Gwar returned to Boise Sunday night to a solid and raucous crowd for another goo-spewing blood bath. The walls were covered in black plastic, and the Knitting Factory staff were given special throw-away shirts just for the night’s messy event. Joining the scumdogs of the universe were Detroit’s blue collar thrashers Battlecross, Illinois-based progressive deathcore quintet Born of Osiris, and local extreme metallers Rise of the Fallen.
Rise of the Fallen opened the show, with charismatic frontman Kegan Stucki whipping the crowd into an early frenzy: The night’s first mosh pit underway even before the band completed its opening song, “No Lord to Follow”. The band’s thrashy riffs, courtesy of guitarists Chad Lytle and Daniel Rodriguez, combine with Stucki’s deathcore style vocal delivery for a sound I can only label as thrashcore. The rhythm section of bassist Jeremy Franklin and drummer Scott Mifflin propelled the band through a short but energetic set that included crowd favorites like “Double Tap”, “Melting Pot”, “Violet’s Letter”. The latter marked the first live performance of the song. They closed it out with the anthemic, “Straight Jacket Union”.
Battlecross took the stage next, in support of their new album, Rise to Power. The show marked the first Boise performance for new drummer Alex Bent. Guitarist and co-founder Tony Asta was replaced by band guitar tech Joe Cady, who is filling in while Asta is on paternity leave with his newborn child. Cady did an admirable job complimenting fellow guitarist Hiran Deraniyagala as they powered through fan fist-pumpers like “Force Fed Lies, “Flesh & Bone” and “Never Coming Back”. From the new record the band tuned up tracks like “Absence”, “Not Your Slave”, “Spoiled” and “Bound by Fear”. Bassist Don Slater and frontman Kyle “Gumby” Gunther engaged the crowd throughout leaving Cady and Deraniyagala to shred. Battlecross closed it out with their own anthem, “Push Pull Destroy”.
Born of Osiris opened their set on a dark stage, lit primarily from behind by two triangular stacks of colored neon LEDs and aircraft landing lights. While the imagery aided the performance, the lack of lighting left the band, except for drummer Cameron Losch, in near blackness for the first half of the show. This became distracting and detracted from the band’s tightly performed music. Between songs were quick glimpses of frontman Ronnie Canizaro, and occasionally keyboardist and vocalist Joe Buras. Bassist David DaRocha and guitarist Lee McKinney were left in the shadows much of the night. Born of Osiris is touring in support of its new record Soul Sphere, which releases October 23. The band played tracks from the new record including “Throw Me in the Jungle” and “Resilience”, while also dipping back into their 2007 debut for songs like “Open Arms to Damnation”, “Empires Erased”, and “Bow Down”.
Gwar finally took the stage at 10:30, and after a dubstep mix intro of “Sick of You”, took the stage for “Crush, Kill, Destroy” thus kicking off the Boise date of the band’s 30th anniversary tour. The space mutants hauled out classics like “Vlad, the Impaler”, “Saddam a Go-Go”, “Let Us Slay”, “Salmanizer”, and “Meat Sandwich”, pulling from all eras of the band’s three-decade career. From Gwar’s most recent effort, 2013’s Battle Maximus, they dialed up “I, Bonesnapper”, “Bloodbath”, and “Madness at the Core of Time”. Frontman Blothar even pushed his mutant warriors of the slave pit through tracks from their 1988 debut, Hell-o, performing “Black and Huge”, “Captain Crunch”, and “I’m in Love (with a Dead Dog)”. Guitarists Pustulus Maximus and Balsac the Jaws of Death, along with bassist Beefcake the Mighty stalked the stage as red and fluorescent green goo spewed forth from a plethora of orifices. Behind the kit, Jizmak Da Gusha pounded away furiously, sounding the battle drums up to the tolling bell of midnight, closing the set out with “Sick of You”.
As Gwar so often does, the scumdogs left Boise awash in the putrid sludge of their passing. Decimated and soaked the brainwashed faithful poured into the city streets to perpetuate the idiocracy drilled into their addled skulls by Blothar and company, thus furthering Gwar’s battle for complete domination.
Moments before Gwar took the stage we spoke for a few moments with Blothar and Pustulus Maximus about global domination, Donald Trump, and the next record. Check out the short video below: