Gwar, Kingdom Of Sorrow, Toxic Holocaust: 2008-12-14
08/01/09 || InquisitorGeneralis
Where and when: 12/14/08, The 9:30 Club, Washington DC, USA.
Fist off big shout out to Kisha and the staff at The 9:30 Club for hooking the Inquisitor up with tix and a few tasty Red Hook ales. The 9:30 Club, located deep in the cold dead heart of the U.S.A’s capital, is a great venue and consistently books quality metal acts. This night was no exception. Here in the States many venues’ security and staff are rough on metal fans. Not so on this evening: blood and gizz coated bouncers actually snatched and grabbed crowd surfers before letting them fall face-first on the floor. Also, no sloppy mosher got his ass whupped for mistakenly bumping into a staff member. I am sure GWAR shows are no fun to work at but the staff this frosty December’s eve was on point.
Ok, enough sucking the 9:30 Club’s collective dick. I was lucky enough to get to the venue early, grab a sweet spot on the balcony, and catch all of the acts. I actually had seen the tour a month earlier in Baltimore but got to the venue late (thanks Jack Daniels) and only saw GWAR. Not so this time, and thankfully I was not disappointed. The Electile Disfunction tour was a damn fine show.
First up was Toxic Holocaust: currently hailing from Portland, Oregon but originally from my home state of Maryland. Joel Grind is listed as the only permanent member of the band and with his bleach-blonde mushroom hair and decent guitar skills (he is the only guitar player live) it is clear he is in the driver seat. Live the band is a three piece with two non-descript, stringy metal dudes playing bass and drums behind Mr. Grind who does all the vocals. Testixic Holopenis play a mix of throwback speed/thrash that was enjoyable live but not inspiring enough to make me want to pick up one of their studio efforts. No one song really stood out in the short 30 minutes set. “666” (whoah, easy on the originality there fellas) and “War is hell” were decently badass. The drumming was nothing fancy but Mr. Grind did lay down some nice licks on his axe. Obnoxic Holocrap was a decent opener…but I do not see them shedding “opener” status anytime soon though. Mix up the structure and style of the tunes fellas, and then you can start climbing up the bill.
Second out of three was Kingdom of Sorrow: the hardcore/sludge/mildly death metal side project of Jamie Jasta from Hatebreed and Kirk from Crowbar/Down fame. Having seen and joyed Jasta live with The Breeders and Kirk with both Down and Crowbar I had high expectations for Sphincterdom of Assmarrow. After a nice, short set break the lights dimmed and… where the fuck is Kirk? The big, bald bruiser was conspicuously absent from the stage. Despite this initial letdown I must admit KoS played an extremely enjoyable set. Alot of people hate on JJ because he is not DY-NO-MIGHT enough for them but the guy is a spirited and enthusiastic performer. If you do not like hardcore and hate it when it trickles into your metal than you probably would not enjoy these fellas. However, this is NOT Hatebreed. Think Crowbar with some more speed and some doublebass thrown in from time to time. The tunes were good: lots of groove and breakdowns, a few decent guitar solos, and Mr. Jasta doing his best to rev up the somewhat dull crowd of Washingtonians. “Led into demise” was the standout track amongst a solid set that included a punk cover that I did not recognize but the crowd seemed to like so nuts to them I guess.
During the set JJ revealed that Kirk was home dealing with health and family issues. Not surprising seeing that he is obviously not the most healthy man in the world due to the large amount of drugs and lipids he consumes. Either way, Krapdom of Pooprow play well without him. Get well soon big guy, you are still the man and that is not sarcasm at all. Kirk rules bitches. Now watch the planets collide…
At 9:30 the deathklok came on, announcing that we had 10 minutes until death. A nifty intro device I must admit. It was nice to know how much time I had to finish my tasty Red Hook…and snag another (thanks again Kisha, you rule the pool that is too cool for school). At 00:00 Mr. Sleazy P. Martini himself appeared on the screen and gave an entertaining monologue about running for president, killing people, the Illuminati, genocide and other ridiculous topics. It actually was funny and set the political theme for the GWAR extravaganza. I especially enjoyed Sleazy’s campaign slogan…
Let me… help you… to kill you…
… why did McCain not use that? Oh well, he would get his comuppins in a few minutes as well as a few other major political figures. More on that in a sec.
First up on the chopping block was Steve Wilcox of “Jerry Springer” fame. He came out, lectured us on family values, and than got his FUCKEN HEAD RIPPED OFF. Enter the blood and gore bitches. GWAR, clad in the all-to-familiar outfits of Oderus, Balzac, Da Choppa, etc immediately ripped into “Battle lust” and shit got rockin’.
Since I had seen GWAR before the blood and gore was not a surprise… although it is highly enjoyable. You can not beat a free show with dinner right? Honestly, what truly impresses me about GWAR is that 25 years into a career of gimmich and schtick they are actually making the most baddass, quality music of said career. Also, they can actually play wearing those ridiculous getups! You would not expect solid drumming (woohoo doublebass, Da Choppa’ can really play the skins), cool breakdowns, and decent guitar solos from these nutjobs but, fuck me, you get them! Me cabeza was definitely bangin’ for “Murderer’s muse”, “Krosstika”, and “War is all we know”. “Rock and roll never felt soo good” ended the regular set and it was completely awesome in every way to see Sleazy P. Martini blow the back of a dirty hippie’s head off with a huge gun. Aces!
Best song played was definitely “Bring back the bomb.” Not only does the song itself rule but the whole crowd was chanting the chorus and moshing was unavoidable. The place was going nuts and there was no goofiness on stage, just GWAR jamming and in the end that is what made the show great.
However, the theatrics were no slouch. John McCain got his guts ripped out, Hillary Clinton got her boobs torn off, and Barack Obama’s head was torn from his shoulders by Oderus himself! All of this took place in wrestling matches conducted every few songs during the set. The final showdown took place with Oderus and Bonesnapper taking on the killer clown combo of Bozo Destructo and Sawborg: the villainous duo who had stolen the Intergalactic Frank Sinatra belts form GWAR. After getting a solid beating from the Clowns, who managed to sing “GWAR MUST DIE” while administering the punishment, Oderus and Bonesnapper finally tore out their opponents jugulars and regained the belts…all while covering us with blood in the process. Also, in the middle of the show Oderus had a huge crackrock injected into his dick along with lots of Marion Barry (the DC mayor who got caught smoking crack with a prostitute, no bullshit) jokes and some serious dissing on the shutty Washington Redskins football team. All of that got me chuckelin’ as well!
Overall, the show was great and very entertaining. The two solid openers set the stage perfectly for GWAR’s over-the-top ridiculousness. Toxic Holocaust is good but needs to spice things up a bit. Kingdom of Sorrow is quality and much more metal than core. GWAR dominates the planet, slaughters our bullshit leaders, smokes our crack, and manages to play kickass metal while doing it.
9 Intergalactic bohabs butchered out of 10
I am lazy and did feel like copying the setlists. Fuck me, I know.
Go here for the setlists.