So last night, the Duke of DVD and I got to cross one big item off our collective bucket lists: no, we didn't meet Paul Naschy and become his liveried manservants for a day (YET), but we did have an experience almost as fulfilling: we saw GWAR live!
Then, 25 years ago, band manager, failed presidential candidate, and inventor of crack cocaine Sleezy P. Martini discovered the band while fleeing his druglord enemies and inadvertently reawakened them. Christening the group GWAR (either the sound they made upon awakening, or else an acronym for "God What an Awful Racket"), he gave them instruments, all the crack they could eat, and immediately booked them on tour.
Apart from delivering brutal and hilarious heavy metal music that's about as un-PC as you could possibly imagine, GWAR's trademark is their theatrical, circus-like stage shows, in which they typically dismember their enemies, rape rubber dummies, and spray their hungry fans with blood, pus, and various other disgusting bodily fluids.
I've been a fan of GWAR's since the early 90s, when I caught one of their videos on Beavis and Butthead. Monsters, sex, bad jokes, and METULL--what's not to like? I had cassettes, later CDs, and VHS and DVDs of their outrageous shows. But I never in a million years thought they would play in my home town of Little Rock. Happily, experience has proved me wrong, and Oderus brought his boys (not to mention his infamous Three-Pronged Cuttlefish of Cthulhu) to the Village last night as GWAR opened for much more serious-minded rockers, Lamb of God.
The place was packed, and GWAR rose to the occasion, blazing through on an hour-plus long set that left the capacity crowd shaken, satisfied, and absolutely dripping with green and red goo. Vicar-fave Balsac the Jaws of Death wore his bear-trap face and giant goat feet, and even though Beefcake the Mighty no longer plays his porkchop-style bass, he, Flatuus, and Jizmac joined Balsac to lay down some punishing riffs, with technical proficiency that the band is seldom given enough credit for.
Frontbeast Oderus Urungus was in top form, belting out tunes old and new while trading entertaining banter with supporting characters like General Zog, Sawborg-Destructo, and cyborg guardian of morality Cardinal Syn.
Everyone in the pit got absolutely soaked, but just to make sure, GWAR brought out a plasma cannon to get the colorful effluvia into the first few rows of seating as well. And in their closing number, the classic MTV hit "Sick of You," Oderus finished the job by manipulating his mutated member and spraying red spunk all over everyone! (Note: I guarantee a GWAR show is the only place you will see uber-tough, aggressively hetero metal heads who will watch a foam-suited monsterman simulate masturbation with a gigantic warty phallus and BEG to be hit with the results. It brings a crimson tear to the eye.)