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Gwar Lays Vancouver To Waste With Its Annual November Stop

Photo of Gwar

Band Photo: Gwar (?)

Gwar shows in Vancouver are always a sell out and there was no doubt that the Commodore Ballroom, located in the middle of Vancouver’s trendy Granville Entertainment District, was packed to full capacity. In a day and age where many shows are being down-sized or cancelled all together Gwar somehow manages to keep the Vancouver bohabs crawling back for more each November. While this time around Gwar had brought with them a few of the weaker openers it has chosen in the last few years once the almighty Antarctican space thrashers took the stage the real show began.

Up first was Mobile Death Camp from Toledo, Ohio. Featuring the former bassist of Gwar, or at least the guy that played him in costume, Mobile Death Camp delivered a sup-bar set of generic nu-thrash. I don’t know what it was, but I personally found nothing to enjoy in them. The crowd seemed to be split in half when it came to Mobile Death Camp as well. While half weren’t the least bit interested and mostly just lounged around the others ate up every second of the speedy songs and their Kerry King styled guitar solos.

Luckily for Vancouver and for myself blackened death metallers Infernaeon were able to make it to the furthest west-coast city in Canada despite numerous transportation issues throughout the tour. Infernaeon tore through its short 40 minute set with a level of death metal brutality I had not seen since the last Behemoth show was in town. Playing a set comprised of nearly every song from its 2010 release, “Genesis to Nemesis,” the band delivered an energetic set in its full anti-religious glory. The true highlight from Infernaeon’s set came in the cover of Metallica’s creeping death. I can definitely see this band becoming a much more prominent act in the years to come.

Following the death metal brutality, veteran Punk Rock act The Casualties took to the stage. With a size-able crust-punk following in attendance The Casualties managed to get its fans into a fit, and in turn had the Gwar fan-base aiming for every mohawked kid that wandered into the mosh-pit. If anyone is unfamiliar with this band’s style of punk it’s really nothing to rave over on record and it’s barely any better live. The set, which dragged on for far too long consisted of songs that all sounded exactly the same. From the amount of half full cups of water being tossed around within the crowd it seemed as if many people were trying to find some alternate means of entertainment.

After Gwar’s necessary long set up time the lights went dim and the echoes of growls and various bodily noises rang through the PA system. Jizmak the Gusher (drums) was first on stage and began to play the opening drum fill for 1990’s “The Horror of Yig.” The crowd instantly began a near two hour long fight for the best spot in the venue as the rest of the band made its entrance, including two zombies dressed in suits. Of course, the Zombie’s heads did not remain on their shoulders for long as Gwar began its night of murderous carnage. The early and more recent material was represented well with no less than 6 songs being performed from its latest, “The Bloody Pit of Horror.” Not to mention another 6 songs from its 1990 breakthrough album “Scumdogs of the Universe” and a handful of other random tracks thrown in between. One thing noticeably different from this Gwar show as opposed to other I have been to was the lack of the excessive stage props. Don't get the wrong impression, multiple characters made appearance during the show and a few celebrities were slaughtered as well. But the blood and guts didn’t really fly in its old school style until half way during the show. Regardless, as with every Gwar show it was a fantastic night and I went home at 2 in the morning being completely drenched from head to toe in blood.

Whether you like Gwar or not there is no denying that they put an extreme amount of work ethic and effort into its performances and I highly recommend seeing them just once in your lifetime, in order to experience a type of metal show that only Gwar can deliver.

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