Saturday night Gwar from Richmond, Virginia, visited Toronto as a part of the band’s “Fate or Chaos” Fall tour. On stage, Gwar was preceded by Legacy of Disorder, Toronto-based Cancer Bats and DevilDriver, who all gave one of the best supporting lineup performances this Toronto Metal Music Examiner has seen in ages.
Check out the review of the supporting lineup’s performance – click here!
Before Gwar stepped on stage, the crowd was served choir music through the speakers at the Sound Academy. The choir was abruptly interrupted by a deep male voice stating that it was God speaking, and that the Mayans were right; the world will end in 2012. Moreover, “God” stated that he would send his minions to the Sound Academy to end the world – and Gwar. A preacher, Hitler and Jesus were among the minions that were sent on stage. All had body parts ripped off – resulting in an ocean of fake blood being sprayed in the faces of a highly energized crowd.
The mood that was created by the supporting acts was maintained until half-way through the set, when Gwar “leader” Oderus Urungus initiated a five minute monologue with the words, “I don’t use the word ‘fag’ to offend anyone, unless I mean to.” From there, Oderus went on to describe how Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie had a homosexual relationship, how that was reflected in their look and music, and how much Oderus hated them for being “f*cking fags.”
At an average metal concert, the crowd would cheer on a band during any monologue, but this monologue only resulted in silence among the crowd. Now and then the silence was broken by someone booing. However, the silence morphed into what seemed like dead silence when one of Gwar’s half-naked male dancers brought out a rag of three foam skeletons. Oderus described how these skeletons represented the “faggots” Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie and Hell Yeah (a hard rock/metal band from Dallas, Texas), and during the following song, Gwar and the stage dancers went on to smother these skeletons in blood, throw them around and knock them to the ground.
Gwar always seeks to provoke and disgust people. However, this behaviour and attitude towards people Oderus hates – because he believes they are gay – bare too much resemblance to the inhuman fashion homosexuals are treated in many countries across the world. For anyone who has a gay friend, a transgendered daughter or a lesbian colleague, this monologue was deeply sickening. What made it even more distasteful was the fact that you easily could spot a handful of girls making out at the show (and seemingly not just because they were drunk).
The most positive aspect of Gwar’s performance was the fact that Oderus’ homophobic monologue wasn’t well received by the Toronto crowd. This Metal Music Examiner stuck around for just one more song, during which the energy and intensity in the crowd didn’t pick back up. In contrast, several people had started drizzling out into the cold November night, resulting in a small lineup at the coat check long before Gwar gave any hint that the show was about to end.
Homophobia is not cool, and this Metal Music Examiner wishes he could give Gwar’s performance zero stars. Since that isn’t possible, one star will have to do.