Well, last night I finally lost my GWAR virginity. I hadn't made definitive plans to go to the show because I didn't have a ride, but I took a look at the bus schedule and figured I could swing it, so I was like "fuck it." I got there about half an hour before the doors open, and surprisingly there were only like 20 people in line. I bought a ticket and waited in line, and eventually the line started getting longer. Now, I ALWAYS wear earplugs to gigs, because if I don't protect my hearing now, I'll be deaf by the time I'm 30, and then I won't be able to enjoy music at all. Fuck that. But when I had to empty my pockets to get frisked at the door, I must have dropped my plugs. There's a strict no re-entry policy at the Rialto, so I was fucked. I asked a few security guys if they had any, but no dice, so I had to tough it out.
The first band was Stand With Fists, who were funny as fuck. Unlike GWAR, though, the hilarity was completely unintentional. Think of the shittiest, most generic nu-metal and metalcore bands from like 1999, and you might start getting an idea of how awful they were. Plus, the singer just screamed (badly) for the hell of it to show how much of a badass he was or something, and made all kinds of hilarious ninja hand moves. I literally stood there and laughed for a majority of their set. Oh, and they had a song called "Didgeri-voodoo" that featured a didgeridoo and an electric violin. I can't make this shit up, people.
Next up were Grudge Holder, who were a local act with one of the shittiest band names I've ever heard. Their music wasn't much better, but it wasn't as laughably bad as Stand With Fists, just unbearably generic and boring down-tuned, chugga-chugga style metalcore. I swear, bands these days can't write a good riff to save their lives. I was simply bored with them until their singer said "This next song is for the ladies, especially the ones who don't know WHEN TO SHUT THE FUCK UP! It's called RAPED WITH A BULLET!!" At that point, my opinion shifted from "your band is boring and lame" to "fuck off and die, you assholes." The world would be a better place without their macho, violent, misogynistic bullshit. Fuck these guys. The only upside to their set was the fact that I could see a giant robot dinosaur being put into position backstage, which was a little tease of what was about to come.
After what seemed like an endless Grudge Holder set, GWAR's massive stage set was assembled. It took longer than most bands would, simply because of the numerous props and the fact that everything on the front of the stage had to be covered in plastic. The stage resembled the stage of a sailing ship, with the backdrop featuring a sail and mast, and a large ship's wheel in the center in front of the drum kit. After what seemed like an eternity, our costumed conquerors from outer space took the stage amidst smoke and a very passionate roar from the crowd. They launched right into "War Is All We Know" before bringing out the Nazi Pope, who they eviscerated, spewing blood over the jubilant white-shirted masses. Also executed were:
-President Bush (decapitated)
-Jitler (Hitler on one side, Jesus on the other, who ejaculated blue fluid out of a giant rubber cock)
-A punk rock hipster guy who battled with Oderus and had his arms ripped off
-Don Vito from Viva La Bam (He shot green liquid out of his ass, then he was gutted, revealing a midget-sized Bam attached with an umbilical cord)
-The aforementioned Bam, who was fed to the giant robot T-Rex, who in turn was killed by Oderus by a sword
-An Islamic terrorist with a bomb in his turban (throat slit)
-A cop (gutted, then sodomized with an huge iron pole)
NOTE: I'm really disappointed I didn't see them in 2005 when they killed Laci Peterson and her baby. That's just so delightfully fucked up. Oh, and the only thing in the act that really disgusted me was the fact that when Hitler was on stage, two guys in front of me started giving the Nazi salute. Fucking assholes.
All of this spectacle was just awe-inspiring, and possibly the most fucking entertaining thing I've ever seen. The dinosaur was just awesome; it took up almost the whole stage and dripped blood out of its mouth onto the crowd. Here's a shitty camera phone picture:
I was grinning like an idiot throughout the whole show. One thing that's easy to forget in the middle of all the gore and theatrics is that these guys are REALLY FUCKING GOOD musicians. They may have started off as a joke band, but their last two albums have featured some really stellar thrash metal. Plus, you've gotta have some skill to play that well in those enormous, awkward costumes. Seeing as I'm only familiar with Scumdogs of the Universe, War Party, and Beyond Hell, I don't have a full setlist, but here's what I recognized (not having ear plugs didn't help, either):
War Is All We Know
Go to Hell!
Bring Back the Bomb
Saddam A Go Go
There were at least 2 or 3 more that I didn't recognize at all. I was a little disappointed in the lack of "Sick of You," but oh well. All in all, it was an extremely awesome experience, and definitely one of those things I can cross off my list of things to do before I die. Oh, and I bought a pretty badass tour shirt as well, which I'm wearing right now
Oh, one more little note: Before the show, a dude asked me to take a picture of him, his wife, and his son, who was only like 10 years old at the most, but who had a patch-covered denim jacket that would put you jokers to SHAME. He also had an awesome Maiden cap on. That little guy was probably 100 times more metal than anyone I've met, and his dad was pretty proud: "I'm bringing him up the right way!"