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GWAR @ The Electric Factory For the First Time Since the Death of Dave Brockie.

December 3, 2014

GWAR_jump_paulimburgia-41Text by Chad Sims. Images by Paul Imburgia.

On Saturday night at the Electric Factory, Filthadelphia was graced with the presence of those Scumdogs of the Universe, GWAR.

For those that don’t know, GWAR is a shock rock/heavy metal outfit that has been going strong since 1984. The band sports massive, schlocky, sci-fi, horror-inspired costumes and sets that are just as, if not more, important than their music. The best way to describe a GWAR concert is the tasteless sublime. The band will mock just about anything to get a laugh and a reaction from the audience.

To prove the point, this was the first full tour since the overdose death of founding member and lead singer Dave Brockie better known to the world as Oderus Urungus. Brockie’s death was not the only tragedy that has recently struck the band. In 2011, Corey Smoot (Flattus Maximus) died on the band’s tour bus from natural causes. Most bands wouldn’t tour the same year that their longest standing member died but not GWAR. Not only did they hit the road but the tour was labelled the “GWAR Eternal Tour,” and the storyline (a common feature for GWAR shows) saw the band searching for their fallen comrade.

The show began with a video of GWAR’s manager Sleazy P. Martini (Don Drakulich) explaining that we could still contact Oderus through a “magic mirror.” The first song was sung by the deceased front man via this “magic mirror” while the remaining members employed their usual hi jinx of killing a person and spraying the audience with his blood.

After the opening song, the band was joined by new lead singers Blothar (Michael Bishop) and Vulvatron (Kim Dylla). The other members of the bands helped out on vocals throughout the night.

Of course many other characters, creatures, and ghouls joined the band on stage, usually resulting in gallons and gallons of fake blood and other bodily fluids being spurt upon the audience.

The band’s show has always been entertaining, but in recent years they have really stepped up in terms of production and performance. In the past, GWAR’s musical ability was often their greatest shortcoming but now they are a rather great thrash metal band.

In their strange way, this show was a fitting send off to the beloved Dave Brockie. Brockie had made GWAR his life’s work and he would likely be happy to see it continue on after his death. As the finale to the show, the band did a cover of the Pet Shop Boy’s “West End Girls” (to prove that they could make even the worst band awesome) that transitioned into Jim Carroll’s “People Who Died” accompanied with the slaves (the non-musician members of GWAR who help with the props and other characters of the show) spraying the audience with more blood, naturally.

American Sharks and Corrosion of Conformity opened the show.

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