Gwar @ Mojoes, Joliet (US)

GWAR / WHITECHAPEL / IRON REAGAN / A BAND OF ORCS

Date: 09th November, 2013
Venue: Mojoes
Ticket: $22/€16 (in advance) - $25/€18 (day of show)
Promoter: n/a


Everything looked very promising that Saturday night since GWAR were in town backed up by the extremely good “Battle Maximus” that I have to remind you was released under the heavy shadow of the passing of Cory Smoot (a.k.a. Flattus Maximus). Entering the always welcome but rather humid Mojoe’s, A BAND OF ORCS were already packing things up and by the looks of the young on average audience, they must have done a pretty good warming-up job. As always and contrary to the all the Metal shows, the dominating t-shirt color was white and if you are aware of GWAR’s onstage doings, then you should know the reason. Anyway, the night of young and IRON REAGAN were about to hit the stage, so let’s take first things first.

The IRON REAGAN lineup includes MUNICIPAL WASTE and DARKEST HOUR members who joined forces to play some Crossover the old-style way. Even though there is an 80s revival trend going on, the Crossover genre has been left out for some reason. And this is a shame since this type of music is just perfect for live shows, even though things can get more steamy and violent than the average Metal show. There is one thing one should have in mind when it comes to Crossover; it is not just about Punk guitar chords, short in time duration tracks and screaming/shouting vocals. The band has to have the right onstage attitude able to drive down the Crossover path and start moshing around, fist-pump and scream the simple yet most effective chorus like there is no tomorrow. So, in this context IRON REAGAN get a bright A+ because Mojoe’s took a trip down to memory lane with these guys onstage and let me tell you how.

Right on schedule and under the sounds of a march-song type intro, the backdrop was revealed having the Reagan figure as a center theme (yeah the 40th US President) before getting into the Crossover business without messing around. I didn’t expect from such a young crowd to follow IRON REAGAN’s lead and I think a lot of credit should be directed towards Tony Foresta who looked and sounded as sloppy as the Crossover style requires. The slow start of “Paycheck” gave everyone some time to take a couple of breathes before accelerating into D.R.I. tempos lead by the snare-drum action, the Punk chords and the scream-your-lungs out singing, clocking in total one and half a minute. Yeah, that’s the beauty of Crossover; it explodes in front of your face without leaving any time to understand what has just happened. Just like “Slightly Out Of Focus” and its 33 seconds that woke a lot of nice D.R.I. memories. “We are going to do a SLAYER cover and it is not going to be “Raining Blood”said Tony and then added: “It’s a great song but everybody is playing it, so we are going to do something different” and so they did hitting us hard with their ultra-energetic version of “Cant’ Stand You” giving another reason for more mosh-pitting action. “Eat Shit And Live” ended the solid and adrenaline pumped show with a bang and saw the some of the band’s members throwing themselves onto the crowd getting a piece of the crowd-surfing action. That was a great show and I wouldn’t say ‘no’ to a repeat!

IRON REAGAN

Iron Reagan @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Iron Reagan @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Iron Reagan @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Iron Reagan @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Iron Reagan @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)

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I only knew WHITECHAPEL by name so I didn’t know what to expect from the band live, although the young looks of the band members and the increasing excitement by the equally young crowd gave me a hint of the so successful Metalcore thing (at least here in the States). As soon as “Make It Bleed” had kicked in, I knew that my initial hunch was absolutely right; WHITECHAPPEL hit us with a massive sound full of grooves, technical guitar leads and the trademark impossible-to-understand-the-lyrics growling delivered by Phil Bozeman with his one-foot-on-the-monitor characteristic pose. Despite my honest efforts, I have miserably failed to make a connection with Metalcore, so I will bluntly say that the entire setlist sounded like a single and very long song. Ok, WHITECHAPEL delivered the goods and got everyone moving inside Mojoe’s but I kind of feel this music is for the fans only, since it’s impossible to understand what you’re listening with such a compressed sound. I guess my old-ears are not strong enough to distinguish and consequently understand this music genre. Anyway, everyone had absolutely fun, so it must have been only me who failed to see the goodness in WHITECHAPEL.

WHITECHAPEL setlist:

01. “Make It Bleed”
02. “Section 8”
03. “I, Dementia”
04. “Faces”
05. “Possibilities Of An Impossible Existence”
06. “Vicer Exciser”
07. “Possession”
08. “This Is Exile”

WHITECHAPEL

Whitechapel @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Whitechapel @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Whitechapel @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Whitechapel @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Whitechapel @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)

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Once again it was time to paint the walls of Mojoe’s red and whatever color GWAR had chosen to accompany the fake blood to soak their fans wet who were already packing the front rows wearing the cleanest and sparkling white t-shirts. Yeah, this is a tradition for all the GWAR slaves out there and in fact you can never say you’ve been to a concert by the Scumdogs Of The Earth without having at least a couple of fake blood spills on your t-shirt. Anyway, everything was up and ready to fight Mr. Perfect who is the center of the “Battle Maximus” concept, so BLACK SABBATH’s “War Pigs” sounded the charge for another GWAR bloody show. Even though I was prepared, having covered my camera with a rain-resistant-sleeve, there was no blood during the first three songs. This was good in order to get very good photos but at the same time it was a turn-off because it’s quite an adrenaline rush trying to get pix while protecting your most expensive gear, but I am sure there are many photographers out there who would strongly disagree with me. “Madness At The Core Of Time” was the first GWAR song of the night and after recovering from the no-blood entrance, the US audience got back on track with more crowd-surfing and plenty of mosh-pit. And this is the benefit of having a young audience that is constantly on fire always pushing the band to do more.

Before “The Salaminizer” (where was the piss cannon???), Mr. Perfect showed up but one could only see his head because the rest of his body was behind a curtain-like cap. Anyway, we would see more of his pathetic ass later on and the fast and heavy “Hail, Genocide!” got us back into action no questions asked. The first blood was gracefully spilled during “Hate Love Songs” and as you understand, there was panic (in a good sense) inside the venue along with the brutal humidity that was increasing the energy depletion rate. So, you could see some young and most probably inexperienced to GWAR shows fans trying to reach a safe distant from the already boiling front rows. It is true that having a show to run means a well-defined setlist but at the same time means that everything runs on schedule with minimum unwanted pauses apart from the trademark comments by Oderus filled with caustic humor targeting everyone. One of the victims was the ridiculously famous royal baby that made an appearance during “Ham On The Bone” on the hands of his grandmother before being tossed around by the GWAR Slaves. The result of this catch-me-if-you-can game was slaughtering the equally famous grandmother and cutting off her tits spilling more blood to the raving audience. We’re talking about good time the GWAR way!

Musically the show was equally explosive with tracks like “Bloodbath”, the groove “Let Us Slay” and the instrumental riff driven “Battle Maximus” that were some of the highlights. During the latter, Mr. Perfect showed up onstage super-pumped (he was taller than Oderus) and started fighting against the GWAR leader who had Bonesnapper as a powerful wingman. The result of this fight? Blood and lots of mutilation that lead to the dismay of poor Mr. Perfect who wanted to take the juice from Oderus balls and leave forever…

Oderus threw some verbal arrows to the “Hobbit” trilogy and I am quoting “Fuck the fucking Hobbit and his million pages stories” but also to Rob Zombie and Marylyn Manson “who are after your money”.  I like the way this band hides the truth between hilarious lines and fake blood but if you really have an open set of ears, then you will manage to read between the lines. “Happy Death-Day” ended the first part of the setlist and the loud chants brought the Pope onstage who was destined to be the last victim of GWAR under the fits-like-a-glove sounds of “Sick Of You”. Then it was time for another type of fun with GWAR covering Billie Ocean… while spilling more blood…We are talking about the definition of doing a cover from any possible aspect. The end of the show was even more bizarre with another cover; this type it was THE WHO’s time to get GWAR-dized in “Baba O'Riley”. In fact, I think this was a very good version, so I hope to see this getting a proper release as a7’’ single.

This was another great GWAR show, even though I have the impression there were less mutilations and less gallons of blood than in the previous GWAR tour, but you cannot argue with your Masters, can you?

GWAR setlist:

01.  “Madness At The Core Of Time”
02.  “The Salaminizer”
03.  “Hail, Genocide!”
04.  “Hate Love Songs”
05.  “Metal Metal Land”
06.  “Bring Back The Bomb”
07.  “Ham On The Bone”
08.  “Jack The World”
09.  “Bloodbath”
10.  “Let Us Slay”
11.  “Torture”
12.  “Battle Maximus”
13.  “Happy Death-Day”
14.  “Sick Of You”
15.  “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car”
16.  “Baba O'Riley”

GWAR

Gwar @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Gwar @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Gwar @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Gwar @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Gwar @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)
Gwar @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Gwar @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Gwar @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Gwar @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Gwar @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)
Gwar @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Gwar @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Gwar @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Gwar @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Gwar @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)

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