Thursday, October 8, 2009

Mad Mad Mad Mad Music: GWAR in Little Rock

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!

For those of you tragically unfamiliar, a brief primer: millions of years ago, a squad of monstrous intergalactic warriors, The Scumdogs of the Universe, were exiled from their home planet by the Master for being too disgusting, out of control, and generally badass. Their prison ship crash landed in Antarctica, where the Scumdogs remained frozen in suspended animation for untold eons.

GWAR, shortly before eating the photographer

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.

GWAR at the Village, Little Rock AR, Oct. 7, 2009. From left: Balsac the Jaws of Death (guitar), Oderus Urungus (vocals), Jizmac da Gusha (drums), Beefcake the Mighty (bass). Lead guitarist Flatuus Maximus obscured by glare.

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.

Oderus eviscerates a hapless enemy, while the crowd roars its approval and is bathed in gore.

Highlights of the show are too many to catalog adequately, but the surprise appearances (and dismemberments) of Michael Jackson and President Barack Obama were definitely among them. To just give you an idea, after Michael got a little frisky with a two-headed mutant siamese fetus prop, Oderus expressed his approval by ripping the King of Pop's face off. The skull-visaged Jackson proceeded to do some of his most famous dance moves, all the while spraying gouts of gore on the approving audience.

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.)

GWAR brings it on home

For the Duke and me, it was the accomplishment of a lifetime goal, and did not disappoint--it was really all we could have asked for and more.

The Duke in his natural state: covered in blood and space-monster jizz.

The Vicar goes temporarily insane in the horrifying aftermath of GWAR.

In conclusion, if you haven't seen GWAR before, and you get the chance, GO. You will never see anything else quite like it. And here's hoping I get to see them again before another quarter century comes and goes.


The Duke of DVD said...

Yes, it was all that I had dreamed of, and more. My ears are still ringing, and I hope there isn't a random drug screen at work today. I had enough 2nd hand smoke to last me at least halfway through the weekend.

I've never been more pleased to get blasted in the face by a giant phallus.

Prof. Grewbeard said...

get that thing away from me!...

Anonymous said...

They drug test dukes? That sucks.
Hope GWAR comes to Savannah. Those guys look seriously off their collective nut. (And I apologize for the unfortunate use of "nut" and "off" in the same sentence. There's enough reference to that activity in the post.)

Tenebrous Kate said...

OK--after looking at those AWESOME photos for a couple of days now, I'll cave. Duke--is there some deep meaning to the Pensive Gorilla shirt? Baron XIII and I were both impressed by it.

The Duke of DVD said...

Not captured in the photo is the following, written under said pensive gorilla: "To Be... Or Not To Be."

I've always loved it (and even more so now, soaked in Space Jizz(tm) like it is), but now that I think about it, perhaps it would have been that much better to be just the gorilla, deep in thought. That way, you could come up with your own explanations:

"Hmm... I sure am glad my anus doesn't hang out like a baboon's."


"Bananas... with peanut butter! Brilliant!"

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