Gwar/Whitechapel/Iron Reagan/A Band of Orcs
October 30, 2013
Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade
In what could only be described as NEARLY perfect, GWAR played Atlanta recently as part of their current Madness at the Core of Time world tour. Why was it nearly perfect? Because, it was the night before Halloween! Close but no cigar but hey, this wasn’t bound to stop the Gwar minions from arriving in costumes. Gwar fans this night were truly putting on the shitz as I saw a guy covered in cotton balls dressed as a sheep, a saw a slutty nurse, a slutty cat lady, a retarded looking Beetlejuice, and some folks were just so damned ugly they didn’t need costumes. Needless to say I knew that this would be a fun night. I mean, how could it not be a fun night? It’s fucking GWAR!
The night kicked off with the California based A Band of Orcs. The minute they walked out on stage I felt like I was seeing a bunch of disgruntled Halloween City employees who raided the inventory closet before leaving and forming a band. Actually, the best way to describe these guys is that they kind of reminded me of what Gwar’s ass babies would look like. They were so cute with their little troll costumes on, running around the stage, throwing water on everyone. They must not have worked blood into the budget just yet. The crowd was totally eating them up though as they were egged on by the bands little troll cheerleader whose only job was to walk around the stage swinging his plastic battle axe and jumping around. Musically A Band of Orcs was just another generic sounding extreme/death metal band. This band relied solely upon the image that they were presenting and to be honest they didn’t present it with much conviction at all. They just looked and acted like a bunch of guys in costumes. The funniest actually was watching them break their own gear down in full costume. It was so cute. They looked like a bunch of Ugnaughts hauling shit around. All in all, these guys were pretty lame and did nothing that I found impressing. If anything, I got a great chuckle out of them.
For the first time in Atlanta ever, Iron Reagan was next and now this was a band that I was really looking forward to seeing. The brainchild of Tony Foresta and Landphil Hall of Municipal Waste, Iron Reagan is an extension of the Municipal Waste sound only weighing a little heavier on the punk side of the spectrum than the thrash side that MuniWaste resides on. That being said, any fan of MuniWaste can and should totally love Iron Reagan. The band literally stormed the stage only to be received by a lame ass hurrah of sorts. What the fuck was wrong with this crowd? The band marched on delivering short, powerful slaps across the face like “Paycheck”, “Snake Chopper” and what I felt to be the set highlight, “Cycles of Violence.” This song was all it took to totally rip everyone a new one and finally get the reaction that they deserved. Watching these guys perform is like watching a metal sitcom. People were crowd surfing like crazy and Foresta exclaimed, “I fucking love crowd surfing. Lollapalooza ’94! Fuck yeah!” The stage banter is so hilarious and Tony Foresta is without a doubt one of metal’s greatest front men. Foresta & Co. paid their respects to the memory of Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman by pulling out a Slayer cover but instead of going for the obvious, they brought out the obscure “Can’t Stand You” which brought a huge roar. The band closed out with what Foresta called “their hit song ‘Eat Shit and Live’” and exited the stage to a huge ovation. Iron Reagan definitely had their work cut out for them to win this crowd over but they did so with killer songs, amazing stage presence, and just being flat out uncompromising. “How many people have never heard of Iron Reagan?” The crowd roared. “How many people like this shit?” The place went nuts! I think that says it all. Iron Reagan put 110% into their performance and it paid off without a doubt. This is a band to be watched folks.
Whitechapel was up next and to be honest, I had no fucking clue who Whitechapel was. I know I had seen their “almost death” looking logo on a bunch of kids t-shirts at shows over the past few years and I could only assume that they were some kind of nu-metal crap core band. Well, that description couldn’t be further from what Whitechapel actually is. As a matter of fact, that description is far too kind. If I had to describe Whitechapel’s sound, I would say that they sounded exactly how I sound in the bathroom after an evening of eating mega spicy Mexican food. Do you want to know what the musical equivalent of painful, explosive diarrhea sounds like? If so, then listen to Whitechapel. It was literally just a wall of fucking noise. So much screaming, so much growingly. These songs have absolutely no groove, no melody, no nothing. GET OFF MY LAWN WHITECHAPEL! The crowd seemed to really love them which led me to believe that I was trapped in room full of retards. Whitechapel’s “music” has absolutely zero artistic merit and I honestly have to say that these guys are hands down the single worst band I have ever had to sit through.
GWAR is a band that I never get tired of seeing. A GWAR show is always fun and the fact that they’re touring behind one of my favorite albums since America Must Be Destroyed definitely had me feeling really pumped to see them. The houselights went out to a roaring, now full capacity room and the air was filled with GWAR chants as Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” blasted out of the PA. New guitarist Pustulous Maximus and Balsac the Jaws of Death emerged from behind the amplifiers perched high as the band launched into “Madness at the Core of Time.” The audience absolutely lost their shit and without any warning at all they slammed right into “The Salaminizer” from Scumdogs of the Universe which completely killed. It was so fucking great to hear that classic. This time around, the GWAR villain was the Insidious Mr. Perfect who was there to kill GWAR and by doing so capture the secrets of the universe but in true GWAR fashion, they didn’t go down without a fight and eventually destroyed Mr. Perfect. In addition to Mr. Perfect, GWAR had a field day disemboweling Justin Bieber and eventually beheading the Pope and sending blood and bodily fluids everywhere. I swear, there is GWAR blood on the ceiling of the Masquerade from the early ‘90s so it’s like they just keep adding to it. At one point in the show it almost seemed as if Dave Brockie stepped out of character just for a moment to thank the fans of Atlanta for 28 years of support. “Remember the Metroplex? It’s gone. Atlanta, you’re still here and GWAR is still here. Gwar will be around for one million years. Now let us slay!” GWAR then launched into “Let us Slay” which has now become a GWAR classic in its own right and rightfully so. Brockie also took a moment to pay tribute to the dearly missed fallen guitarist Flattus Maximus by dedicating “Metal Metal Land” to him which brought on a huge roar from the minions of GWAR.
Throughout the set GWAR pulled out all the stops by delivering a great mix of classics and newer tunes such as “Ham on the Bone”, “Pre-Skool Prostitute”, “Hail Genocide! “and “Hate Love Songs.” The only misstep for me was the addition of “Jack the World” which I feel is one of their weakest songs from This Toilet Earth. If they were going to pull from that album I’d have loved to have heard them do something like “Sonderkomando” or even “Sadam A Go-Go.” The band closed the set out with “Happy Death Day” before returning for an encore of “Sick of You” and the shocking yet totally awesome cover of “Get Out of My Dreams, Get Into My Car” closing out with “Baba O’Riley” by The Who.
GWAR once again has proven that they are band that still truly loves what they do and they do it extremely well and have done so for nearly 30 years. GWAR probably isn’t the first thing you think of when you hear the word “timeless” but being that they’ve been at this for nearly 30 years would totally justify them being called timeless. Their songs and musical talents totally shine through all the latex, fake blood, and fake cum which is probably why these guys have had such a great, long lasting life doing this. GWAR is a band that lets the music do the talking. They also let it do the puking, the bleeding, and the cumming as well.