Last Night: GWAR At House Of Blues

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Photos by Barry Stigman
Check out our slideshow of GWAR's messy concert.

GWAR has to be the most quintessentially American band that has ever existed. They play disgustingly loud hardcore-inflected thrash while covered in blood and gore, hating celebrities as much as your average citizen -- even to the point of wanting to disembowel them -- while living for violence and mutilation, at a clip of at least every two songs. And oh, they are also all from another planet, just like our country full of aliens and immigrants.

If that isn't America to you, at it's most base, vulgar, and hilarious, then you haven't been paying attention the past 235 years. If anything GWAR has just been holding up a mirror to the whole country since their inception in 1984.

All jokes and themes aside, this is also a band that is currently nursing a pretty big wound, losing Cory "Flattus Maximus" Smoot just a few weeks back. Smoot had played Maximus since 2002, and passed away on November 3 while on tour. The band retired the character and turned into a four-piece soon after.

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GWAR shows are known as messy affairs, with the band spewing red blood and green puss all over the crowd, either coming from the severed limb of a monster, a celebrity effigy, or a cannon on a shopping cart. White shirts are the normal attire for the gigs, with fans treasuring their soiled clothes as trophies. Whiffs and memories of Juggalos bathing in Faygo came reeling back last night as we settled in for our second GWAR show.

Openers Every Time I Die weren't exactly tailor-made for the bill but their bro-tastic metalcore was a worthy appetizer for GWAR's theater. They played a smattering of their golden oldies, like "We'rewolf" and "Kill The Music", plus a new song "Underwater Bimbos From Outer Space", with the opening line "I want to be dead with my friends" the most shocking thing of their set. Well, besides guitarist Andy Williams now looking like Hulk Hogan's stunt double/child.

We missed earlier openers Warbeast, who hail from Dallas, by just a few minutes, but their debut 2010 album Krush The Enemy, is fun, muscular thrash.

GWAR opened with an appropriate hail of blood, after chopping off the top of the of one of Death's minions, getting the show off to crimson start. From then on out, no one's white clothing was safe, and we even cleaned blood off of our phone. No amount of words can adequately describe a GWAR stage show, and shame on us for wearing a black shirt.

What's strange is that while sitting entranced by GWAR for an hour and half, who are supposed to be outfitted to look like these hideous-looking monsters, we realized that their appearances are no more grotesque than any number of modern-rock and indie bands running today.

Like we said, their outfits are just an exaggeration of real life anyway. We're sure that Kings Of Leon's Caleb Followill has a two-foot long dick that shoots blood too.

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House of Blues

1204 Caroline, Houston, TX

Category: Music

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