GWAR landed in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 at The Depot and delivered more blood and guts in 90 minutes than all the Friday the 13th movies combined. Having reviewed GWAR albums in the past, I knew what to expect from the live show but some in the crowd were obviously GWAR virgins and would leave looking like Carrie after she left the prom and shocked about it.
The evening started with Detroit natives Against the Grain. Led by bassist and vocalist Chris Nowak, Against the Grain played a good majority of their set from their latest release 2018’s Cheated Death. Mixing the sounds of Motorhead and Deep Purple, Against the Grain should expect great things to come based on their material combined with an incredible live performance. Based on what I saw, you should defiantly show up early for Against the Grain.
Up next was thrash legends Toxic Holocaust. Celebrating 20 years of mixing science and thrash, Toxic Holocaust played a mixture of new and old hits for the Salt Lake City Crowd. Their sound and intensity elicited crowd surfers as well as mosh pits forming throughout the set.
Sacred Reich has only played Salt Lake City twice before last night. Bassist and vocalist Phil Rind recounted the last visit in the early 90s when they were playing with Danzig and The Genitortures. He noted that The Genitortures got out of town quick because someone called the police on their stage show. Rind asked the crowd, “Who calls the cops at a Danzig show on The Genitortures.” Sacred Reich played a variety of songs spanning their 32-year career. Focusing on their latest album Awakening, their first in 23 years. Rind spoke of inner peace before playing “Awakening” while someone from the crowd was experiencing anything but inner peace. He went off mic and calmed the crowd member down before continuing. The set ended with a Sacred Reich classic “Surf Nicaragua.”
During the set change, the essential equipment was covered with plastic to ensure it would not be ruined by the ensuing mayhem. As the lights dimmed, video screens played a mock People’s Court skit. A figure appeared and looking similar to a court bailiff. Soon the band came on stage and promptly decapitated the figure and blood began to spray all over the crowd. The spray continued for what seemed like minutes. The crowd red with the fake blood enjoyed every minute of it. White shirts were now red and faces covered in blood as GWAR played “Fuck This Place.”
The blood and guts continued throughout the whole night. There was the Katlyn Jenner baby birth on stage, the Russian collusion with “Dickie,” and it didn’t stop till the end of the show.
As far as the music it blended perfectly with the stage show. “MAGGOTS,” “I’ll be Your Monster,” and the AC/DC cover of “If You Want Blood” were just a few of the favorites from the show.
When it comes to gore GWAR wins hands down. If you want an experience that you will never forget GWAR is the show for you. GWAR will leave you soaked in blood and happy with it. So don’t be shy, get upfront and get your GWAR on.