GWAR Achieves World Domination at The NorVa
Intergalactic overlords GWAR brought their mythos of mayhem, world domination and metal mania to The NorVa on Nov. 11. The group, formed in Richmond, Virginia in 1984, has embarked on the second leg of their 30-year Anniversary Tour. They delivered their iconic mix of thrash, heavy metal and shock rock with bits of comedy sketches and plenty of theatrics.
The band began their set in total darkness to the anthem of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs.” The crowd echoed the infamous lyrics sung by The Prince of Darkness himself, Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne. This set the aura for GWAR to be released, controlling the stage and unleashing their fury upon a full house of anxious fans.
The two-hour set proved a relentless assault by the band and no one was safe from their malicious metal mayhem. They started their epic, aural onslaught with the song, “Crush, Kill, Destroy.” GWAR’s leader and vocalist, Blöthar, chanted the phrase, “I crush you as I would a fly, I kill you and I watch you die” as the band accompanied wreaking havoc.
GWAR continued through the late evening with songs such as “I, Bonesnapper,” “Let Us Slay” and “Bloodbath.” The audience consisted of many cult followers who expected every ounce of death and destruction the band is known for. It also represented new, younger fans of the band, fresh meat and new prey for the band to victimize.
The show suggests a cross between early Alice Cooper and KISS. Cooper, a veteran of the shock rock genre he induced onstage in his early days, is the catalyst for GWAR to take the nightmare to a whole new level. GWAR’s presence comes full circle incorporating larger than life alien battle costumes.
Mix in the metal sounds of Metallica, Anthrax, and Slayer and this makes for a lethal dose of mutant metal music. Thundering drums from Jizmak Da Gusha, razor slicing guitar work from Balsac The Jaws Of Death and Pustulus Maximus and chest pounding bass by Beefcake The Mighty made for a night of gripping fear with every note of marauding music they played.
Amongst the stage theatrics and dialog, GWAR made the crowd laugh with their skits about SpewTube, FUX News and an appearance by Hillary Clinton. The band took no prisoners and even Clinton herself became a victim of the relentless assault by the group.
The band was accompanied onstage by other characters known as The Slaves of GWAR. These humans, according to the band’s history, were kidnapped and mutated by GWAR to serve the group’s endless and often confusing desires.
One disturbing element of the show was the amount of faux blood and other faux bodily liquids that were sprayed into the crowd throughout the entire evening. Those in the crowd expected a showering of these elements and left the concert soaking wet, not to mention the cleanup that ensued in the concert hall at the end of GWAR’s performance by The NorVa staff.
GWAR delivered a solid entertainment experience. It’s easy to understand why they earned two Grammy nominations for it. As they continue to be the destined destroyers of the human race and of reality itself, GWAR continues the second leg of their tour taking no prisoners. These Scumdogs of the Universe have no intention of leaving Earth. And as for their fans, they are good with that.