Jesse Jarnow

gwar!

(And speaking of cams at shows…)

“You fucked my girlfriend with a cellphone!” said GWAR’s Number One fan, upon encountering the band in Hell, shortly before they chopped into him and he squirted the sixth or seventh round of fake blood on the audience. Before that, though, the band clarified: “We didn’t fuck your girlfriend” (pause) “…we raped her. And it wasn’t a cellphone. It was a phone booth.” (Cheers.) Then blood. Like every between-song skit — which also included Adolf Hitler, Arnold Schwarzenegger, George W. Bush, and Jewcifer — it was scripted with the obvious punchline: cover the audience in some kind of fluid. There was also a fake cock and a lot of fake cum.

“There used to be a lot more blood,” said my friend, who’d seen GWAR “10 or 20 times.” “It used to start gushing as soon as they hit the stage. It was a lot better.” He’d never seen GWAR — who celebrated their 20th birthday last year — in any place larger than Irving Plaza, the small ballroom where we saw them tonight. It makes sense. After all, any bigger and the blood cannon (placed at crotch level and operated by a dude in a leather thong) wouldn’t be able to reach the back of the room.

Besides the wall of tee-shirts and branded underwear at the merch table, there was also a veritable metal record store. Besides discs from GWAR and their two openers, there were also long cardboard cases filled with their brethren like Cannibal Corpse, Cattle Decapitation, Born Into Pain, and Destroy Destroy Destroy. It was a one-stop subcultural shop.

GWAR have been doing this for twenty years. With their anonymity-granting costumes — which resembled, well, bad guys from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — they could tagteam members for generations (if they haven’t already). GWAR could still be playing in decades, when metal feels quaint, like bluegrass does to us. One can never underestimate the power of being covered in fake blood, though. If being covered in sweat is the sign of an authentic ecstasy, then GWAR do all the work, virtually guaranteeing that anybody who wants to can have a literally physical, visceral experience. And that is a pretty good concept for a band.

2 Comments

  1. Anonymous says: - reply

    RAWK!

  2. pete says: - reply

    hey,
    check out this video, where Oderus gets 100 dollars and buys Crack on the Streets of New York. Rockin!
    http://www.blender.com/video/891/GwarDolesOutHolidayBonuses.video?src=bdr164