GWAR live in Toronto

A Flood of Blood, Guts and GWAR poured all over the Pheonix Concert Theater in Toronto, Canada – November 2, 2022


It was going to be a night of debauchery, and I was prepared.  My black poncho I hoped would shield me a bit from the mayhem, but you never can tell.  It was going to be a fun one, and the first band out of the gate was Nekrogoblikon.

How do you describe a Nekrogoblikon without calling out John Goblikon (Dave Rispoli) for his enthusiastic performance of uniting the crowd and the band? Having a hunchback Goblin get in your face and taunting you for an entire show was quite a treat. He is like an alt front man, pairing well with Nicky Calonne who’s searing vocals cut like a knife. Touring in support of their new Album The Fundamental Slimes and Humours, they were a perfect pairing for GWAR with a mix of bold theatrics and driving metal energy. Their set heavily favored their new album which debuted in July of 2021. Hampered by the lack of touring during Covid, the album didn’t take off as much as it should have but it’s nice to see this pairing with GWAR as the two acts complimented each other very nicely. I was impressed with the twin guitars of Alex Alereza and Joe Nelson along with the rhythm section of Eric Brown on drums and the thundering bass of Aaron VanZuphen. The packed GWAR stage setup on the small stage at the Phoenix Concert Theater didn’t give them much room to move around. Would love to see them on more of a headline tour with a longer set and more room to really get into their theatrics as they had great energy.


Nekrogoblikon Members

Nicky “Scorpion” Calonne — vocals

Alex “Goldberg” Alereza — Lead Guitar

Aaron “Raptor” Minich — keyboards, backing vocals

Aaron “Zoot” VanZutphen — bass, backing vocals (2015–present)

Eric W. Brown — drums

Joe “Diamond” Nelson — rhythm guitar

John Goblikon – Goblin




1.) Golden Future

2.) Dressed as Goblins

3.) Darkness

4.) Bones

5.) The Magic Spider

6.) This Is It

7.) Powercore


There are two types of people in the world. Those who have seen GWAR, and those who SHOULD see GWAR. This is not a metal show – it’s an experience. It’s rock and roll, it’s cabaret, it’s macabre, it’s what would happen if you put Alice Cooper in a Blender with Syd and Marty Croft and let it set out in the sun for a week.

GWAR is vile, disgusting, obscene, politically incorrect and every other good thing in life. They have an entire mythos that gives depth to their pageantry. “The story of GWAR is carved across the history of this barren and hopeless planet, but GWAR themselves are not of this world… their story begins in the deepest reaches of outer space. Long ago, the beings who would become the rock band GWAR, were part of an elite fighting force, the Scumdogs of the Universe.” Each band member has a unique character that just adds to the raging music. The show kicks in with “The Cutter” and I already know what’s going to happen. In the US dates, current President Joe Biden meets an untimely death at the hands of a Taliban sword, but here in Toronto, we had one of their other minions lose his noggin.

In case you think they are being politically incorrect, they are, but they don’t play any favoritism as they also beheaded Trump on their last go around. Equal opportunity offenders. The crowd who are in the know, dress in white begging to be drenched in the flood of blood coming from the writhing headless corpse. A firehose of blood is flying in the faces of the folks who have packed the Phoenix to capacity. My camera lens is only inches away from the four headed phallic abomination of lead howler Berserker Blothar and I count my blessings as at least one of the four appendages is covered with a condom.

“The Cutter” is a great new track that features Lzzy Hale and the video is a bloodthirsty delight. Next up is “The Issue of Tissue (Spacecake)” off their 1994 album, This Toilet Earth. It really makes you appreciate the endurance of a band like this when you realize that album is coming up on it’s 30th anniversary, and still feels timeless.

Next up it was time for more blood with “Bring Back the Bomb”. Bonesnapper, while not a musician in the band, is an integral part of the show by coming out to get in a battle with another one of the evil minions. A knife fight ensues and guess what… another geyser of blood. This time spewing from the skull-face of the minion as Blothar rips off his flesh. I was able to dodge much of the blood in the first part of the show, however my luck had faded and I got hit with a solid blast. The gooey blood drenched my head, flowing over my poncho (yes, I came prepared). Important to note, when I say fire hose, I mean it. This is no 5 pump chump of goo, it’s a torrential downpour that goes on for a good min.

So, if you go, plan accordingly. As the crowd is being drenched by the fountain of blood, the rest of the band grab giant beer steins and fills them with blood from a nearby skull and proceed to drink copious amounts of the sanguine juice. All of this Balsak the Jaws of Death rages on guitar and pounds out the vocals as well.

The show raged for almost a full 90 mins and it was truly a show. Each tour they have expanded the number of characters, and having seen them several times, I can easily say that musically and performance wise, they have never been tighter. My only issue with the show was that the stage at the Phoenix was too tight for the level of show that GWAR brought. The cast of characters included Biden, Trump, a muscle-bound Putin, Sleazy P. Martini their Manager, Sawborg Destructo, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, transsexual demons, and the list goes on and on.

The production value is insane. I would hate to be the guy who has to clean the dozen or so suits every night after a show. Like the rest of the audience, I left dripping with blood and sweat, and was totally drained. Having finished up their big tour with only a few festival shows on the horizon, you may have to wait a bit for the chance to get to see them. That said, if you have never seen them, trust me, it’s one of the most fun concert experiences you will ever have for $50.



The Berserker Blothar – Vocals

Balsak the Jaws of Death – Guitar

Beefcake the Mighty – Bass

Pustulus Maximus – Guitar

Jizmak da Gusha – Drums

Bonesnapper – Body Guard

Sawborg Destructo – Nemesis (link to full video of the show)

Sleazy P. Martini – Manager




1.) The Cutter

2.) The Issue of Tissue (Spacecake)

3.) Bring Back the Bomb

4.) New Dark Age

5.) Mother F**king Liar

6.) Rise Again

7.) Bored to Death

8.) Saddam a Go-Go

9.) Ratcatcher

10.) Womb With a View

11.) Black and Huge

12.) Venom of the Platypus

13.) Berserker Mode

14.) U Ain’t Shit

15.) None but the Brave

16.) Sick of You

17.) F**k This Place