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Gwar Report From Vancouver, BC

Photo of All That Remains

Band Photo: All That Remains (?)

On November 24, Gwar played a sold-out show at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, BC, along with All That Remains and Dying Fetus. I have never seen any of the bands live before so I wasn’t sure what to expect, especially Gwar. I have heard stories about Gwar’s shows but it’s just not the same as experiencing it yourself.

Metalcore quintet from Massachusetts, All That Remains, took the stage at 9pm and played most of the songs off their new release, “This Darkened Heart,” dedicating their song “Focus Shall Not Fail” to all the pot smokers that night. These guys had some pretty good riffs. They were heavy, yet melodic, kind of reminding me of Atreyu and As I Lay Dying.

All That Remains set list:
This Darkened Heart
Tattered on My Sleeve
Focus Shall Not Fail
For Salvation
Viscious Betrayal
And Death in my Arms
The Deepest Gray

Dying Fetus recently parted ways with their singer, Vince Matthews, and went on as a four-piece instead, with death metal-esque now spewing from guitarist John and bassist Sean. Apparently (correct me if I’m wrong), their drummer, Erik, couldn’t make it across the border so they recruited a session drummer, the Red Chord’s John Longstreth. I might be the only one who thinks this, but I honestly didn’t find Dying Fetus very impressive. I mean, these guys were insanely heavy and they had fast, high energy songs, such as "Skullfucked" and "Schematics," to drive a decent-sized mosh pit, but they just didn't seem like they were enjoying themselves onstage. It’s like they didn’t even want to be there. But again, that is just my point of view. After a 40-minute performance, the band finished their set off with "Killing on Adrenaline."

With the recent release of their new album, War Party, the scumdog aliens of the universe – Oderus Urungus, Balsac the Jaws of Death, Flattus Maximus, Beefcake the Mighty and Jismak the Gush – are back, more evil (and more sexually explicit) than ever before. Anyone who has ever seen Gwar live knows what exactly to expect – blood. And lots of it. If you're lucky enough to be up front, you will most likely get doused with it. And, of course, there’s also the costumes. Their show didn't even seem like a concert, more like a violently sanguineous theatrical stage show, with thunderously loud background music. They had a number of guests – dress-ups of John Kerry, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Paris Hilton, Michael Jackson, Bin Laden, just to name a few – all of whom were mutilated in one way or another, spraying blood towards everyone in the mosh pit. These stage shows were awesome, but they also took focus away from the music. Despite being dismissed by many as a “gimmick” band, Gwar does play fairly good thrash metal and they know how to put on a great performance.

Overall, the show was highly entertaining and totally worth seeing. If you haven’t already seen it, I suggest you do, even if it's just to see Oderus castrating George Bush.

Pictures of the show can be found here. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the set list for Gwar and Dying Fetus.

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