Gwar Eternal Tour 2014
with Corrosion of Conformity and American Sharks
November 6, 2014
Photos & Review Monika Deviat
The Gwar Eternal Tour is just that, the continuation of GWAR and a demonstration that they can keep the story and music going – perhaps for the “next thousand years”. Gwar is soldiering on after their bandleader and vocalist Dave Brockie, who played Oderus Urungus, sadly passed away after an accidental heroin overdose in March 2014. With Oderus missing from their ranks the scumdogs have joined forces with two new members, Blóthar and Vulvatron, who mysteriously appeared on stage one day through a time travelling device. On this tour Gwar is searching for their missing leader through North American cities and through time. American Sharks from Austin, Texas have been the opening act for the entire tour. Poland’s Decapitated acted as support for the first half of the tour and then were replaced by Corrosion of Conformity for the second half. On November 16, 2014 the tour rolled into Calgary, Alta., to slaughter the masses at MacEwan Hall.
Since the door and security check people were being extremely quick and efficient this night, there was a sizable crowd for American Sharks. Coat check however was a little backed up with the recent cold snap and snow that had finally descended upon Calgary the weekend before. The three-piece played a short set of short songs. The music was fast-paced with stoner rock tones and the crowd was nodding their heads throughout the set.
Beefcake the Mighty had it right in our interview; Corrosion of Conformity really brought the riffs. There were quite a few COC die-hard fans in the crowd, shouting out the lyrics to the songs. The three-piece jammed out songs spanning their extensive and diverse collection. Guitarist Woody Weatherman was fun to watch as he was very expressive whether delivering riffs or nailing solos. Bassist Mike Dean and drummer Reed Mullin played tightly and their vocals sounded great.
Prior to Gwar taking the stage a “magic mirror” reflected manager Sleazy P. Martini recounting the fate of Oderus Urungus and explaining his disappearance. After the introduction, Gwar launched into “Fly Now” with Oderus singing from the magic mirror. Right from the start of the 90 minute set, Gwar was soaking the crowd with blood. During the first song they beheaded a security guard and thoroughly doused the crowd by walking the headless guard across the stage while liquid pumped from his neck. As the band started working their way through the set, some new and old characters were introduced and took their turn singing a song. First up was Blóthar, unconfirmed potential father of Beefcake the Mighty. He stood up on a riser towering over the audience with his massive spectral moon moose antlers, shield and teats that were waving merrily at the crowd. While transitioning from “The Years Without Light” to “Hail, Genocide!” Blóthar sprayed the crowd with “milky blood” from his teats. During “The Private Pain of Sawborg Destruction”, Sawborg took the mic only to be accosted by another new member bearing a morning star. Vulvatron battled Sawborg spraying the crowd with more blood. Once she was done with him she unleashed the boob spew upon the audience.
The show continued on with the usual antics, spraying blood, dismembering and battles with other aliens while Gwar searched for Oderus. Vulvatron and Blóthar put their own spin on the songs they were singing as did an assortment of other characters. Eventually towards the end of the set it was revealed that Oderus was gone for good. The encore began with a moving tribute to Oderus Urungus. His old bandmates along with the new brought out his signature broad sword, carrying it across the stage and standing it up stage left. Gwar knelt before the sword and bowed their heads in a solemn and touching moment. After playing “The Road Behind” Blóthar called for the crowd to join him in a primal scream so that Oderus could hear it all the way in Valhalla. They ended the night in a humourous fashion with a rendition of “West End Girls”. It was a theatrical and fluid sown night as always for Gwar, but with a bit of melancholy mixed in with the humor and chaos. Fans across North America were able to partake in a tribute to Oderus and see where Gwar may be headed in the future.