Were you in an accident? No, I was at a GWAR concert!!!

GWAR concert at Marquee Theatre in Tempe, Arizona

Review and Photos by Fred Kuhlman
Promoter: Lucky Man
Venue: Marquee Theater
Date: Sunday October 27th, 2019
Tour: Use Your Collusion Tour 2019

GWAR concert at Marquee Theatre in Tempe, Arizona

Its not every concert that you can say that you were both appalled and amused.  Well that is what a GWAR concert is like.  A GWAR concert is not for everyone.  If you are a snowflake or someone that demands politically correct stuff, then stay away and let the rest of us degenerates enjoy a outstanding show.  The one think that anyone going to see GWAR for the first time needs to be aware of is that it will be bloody.  A lot of fake blood is sprayed all over the audience.  If getting messed up bothers you, then either stay away or stand way back.  For the rest of the crazies, be prepared for a bloody great time.

The Bailife spraying crowd after loosing his head at GWAR concert at Marquee Theatre in Tempe, Arizona

Being one of the photographers at the show, I was in the pit and prepared with a plastic bag over my camera and lens.  However, I was not prepared to get blasted on the first song.  All I heard was a giggle and then the spray hit.  So much for clean clothes.  But that did not stop me or the other photographers from shooting the first 3 songs.  Looking at the audience behind me, they were coated and loving it.

GWAR is a combination shock rock and heavy metal.  They have a number of skits throughout the show.  The members of the band are also dressed in ghastly costumes because they are the “Scumdogs of the Universe”.  For more information about the mythos of GWAR, you can go to their website: https://www.gwar.net/ .  The current Scumdog lineup consists of lead howler The Berserker Blothar, bass player Beefcake the Mighty, drummer JiZMak da Gusha, guitarists BälSäc the Jaws ‘o Death and Pustulus Maximus.  They were joined on stage at different times by Bonesnapper, Sawborg Destructo and numerous GWAR slaves.  How can you not love a band with members like this?

GWAR concert at Marquee Theatre in Tempe, Arizona

For this tour, it was GWAR being prosecuted for crimes against humanity.  It started with the Judge on a TV monitor laying out the crimes and then the Bailiff coming out to arrest the members of GWAR.  In typical GWAR fashion, they cut his head off and that is when the spraying began.  And that was just the first song.  And it got messier.  I don’t want to give away all of the skits at the show because you really need to see it for yourself.  But they did have Dickie Duncan, Kaitlyn Gender and of course the ever-popular Fat Trump.  And how can you not love a talking toilet.

Personally, I love a GWAR concert.  It is both horrific and comical, grisly and whimsical, abhorrent and ludicrous.  Overall it is just damn fun to watch both the stage show and the audience.  I also do like their music.  I do however feel sorry for the crew that has to clean up the floor after the show.  This year I decided, be damned, I was not going to care about my clothes and after the show it was very apparent that I was right in the mix.  I even had to leave for a little while to clean my camera lens because I was directly in the line of fire and it (and me) got plastered.  My friends the security people even laughed at me after the show.  But, hey, if you are going to a GWAR concert, you really need to get fully involved and revel in the gore.  Will this be my last GWAR concert, HELL NO.  I can not wait until they come back and the audience seemed to agree.  So I hope to see you all the next time they come back to Arizona.

Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2019, All Rights Reserved

GWAR Setlist:                                                   (Album/Cover)
Intro / Bailiff
Fuck This Place                                                  (The Blood of Gods)
Sick of You                                                          (Scumdogs of the Universe)
Krak Down                                                          (This Toilet Earth)
Maggots                                                              (Scumdogs of the Universe)
Metal Metal Land                                             (Lust in Space)
Hail, Genocide!                                                 (Bloody Pit of Horror)
Have You Seen Me?                                        (America Must Be Destroyed)
Beat You to Death                                           (Bloody Pit of Horror)
If I Could Be That                                              (Carnival of Chaos)
Bring Back the Bomb                                      (War Party)
Death to Dickie Duncan                                 (The Blood of Gods)
Biledriver                                                             (Violence Has Arrived)
I’ll Be Your Monster                                        (The Blood of Gods)
Battle Maximus                                                (Battle Maximus)
GWAR Theme                                                    (Hell-o!)
If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)              (AC/DC cover)

Sacred Reich

Sacred Reich at Marquee Theatre in Tempe, Arizona as warm-up group for GWAR

It was really nice to see a local Phoenix area band that was touring with GWAR.  Sacred Reich is a thrash metal band formed by bass player and lead singer Phil Rind in 1985.  He was joined by long time friends Wiley Arnett on lead guitar and Dave McClain on drums.  New to the band is the youngest member Joey Radziwill on rhythm guitar.  They had a terrific performance.  A lot of the crowd seemed to be there to also see them since they are a Phoenix area favorite.

Thrash metal bands are not always my favorite, but I really liked Sacred Reich.  They had a good mixture of both classic Thrash with great songwriting with melodic intensity.  Phil was at his best with their new album, Awakening.  Half of their set was from this new album which is probably their best.  The one thing I really liked was that Phil did not feel it was required that he “growl” through every song.  I could actually understand most of his vocals which was nice.  Especially since Phil writes great lyrics.

They are now on a European tour starting November 2019 for the next 6 weeks.  Check out their Facebook page for details about the band and their upcoming tour dates: https://www.facebook.com/sacredreichofficial/ . If you get a chance you should really go see them.  They are really outstanding musicians.

Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2019, All Rights Reserved

Sacred Reich Setlist:                                       (Album)
Manifest Reality                                               (Awakening)
The American Way                                          (The American Way)
Divide & Conquer                                            (Awakening)
One Nation                                                         (Surf Nicaragua)
Awakening                                                         (Awakening)
Independent                                                     (Independent)
Salvation                                                              (Awakening)
Death Squad                                                      (Ignorance)
Killing Machine                                                 (Awakening)
Surf Nicaragua                                                   (Surf Nicaragua)

Toxic Holocaust

Toxic Holocaust at Marquee Theatre, Tempe, Arizona at GWAR Concert

Toxic Holocaust is an American thrash metal band from Portland, Oregon formed in 1999 by Joel Grind.  Joel is the lead singer (growler) and bass player.  He is joined by Ron Gray on guitar and drummer Tyler Becker.  This small 3-piece band puts out an impressive sound and Joel’s lyrics are very good.

They played a mixture of their older material.  I was surprised that they did not play any of their new album, Primal FutureL2019 just released in October of this year (2019).  Their music is about evil of man and a post-apocalyptic world.  They have a combination of great guitar riffs mixed with Joel’s gravel throated vocals.  You can check then out at their Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/ToxicHolocaust/ .

They will be touring Europe (December 2019) with another of my favorite bands, Enforcer.  If you get a chance check them out, I am sure you will enjoy the show.

Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2019, All Rights Reserved

Toxic Holocaust Setlist:                                 (Album)
Gravelord                                                            (An Overdose of Death…)
Acid Fuzz                                                             (Chemistry of Consciousness)
In The Name of Science
Nuke the Cross                                                  (An Overdose of Death…)
Bitch                                                                      (Conjure and Command)
Reaper’s Grave                                                 (From the Ashes of Nuclear Destruction)
Death Brings Death                                         (Conjure and Command)
Silence                                                                  (Chemistry of Consciousness)
War is Hell                                                           (Evil Never Dies)
The Lord of the Wasteland                           (An Overdose of Death…)

Against The Grain

“Against The Grain” at Marquee Theatre, Tempe, Arizona warmup band for GWAR

Against The Grain was the first band for tonight’s concert.  They are from Detroit, Michigan and claim their style is a combination of punk, rock, doom and thrash metal.  To me they sound a lot like the music I use to listen to back in the early 70s in the Toledo (Detroit) area.  They have changed the line-up for this tour.  Chris Nowak was the bass player and lead singer with Rob Nowak on drums.  For this tour they have included Austin Ahmad on guitar and Brent Purgeson (Pustulus from GWAR) also on guitar.

They are touring to promote their current album, Cheated Death.  This new album is an impressive example of great speed metal.  I was a little surprised that they did not play the album’s namesake song, “Cheating Death”.  They started the show with “Sacrifice” which would have even impressed Ted Nugent.  They then went into “No Sleep” which was just as fast.  By the end of the set, I was even tired.  If you liked Deep Purple’s “Highway Star” then you will really like Against The Grain.

I really liked this band and enjoyed their music.  I hope that they do well and continue to produce great music like Cheated Death.  You can check them out on their Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/Againstthegraindetroit/ .  Currently they have no new tour dates since the GWAR tour is over.  Hopefully they will have some new information soon.

Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2019, All Rights Reserved

Against The Grain Setlist:                             (Album / Cover)
Sacrifice                                                               (Cheated Death)
No Sleep                                                              (Cheated Death)
Going Down Fast                                              (Cheated Death)
Jaded and Faded                                              (Cheated Death)
Into the Light                                                     (Cheated Death)
Padded Cell                                                        (Surrounded By Snakes)
Rolling Stone                                                     (Cheated Death)
Stay Clean                                                           (Motörhead cover)
Last Chance                                                        (Cheated Death)
Surrounded by Snakes                                   (Surrounded By Snakes)


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