2nd row in the middle when they started. It started with a speech from God, however it was only coming out of the PA system and with everyone around me screaming I couldn't really hear it. It was something about him sending various people from history to fight GWAR or something like that. But again, I couldn't hear it properly so I kind of missed out on the story there.
The band started off with Horror Of Yig. The first kill of the night was some guy in a suit, not sure who it was supposed to be. They cut his head off and he sprayed everywhere. A couple songs later they brought out someone else. I'm not sure who that person was supposed to be either, but it was dressed in a uniform that almost looked like a nun's uniform, though not quite. They bent it over and jammed a large pole up its ass, from which it shot out more blood.
By this point I was getting crushed pretty hard and battered with crowdsurfers every 30 seconds and it was getting annoying. They started playing Bring Back the Bomb and then I got so crushed I could barely breathe, so I decided I'd head back out once the song was over (as there was no way to fight my way back while everyone was moshing). Although GWAR concerts aren't specifically renowned for wild pits, I've consistently found that they are always quite extreme, as everybody wants to get as close to the front as possible for a good soaking. About halfway through the song, the rather large guy in front of me pushed back pretty hard. I slipped slightly and lost my spot, and in a split second half a dozen large guys jumped into. I mean it was literally like a vacuum, like the air being sucked out of a space shuttle - every square inch of free space was immediately occupied within half a second of being open.
At this point, I left the pit and went back up to the bar to get a bottle of water and rest a bit. This is when they started playing Krosstika and brought out Hitler, who they dismembered. A couple songs later and they played one of my favorites, Immortal Corrupter, and featured Jesus getting crucified and then ripped in half.
A few songs after that, God came on the PA system again and announced that that had all been part of his plan, and sent out Super Cyborg Jesus to fight GWAR. I don't think they liked him very much, because his head was promptly separated from his body, and proceeded to spray in all different directions. Finally, it was time for the final showdown with God. He was about to appear and show his face and fight GWAR in what should've been the most epic showdown in history, when he suddenly proclaimed that he didn't exist and the room went silent. Following this, Balsac came up to the mike and berated Oderus for wasting their time. Then Bonesnapper came out holding some deformed triplet babies and they messed with those for a bit.
Eventually came President Obama, whose head they also ripped off. And then finally they ended off their set with Sick Of You, at which point Sawborg Destructo came out with a giant circular saw and tore Oderus's face off. A couple of slaves also came onstage with giant circular saws which shot blood into the crowd for the remainder of the song. There were also a couple of slaves who carried girls (dressed in regular concert clothing) across the stage for some reason. Not sure what that was about.
And then it was over, another awesome GWAR massacre for the books of history. Altogether it was 90 minutes (as usual) and was over shortly before midnight. I then proceeded to walk 15 minutes back home while it was -11°C (12°F) with a windchill of -17°C (1.5°F) - nothing like a GWAR show in November on the Canadian prairies
(of course, I was wearing a nice warm coat)
My only disappointment really is that although I got a very good soaking, it seems to be harder to get a soaking without being in the pit these days. When I saw them at this exact venue in 2005 I was standing off to the side most of the time and still got drenched literally head to toe, however even despite being 2nd row center for a good 15 or 20 minutes this time around I didn't get as big of a soaking. And they didn't even bring out the big blood gun this time around (whereas they had 2 of them in '05, one on each end of the stage). Maybe they're reducing the amount of blood used to keep ticket prices low or something, but it seems like GWAR shows aren't as big of a bloodbath as they were the first few times I saw them. Oh well, it's still a good time and I highly recommend going!
Horror of Yig
Womb With a View
Madness at the Core of Time
Saddam a Go-Go
Bring Back the Bomb
Black and Huge
Metal Metal Land
The Years Without Light
Let Us Slay
Have You Seen Me?
War Is All We Know
A Short History of the End of the World
Rock & Roll Never Felt So Good
Carry on Wayward Son
Sick of You