A very brief history of Gwar: Eons ago, there existed an elite group of chaos warriors who ravaged the galaxy with a boundless hatred of all things alive. They were called the Scumdogs of the Universe, and they grew in might and fury, the greatest weapon in the arsenal of their cosmic Master. But they became too powerful, and too defiant, and for their cosmic crimes were banished to the most insignificant planet in the universe…the seething mudball known as Earth.
Gwar are legends in their own right. Oderus Urungus has brilliantly lead Earth’s only openly extraterrestrial metal band for more than twenty-five years now. Touring in support of their latest record Battle Maximus, Gwar are still going strong and are equally, if not more, offensive now than when they first began back in 1984.
It was jam-packed with hardcore Gwar fans at the Regency Ballroom. The floor was covered with plastic, along with half the stage, as well as the staff at hand. Everyone is well-aware of the chaos that takes place at a Gwar show. I hadn’t seen the band in close to 15 years, and more importantly, I had never attempted to photograph the pure unadulterated bloodfest that was about to occur.
And they did not disappoint, as Gwar blasted out of the gates with the song “Madness at the Core of Time” from their latest record, and from the first note, the blood started flowing, or should I say spurting. The crowd in the first few rows knew exactly why there are in the front. These folks came for the metal and the antics alike. They would not leave disappointed as the blood and space spew blasted them throughout the show, whipping them into a fury with each song played.
I loved the fact that the second song into the set was a classic from their 1990 punk/metal masterpiece Scumdogs of the Universe. This was a record that I have spent a considerable amount of my teenage years worshiping and getting in trouble to, and when they started into “Salaminizer,” I was totally on board for the ride.
The reason I love this band is because they really have it all. They’ve got theatrics, a story line (however far-fetched it may be, it’s still much better storytelling than half the bands on the radio today), pretty decent songs, and at the end of the day, these guys can really tear shit up on their respective instruments.
Combine that with the wit and dark comedic charisma of Oderus Urungus, and you have one of the most originally entertaining tours on the planet. Other highlights from the show included “Happy Death Day,” “Sick of You,” a really fun cover of Billy Ocean’s “Get Out of My Dreams,” and finally an epic version of the Who classic, “Baba O Riley.” (Word on the street is that Gwar will release an album of cover songs next year for their 30th anniversary.)
I will go ahead and let the pictures tell the story of the show, as there are no words to really describe what takes place at a Gwar concert. But I can tell you this, the new record is fantastic, and Gwar’s metal chops are getting more and more serious. There might be some over-the-top silly lyrics on here, but the grooves and the brutally awesome riffs should be music to any metal fans ears.
Oh, and by the way, the band is also gathering names for a petition to have them play the 2015 Super Bowl Half Time Show, which I am happy to sign, and you should too.
Have you seen Gwar on tour? What did you think? Join the conversation in the comment section below and check out more photos from the show in the gallery.