It’s cheesy to say I sold my soul to rock n roll but it kind of applies. Being that Rock, and various off shoot genres have been my mainstay genre of music since I purchased my first cassette.
What the hell does this have to do with the band GWAR and the show that took place Monday night at the Granada Theater in Lawrence? Well to those that have never paid much attention to music, I have a feeling that you’ve probably never heard of the now 25 year strong legacy and trail of (fake) blood that GWAR’s live shows, long form videos, and albums have left in their wake. To those that have paid some attention to music, I find it hard to believe that any music fan has not at least heard of what you could arguably call the legendary act that GWAR has become. Oh and if you watched Beavis and Butt-Head in the 90’s the name should easily ring a bell as Beavis seemed to drop their name fairly regularly.
As part of that 25 year mile stone the band has reached they are currently on “The Bloody Tour of Horror” a very apropos title after having taken in the spectacle that is GWAR live. To me, as a self professed music fan going to a GWAR show is a bit of a badge of honor. I once had a co-worker actually question why I had never been to a GWAR show. It was a very appropriate question. Now that I have, I question what has taken me so long, and affirmed that I will be going again in the future.
A live GWAR show is as much heavy metal horror theatre as it is a concert. Any show that has two decapitations take place within the first couple minutes of the set, which leads to Kill Bill style geysers of blood spewing forth over the audience is not your typical rock show. Of course as soon as the band takes the stage it should become obvious that you are in for a welcome diversion from the typical band in front of an audience setup. The current lineup consist of Oderus Urungus, Flattus Maximus, Balsac the Jaws of Death, Beefcake the Mighty, and Jizmak Da Gusa. The blood never seemingly stops flowing and the faithful legion of GWAR fans that packed the Granada Monday night couldn’t seem to get enough. Between battles of creatures hell bent on destroying or battling for the band that would spew in some cases green blood, to the very red blood spewing Sarah Palin. “Now we never have to worry about her being our president…” GWAR making the world a safer place one show, and politician “murder” at a time.
At a point having kept a safe distance from the copious amounts of blood spewing forth from the stage I began to become a bit jealous of the bodies smashed together in the quickly warming Granada in the pit. This wouldn’t last long as it seems my previous “safe zone” was soon being splashed in the same copious volumes of blood those in the pit had been receiving. All I could do is embrace it and leave the show a bloody happy mess.
This was an interesting bill Monday night. A fellow band celebrating 20 years of a slightly different type of music opened. That would be the NY based punk band The Casualties. The word Punk has become pretty abused over the years. To many it’s as much a way of life as it is a style of music. The Casualties harken back to the earlier days of punk. Think back to the early to mid eighties. It’s fast, aggressive, and last little less than three minutes a song. Their energetic, simple, and blistering open was a perfect setup for the blood that later spilled forth.
I give GWAR at the Granada Theater 4.5 “GWAR ears” out of 5
by John Coovert
Photos by Kelly Powell