CONCERT REVIEW: Gwar/Nevermore/Warbringer

Note to self: take a couple of towels when seeing Gwar.

As part of the three day Rock and Shock Festival in Worcester, a number of metal bands have played at the Palladium in addition to all of the horror-related events. Rob Zombie and Alice Cooper’s tour came by as well, but as they played at the same time as Gwar and Nevermore, guess where I was.

I got there in time to see Warbringer start their set (sorry, Blackguard, maybe next time!). The set list had no surprises, just the favorites like “Total War” and “Shoot To Kill.” The sound was better than any other time I’ve seen them–I could actually make out the songs for a change. The performance was dead on, while the crowd moshed and bashed each other away for the short duration of the set. Unfortunately, the mix of different types of bands brought out the wrong type of moshing (read: hardcore punk), but there were plenty of circle pits as well as a wall of death at the end. I think my ass is healed now from getting slammed onto the pavement. Anyway, horns up as always for Warbringer, and a bonus horns up for the sound guy for making us actually be able to hear them for a change.

The next three bands aren’t metal, so I won’t bother reviewing them for this blog. I will say, however, I was rather disappointed with certain audience members’ reactions to the following act, William Control. I will point out that despite being a die hard metalhead, I like the type of music William Control produces, although I prefer dark wave and goth bands that have a bit more of an edge than him. Nonetheless, he definitely had a following there, especially young kids in the front row. Yet there were several metalheads that kept shouting throughout his entire set things like “You’re gay!” and “You suck!” Whether or not I liked what he did or agreed with them, I still have to say that I hate when people act in that way. Aside from being disrespectful to the performers, it’s disprespectful to the fans. It also generally got very annoying as well. The upstairs bar was open, just go up there like I did for Black Veil Brides and The Casualties.

After the aforementioned bands, Nevermore took the stage to perform before an audience that definitely seemed to craved them. I got the feeling that all they had to do was stand on stage for half an hour and would have gotten the same response. Maybe not, but I rarely have seen an audience of fans as rabid as the crowd last night. It proved to pay off when the band started playing; the pits were crazy as well as the crowd surfers. A special note has to be taken of the crowd surfers; for a few songs in Warrel Dane convinced the security guards to let female surfers up on stage to dance while the band rocked away. They let the male fans onstage as well for “Enemies Of Reality.” There had to have been about two dozen people up there.

The band performed spot on as well. They haven’t been around here for a few years now, with the sides projects taking off. It wasn’t noticeable, however. They sounded like they were touring right along, hitting every note with precision. One complaint, however, was with Dane’s vocals. Not that he had a problem singing last night, but in the studio there are much more harmony vocals with the lead, causing a haunting effect which was missing live. Jeff Loomis sang backup occasionally on stage, but not enough. Also, with Nevermore’s thick sound it must be hard to translate it clearly live, especially with cavernous such as the Palladium’s. I could hear all the instruments, but somehow it sounded a mess. I’m not sure if I could take points off for this, though (if I actually gave points), as I don’t really regard this as the band’s or even the sound person’s fault. One more point about Nevermore’s set: early on, a couple of the guys from Gwar came out from the dressing room to mosh in the crowd for a minute. It seemed like security had to kick them out, which made sense with the large costumes… without the masks though. That seemed weird. Overall, horns way up for Nevermore.

Ah, Gwar… seriously, what has not been said about them before? Despite a number of member changes they have gone through, they have had enough time to work on their act. They are in fact, celebrating their 25th anniversary this year. So, I will just get out of the way the fact that they were awesome as always. I will also get out of the way that they butchered Sarah Palin and Lady Gaga onstage, spraying the crowd with fluids. I was up in the crowd during the first few songs, but had to crowd surf out of there. I had enough of getting crushed and chocked by other people’s elbows. I had no problem with getting sprayed; in fact, I missed it. Fortunately, during the show closer, “Sick Of You,” they brought out the big gun that sprayed everybody on the floor. Interestingly, they focused on red fluid this time more than other colors (to emulate blood), so I left looking like I had a really bad sunburn. Anyway, I like the thrashier direction the band is taking. Blood-covered horns way up.

(Honestly, even if Gwar sucked, which they didn’t, I would have given them a good review anyway so Oderus Urungus wouldn’t decapitate me with Lick. Don’t say anything.)

It was a good show, despite not having anything to do in-between the bands I wanted to see. I wish I was able to go see Alice Cooper at the DCU, but despite having a combo ticket there was no re-entry after eight o’clock. I hope that one of these days I’ll get to see him.


2 thoughts on “CONCERT REVIEW: Gwar/Nevermore/Warbringer

  1. Nevermore's setlist was disappointing. More old stuff please. At least they did 1 tune from Dreaming Neon Black.

    Even though Gwar didn't perform Time For Death or Saddam-a-Go-Go or Sexecutioner, it really doesn't matter since it's a show not a concert. Even crappy songs would be ok since we'd be too busy getting hosed.

    The Termination Proclamation
    I, Voyager
    Poison Throne
    Beyond Within
    Emptiness Unobstructed
    Born (The Retribution of Spiritual Sickness
    The River Dragon Has Come
    Inside Four Walls
    Enemies of Reality
    The Obsidian Conspiracy

    Horror of Yig
    Damnation Under God
    Hail, Genocide
    Let Us Slay
    Vlad the Impaler
    Decay of Grandeur
    Techno's Song
    Crack in the Egg
    Bring Back the Bomb
    Metal Metal Land
    Pure as the Arctic Snow
    Beat You to Death
    Zombie March
    Sick of You

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