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Concert Photography, Concert Reviews, Music

Concert Review + Photos: GWAR @ The Phoenix Concert Theatre

By: Shelby Monita (@shelbymonita) –

GWAR. (Photo: Dale Benvenuto/Aesthetic Magazine Toronto)

GWAR. (Photo: Dale Benvenuto/Aesthetic Magazine Toronto)

Metal beasts GWAR took over Toronto’s Phoenix Concert Theatre on Tuesday night, who filled the venue with blood and spared no one.

Opening band, Iron Reagan, are a hardcore punk metal band who openly admitted on stage that they were brought on tour because GWAR thought they are fun to drink with. This loud and heavy group of men who have only been a band for a year and a half proved to the rowdy audience that they can play hard and keep up with the news by cracking jokes about doing lines of coke with Mayor Ford at the merch table after their set. With a song titled “Eat Shit and Live” that concluded their set, they got the circle pit nice and sweaty.

Next to the stage was Tennessee-based deathcore band Whitechapel, who brought the crowd together with fantastic incoherent screaming. Singer Phil Bozeman had a voice so enchanting that it sounded as if your demons are chasing you down the street and to scream for help but you don’t because the chase is far too fun. Match this with a drummer who possibly practices by using a machine gun in replace of a metronome and strobe lights, lots of strobe lights and you have the perfect ingredients for a hypnotic show. Metal fan or not, it was impossible to take your eyes off the stage.

And then it happened, “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath started playing over the sound system and not long after the song had ended, GWAR in all their glory took to the stage. And of course, keeping with the times, the first words said by lead singer Odeous Maximus were “I smoked crack with Rob Ford”. GWAR’s latest mission on Earth was to destroy Mr. Perfect who we met on stage as a baldhead floating around on a UFO life object and drape hanging down below. Though before Mr. Perfect met his doom, GWAR had to destroy a few public figures that are bringing shame to the human race. The first to walk on stage was the Queen of England carrying the royal baby. A brief game of monkey in the middle was played, the Queen being the monkey and the banana she was trying to catch was her grandson. It didn’t take long for GWAR to get their intergalactic worrier hands on her, ripping the breasts right off her royal chest to have her blue blood spray outonto the audience. Next to the chopping block was Justin Bieber who Odeous mocked by referring to him as Vanilla Ice and calling him a talentless corporate hack before ripping him to pieces and yes, spraying blood everywhere. Then finally Mr. Perfect came back out, this time as a giant transformer like figure, and was, as well, ripped to shreds while the audience got covered in blood. It was fantastic.

Between gruesome murders GWAR preformed “Metal Metal Land” with a dedication to the late Flattus Maximus, “Bloodbath”, “Torture” and “Mr. Perfect” to name a few, each done with enthusiasm, fear, butt-less chaps, humor and blood…so much blood. For the encore GWAR came out with the new pope, describing this pope as “the one who is being cruel to gays” Odeous continued to claim that, “I love gays, I think the pope is a gay girl”. He then proceeded to rip apart the pope; there was so much blood. For the final song something unexpected happened, GWAR cover The Who. The last song of the night was “Baba O’Rielly” with a mix of Billy Ocean’s “Get Outta My Dreams, Get into my Car” preformed with guns shooting out so much blood it was as if there were blood in the sprinklers showering the audience. By the end the crowd was singing along, smiling and ducking their heads in hopes the fake blood that was coming from all angles wouldn’t land in their eyes. The evening was everything a GWAR fan and metal lover could ever ask for and will never forget.

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