OMG... where to start....
Well, I remember it was rather cold out that night (about 65 degrees when we went in). As I found myself standing in line for my tickets and my photo pass (which were graciously arranged for me by their tour manager whose name I have stupidly forgotten) I looked around at the people who stood shoulder to shoulder with me. There wasn't hardly any room left on the sidewalk!! Those with tickets were squeezing as close to the doors as possible before security would push them back. They were the freaks of this city. The outcasts, the loners, the crazies, the goofies... those who were high, those who were drunk, those looking to get crushed in the pit, those that just wanna stand off to the side and watch... but we were all there for one reason really: to see the greatest metal band not from this planet. The Scumdogs of the Universe: GWAR!!!
Now, I always knew about GWAR. My father, whose taste in music ranged from The Styx to The Ramones, gave me a GWAR tape when I was little. I suppose he believed, like I do, that it's important to share the music of this generation with the next. The first GWAR song I ever heard was Ham On the Bone. I had heard enough. I loved it!! But, sadly, whenever I was given the opportunity to see them live, I was always too young. Yes, most of their shows are held at all ages venues, but my mom wouldn't let me go. What a drag, dude! She had apparently been given the low down on how the shows went.
When I got older, 15 I think, I bought a copy of Phallus In Wonderland so that I could see a GWAR show for myself. I wanted to go so bad!!! But, alas, life got in the way and my quest to see a GWAR show was banished to the recesses of my mind. Put into a box and then chained shut and then pushed into a deep dark corner where nobody would hear it scream.
Then, in early November of 2008, as I was looking through a Houston Press for
shit to do that weekend, I saw it. I couldn't have missed it! I wish
had cut it out and saved it for the frame :(.
But then reality came crashing over me and into me and dragged me under... I was broke. I could never afford the tickets let alone the evening at the show. I almost cried. Most people don't feel this way about something as simple as a concert, but I crave music like some people crave food or drugs. When I want to hear it, I WILL HEAR IT!! So I called a few people and asked a few questions... eventually I was led to Dave Brockie's home page. I didn't know what else to do so I sent him an e-mail and explained that I was from this site and would like to review and photograph the show. He directed to me along to their tour manager (again still can't remember his name... Eddie or something??) who hooked me up with TWO tickets. Thank You!!!
The day of the show, I was pumped all day. I went to the computer and listened to every GWAR song I could find on project playlist (see links page, this site ROCKS!). I was pleasantly surprised to hear that after almost 25 years they still had a fresh and unique sound for every album. Every song was different. Most importantly though, they still sounded good, and Oderus was still the same hilarious asshole I remembered him to be. Quite charming, in fact.
This band definitely has a sick sense of humor. They've been known to perform abortions, rip babies in half, feed slaves to a giant maggot, execute the "gutterslime that litters this nation", rip people's faces off... the list could go on for a while. Now, parents, I know you're thinking "what are my kids DOING listening to this vile filth? I raised them better than this!" Relax, it's all cartoon violence. You'll see in the photo gallery that while some of the costumes are somewhat realistic, it's not the stuff of nightmares. The blood and slime that they LOVE to spew at the audience is made of all organic materials and is easy to wash off (although, the lining of my sport bra is RUINED!! lol). If you take a look at the costumes you'll understand why. They are expensive to make and take a lot of time and effort. They must be easy to clean.
The show itself is totally sick!! The pit is a dangerous place to be as a friend of mine found out the hard way. He spent the rest of the night and the next morning in the hospital for treatment of what was a broken leg... oh, and a bite on his back. I did LOTS of crowd surfing and moshing. I was RUDELY shoved forward while I was IN FRONT of the barrier taking pictures. I almost ate shit on the corner of the stage. Close call, I could've lost some teeth!! My friend also lost his cel phone, but true to the brotherly nature of a real metal show, a good samaritin turned it into the bar. We are all there to have a good time. If you choose to mosh you take a risk. You know this. Shit happens, and sometimes it hurts.
The staff of Warehouse LIve was commendable as usual, one of them giving me a towel to wipe myself and camera off after a headless Steve Wilkos sprayed me with bloody upchuck from his neck. Crazy!! Even though I didn't buy a shirt or any merch I still walked out of the show with several great souvenirs... my tickets, my photo pass, my bloody and slimy green and red stained towel (which I had to ring out), the shirt I was wearing (also had to ring it out), and my pictures of course. It was VERY cold when we walked out of the doors (as a couple of guys were not too shy to point out to me). We were all soaking wet, tired, our bodies began to ache when the adrenaline of the previous hour and a half wore off. Oderus wasn't kidding when he said that "stupid fuckin' humans pay money to die!" That's what we all felt like after a while... like we were dying. Tired, soggy, and sore we trudged to the back of the club where Eddie (??) had told me to wait so that I could have a few minutes of face time with the band. My whiney friend just HAD to go to the hospital before they came out, so we missed out on that opportunity... maybe next time, huh guys?
In any case, GWAR is one of those bands that you either get or you don't. If you don't get it, don't try to get it... I don't think you will. I have a friend that I have been trying my HARDEST to turn on to GWAR. He still hasn't found a song that he likes to my knowledge. This is beyond my comprehension. I have sent him all of my favorites, and they all seem to be songs that are right up his alley. Good music, not too metal and not too punk yet absurdly grotesque and strange. Wait! That describes ALL of GWAR's music. Nevermind. Just listen to 'em, I can't describe it. It's beyond words... I give up.
GWAR is one of those good, bad, and ugly bands. The music is great, the
show is "bad", and they certainly are ugly! You can catch GWAR on UTube
Way to go on 25 years guys!!!
Way to go on 25 years guys!!! Rock on!
GWAR photo gallery - now with digitally remastered photos!!
GUN CONTROL MEANS USING BOTH HANDS
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