WORDS BY DAVID TAYLOR AND PHOTOS BY ROBERT A CHADWICK | Go Venue Magazine
It was October 10, 2019 and spooky season was in full swing. The Slowdown in downtown Omaha, Nebraska was the place to be as the shock metal band GWAR brought their Use Your Collision Tour. When I heard they were coming to Omaha, it caught my ear, as they have usually been coming to Lincoln, so it was nice to finally have them in my hometown.
Against the Grain from Detroit, Michigan opened up the show. This four-piece was very reminiscent of Motörhead, having those rock n’ roll riffs with that punk aggression. They even did an awesome cover of “Stay Clean”. It was cool that they had duel lead singers between bassist Chris Nowak and guitarist Kyle Davis. Do yourself a favor and check out their latest album, Cheated Death.
Next up was Portland, Oregon’s own Toxic Holocaust. Very rarely are there thrash metal power trio, but Toxic Holocaust do it justice. This was the band that started the mosh pits for the night. The music was fast and maniacal. Very reminiscent of bands like Slayer and Venom. Check out their latest album, Primal Future: 2019, that just dropped this month.
Direct support of the night came from Phoenix, Arizona’s Sacred Reich. These guys are thrash metal royalty, having really kicked off the second wave of thrash in the late 1980s. This marked Sacred Reich first time in Omaha since they opened up for Danzig at Peony Park in 1993. Bassist and lead vocalist Phil Rind, who loved to talk to the crowd about the new songs and guitarist Wiley Arnett are the two original members still with the band. But, what I forgot was that drummer Dave McClain, formerly of one of my favorite bands, Machine Head, had rejoined the band last year. So, it was nice to see him drum live, again. Awesome set by Sacred Reich, very thrashy and heavy. Check out their latest album that was released a couple months ago, Awakening.
Finally, it was Richmond, Virginia’s GWAR’s turn to hit the stage. I’m going to say this once: GWAR are not your average musicians. Much like KISS before them, their live shows are unlike any other. Sporting elaborate and grotesque costumes and spraying so much fake blood and other bodily fluids into the crowd, GWAR wants you to have an experience you will never forget. The music was tongue in cheek, but fast and heavy. They made fun of popular culture figures like Caitlyn Jenner and Donald Trump, ripping them apart. There was so much fake blood on the floor, I thought the Slowdown turned into a pool. But, I understand why GWAR’s fans love them as they bring a dirty sense of humor that has kept up with the times for 35 years.
Against the GrainAll images © Robert Chadwick Photography
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