GWAR at Warehouse Live, 10/24/2013
When the history of this insignificant planet is written -- haphazardly and on a discarded sanitary napkin, probably -- it will likely note the key role played by our alien overlords GWAR, the Scumdogs of the Universe who were banished to Earth eons ago. Now awakened, they dedicate themselves to the eradication of the human race that they themselves (inadvertantly) created.
Earth's only "openly extraterrestrial rock band" (I guess Man...or Astro-Man? isn't technically "rock") have kept at it for going on 30 years, leaving a trail of blood, semen, and bodies in their wake. The 13th chronicle of their terrifying exploits (we call it an "album"), Battle Maximus, was released earlier this year, and naturally the rulers of Earth had to make a stop in Houston to further strengthen their crushing grip on mankind.
That's the official version, anyway. A GWAR concert is something that everyone should experience at least once. And from the look of the audience at Thursday night's Warehouse Live show, more than a few were there to see the copious bodily fluids (from a safe distance) and clumsily staged combat sequences up close for the first time.
And this is why the band tours as much as they do. Even in Germany, where Hell-O and Carnival of Chaos were certified double platinum, a new GWAR album doesn't move than 100,000 copies or so these days. The band's unique blend of black comedy and sci-fi doom-rock isn't something most of us put in the disc changer for repeat listens. Thus the live show, in essence, is everything.
And so, for newbies anyway, Thursday's show delivered. Opening with "Madness at the Core of Time," one of several from Battle Maximus, the blood was spraying early. In spite of the plastic coating the ceiling lamps at WL, however, the gore never reached further than 15-20 feet back.
In the relatively cavernous confines of Warehouse Live's Ballroom, it was easy to avoid the arterial spume from the likes of a gutted Justin Bieber (I didn't even know he was still in town) and "Mr. Perfect," a sort of future flesh golem sent to combat the Scumdogs before being turned into a gore pinata during "Jack the World."
One of the things that keeps GWAR's antics from getting too stale is the relative topicality of their violence. In addition to the lengthy (and convoluted) mythology and the many enemies it provides, you get the aforementioned Bieber, or (I think) Queen Elizabeth, or the Pope, dispatched with in a manner both stunningly violent and historically accurate.
Review continues on the next page.