PHOTOS: GWAR, Nekrogoblikon, and Goatwhore at Reverb in Reading, 06/17/22
On June 17, GWAR’s monstrous Black Death Rager World Tour landed at Reverb in Reading, the second-to-last night of the U.S. leg of the tour. With the grotesque group slated to head overseas to continue their attempt at world domination, it’s easy to assume that they were set to pack a little lighter after this show.
Since they lopped off the head of a Joe Biden look-a-like character, performed what even Blothar and Balsac would consider a crude alien abortion using a plunger, and doused the crowd with literal gallons of “blood” and other unearthly substances, there would almost have to be extra room in their carry-ons when heading to the Netherlands, right?
Those who have seen GWAR live know that that would be a very bad guess.
Prior to the headlining set, folks had already experienced quite a night of heavy openers, including The Native Howl, Nekrogoblikon, and Goatwhore. While we didn’t get to witness The Native Howl set, if it was anything like the next two, fans got their money’s worth. Sludge, thrash, and death metal with a green goblin or two thrown in for good measure were the perfect table setters for the main course.
GWAR took the stage after a rousing sing-along of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” by the already sweat-soaked crowd around 9 p.m. on this Friday night, and they brought plenty of fake blood, guts, and costumed debauchery with them. By the end of the second song, they had already soaked a good portion of the crowd with their signature tongue-in-cheek songs and headless presidential blood.
It didn’t stop there as fans begged for more, some wearing all white clothing, hoping to get doused by a blood-spewing skeleton keyboard player, an over-sized Vladimir Putin who just happened to get his hands cut off, or any of the other surprise “guests” throughout the over two-hour set. Most got what they asked for and more, leaving with one-of-a-kind keepsake “GWAR-stained” T-shirts, pants, and even bathrobes.
The band hit on all eras of their 35+ year career, including songs from their latest album, “The New Dark Ages,” aptly named in current times. At the end of the night, the crowd cheered along to “Fuck This Place,” though they certainly weren’t referring to the venue, which served as the perfect setting for this comic book-style heavy metal apocalypse over the prior five hours. They were more likely blowing off steam from a long week of dealing with awful humans, all more horrible than anything they witnessed that night. Those who haven’t seen GWAR or any of the nationally touring acts coming through Reverb lately should take the time to do so before a real-life societal collapse tops anything that can be done on stage.
See NEPA Scene’s photos of GWAR performing at the 2017 Vans Warped Tour in Scranton here and listen to an exclusive interview with the band here. See photos of Nekrogoblikon at the 2018 Vans Warped Tour in Scranton here.
Scott is a photographer, Teamster, and all-around music nerd. He loves antique and vintage items and people. He is a sucker for a carnival, fair, or freak show. He loves a good burger but has never eaten a steak.