Gwar, an unstoppable force of horror nature, crashed into the Town Ballroom last Wednesday evening for a show filled with blood, destruction and fun all backed by a soundtrack of a punk metal hybrid. The return of the World Maggot Tour, as it was billed, was a salute and funeral of sorts for late guitarist, Flattus Maximus (Cory Smoot), who passed away late last year while on tour. Despite the sense of loss in the air, the show itself seemed to be more brutal then ever as front man and alien in charge Oderus Urungus was more coherent than in the past and spared no expenses in offending everyone and anyone he could from his comments about Hellyea and Slipknot to his literal slaying of Jersey Shores’ Snooki and, thanks to him, her now aborted baby.
Many things seemed different this time around with the most noticeable perhaps being that the band now performs as a four piece since their lead guitar players untimely death, but probably not for long according to Urungus. The band sounded much looser with the omission of a second guitarist and it gave the songs more of a thrashy vibe. This was most noticeable on the more recent Flattus written material like set opener “Zombies, March!” And the heavy, metal driven “Eighth Lock”, which was performed later in the set.
One thing that had not changed much was the vast amount of blood that was consistently spewed into the audience from either the deaths of characters and stars or Gwar’ slaves arming the ‘blood’ filled machines that were aimed at everyone in the building throughout their performance. And no one was safe, as everyone from the top two tiers all the way to the back of the hall seemed to have gotten baptized by Gwar.
The set ran smoothly as the band touched on much of their large catalog throughout which started in 1988 with ‘HELL-o’ though nothing was played off of that particular release. The world maggot itself made an appearance, raising from beneath the drum riser for the first song of the encore, which was appropriately titled “Maggot” followed and concluded by an emotionally filled “The Road Behind” which showcased the guitar of their fallen Scumdog brother, Flattus Maximus, as it sat on top of an amp stack for everybody to see and say their goodbyes as the ballad educed track was played for the last time ever in Buffalo.
What may be the most exciting thing about witnessing a Gwar show is that along with the theater like stage play, it is accompanied by great music. That is of course if you don’t mind loud, aggressive and heavy humor filled horror bound, music. The bands they brought along with them this year, Legacy Of Disorder, Ghoul and Kylessa, also brought the heavy to the stage and even Gwar-like theatrics from Ghoul which almost seemed to mimic the headliners, helped the crowd prepare for what would come from the kings of shock. As always your Lords and Masters never disappointed and were clearly on their “A” game.
A Gathering of Ghouls
Storm Is Coming
Saddam a Go-Go
Crack in the Egg
Bring Back the Bomb
Metal Metal Land
Ham on the Bone
Sick of You
The Road Behind
A Very Special Thanks to Jenipher from Stage Rage Magazine for the use of her photos! You can check out more from her at www.stageragemagazine.com