Concert Reviews

Over The Weekend: GWAR, Every Time I Die and Warbeast at House Of Blues

GWAR, Every Time I Die, Warbeast
House Of Blues
November 19, 2011

Better than:
a Pulsar action figure whose blood has congealed.

A cloaked Death character entered the House of Blues darkened stage set up like a castle littered with weapons and viscera. As theatrical metal band GWAR came on stage to station their instruments, vocalist Oderous Ungurus (Dave Brockie) decapitated Death's lawyer, spraying the first gallons of blood of the night into the audience.

GWAR's set at the House Of Blues ran through a litany of punk and metal songs while a rogue's gallery of monsters fought each other and the band onstage. A pterodactyl, a mutant scientest Biledriver throwing a barrel of toxic waste into the audience and a godzilla-voiced janitor with a duster for a hand were all part of the performance. It's a bit like Gallagher, except with blood and gore.

Side character Bonesnapper also offered up Snooki from Jersey Shore to disembowel and dismember on a carriage. The show tastefully acknowledged the band's recently departed guitarist Cory Smoot by retiring his persona Flattus Maximus, as Oderous and the crowd pointed up in the air towards Flattus' home planet.

The attempts at a moshpit by audience members on the crowded floor ended up making a shoving pit, the least fun type of pit at a rock show.

The end of the set featured a final boss in the form of Sawborg, a monster with a spinning circular saw for an arm. The encore featured the "real" final boss, a large green maggot for the song "Maggots" that ate up humans from the audience before being severed and spraying green gore. The set ended with "Sick of You" as Oderous held up his giant costume phallus and urinated into the audience.

Live shows with this much stagecraft usually leave behind some aspects of the recorded sound GWAR was no exception. The band rushed through songs that didn't have a stage theme, making it difficult to identify a song until later. Brockie sung through his costume in rhythmic babble resembling song lyrics, leaving most of the enunciation to the audience.

Every Time I Die opened with their mix of mathcore and hardcore metal. The floor on Every Time Die' set contained more open moshpits and younger listeners at the front. Vocalist Keith Buckley's took a few moments to announce his 32nd birthday, promising to visit the Hooters across the street.

DOMA 2011's Best Metal Act Warbeast started the night with their throwback to Venom-style thrash metal. Bruce Corbit's gold microphone stand split into a scepter-like handle as he barked, surprisingly, the most comprehensible lyrics of the night. Guitarist Scott Shelby's gauntlets and spiked vest evoked the genre and era other bands hint at these days.

Critic's Notebook
Random Note:
Having reviewed a bunch of shows with stage theatrics this year crippled my patience for shows where musicians just play music. Having seen GWAR, I now expect every show to have blasters spraying liquid.

Stage Banter: "No matter how wasted we get, we're never gonna make a shitty album with Lou Reed" -Oderus

By the Way: I still don't understand guys who yell out "Slayerrr!!!" at every metal show. Does anyone ever tell them Slayer isn't there?