GWAR wreaks havoc on the Hard Rock Cafe
Blood, guts and Snooki — no one is safe at a GWAR show — and that’s why we love it
Gallons of blood rain down upon Snooki’s aborted fetus. Creatures with names like “Oderus Urungus” ravage the stage with a Nazi necromancer, and a whole range of other oddities. No, I didn’t go to a B-movie film festival, nor did the Fright Dome magically return off-season. This is what you willingly and excitedly pay to see when GWAR rolls into town.
Currently traversing the U.S. on the “Return of the World Maggot Tour,” Grammy-nominated satirists GWAR brought with them Virginia thrashers Municipal Waste, “Creepsylvania” cohorts Ghoul, and New Zealanders Legacy of Disorder to the Hard Rock Cafe on the Las Vegas Strip on Monday night, where hell was raised and gallons of fake blood (and a whole range of other fluids) was spilt.
GWAR is one of those bands that just about any metal or punk fan yearns to see live at least once in their lifetime — the line to get in, a testament to the fact. When I finally reached the stage area, I noticed that the walls from front to back were all covered with plastic, as was the ceiling and just about any stainable surface around. That, coupled with the audience that was dotted in plain white shirts, reminded me of the mess that I was in for.
The night started out with Legacy of Disorder, which were little more than a group of guys trying to be Pantera. Might I recommend returning to New Zealand and trying out for The Hobbit as orcs.
Next up was Ghoul, a band that claims to be mutant monsters from the land of Creepsylvania.
Dressed up in hooded masks reminiscent of a redneck serial killer, the band jumped into “Off with Their Heads,” but not before decapitating their hooded, demonic announcer and covering the front row with blood.
The band continued through their set playing a horror-tinged mix of grindcore and thrash metal, returning again to the theatrics during “Rise, Killbot, Rise!,” where the Killbot actually came on stage in attempt to fight the members.
Municipal Waste followed up Ghoul which got the still-growing crowd even more pumped up for GWAR, speeding through a 40 minute set that lasted 16 songs, just long enough for almost every person in the venue to crowdsurf their way from front to back.
Vocalist Tony Foresta noted the rowdiness of the crowd, and suggested a wall of death. If you haven’t heard of this phenomenon, you, sir, are not a metalhead.
The feat, where the crowd splits down the center of the room, then proceeds to run full speed at the audience members opposite of them, is not for the faint of heart.
After a lengthy set change (they had a castle on stage), it was time for GWAR.
The lights dimmed and the crowd was rewarded with the first decapitation and subsequent blood shower (which lasts around 30 seconds or so with each occurrence), and the chaos began, starting off with “Zombies, March!”
By the time the third song was done, and it was time to leave the photo pit, I looked down at the floor, only to see a massive pool of liquid — I couldn’t even see the floor itself, and that was only the start. Just about every song brought some sort of character or minion along with a gorey, bloody result.
The band delved deep into their back catalog, playing hits like “Saddam A Go-Go,” “The Salaminizer,” and “Bring Back the Bomb.”
The highlight for most seemed to be when a pregnant “Snooki” was brought to the stage, her fetus only to be aborted, amongst another bloodbath accompanied by cheers and raised fists.
GWAR closed with their classic “Sick of You,” then exited the stage, but moments later returned for an encore of “Maggots,” where a giant maggot came out of the castle and devoured a few unwilling sacrifices.
Finally, the band dedicated their final song, “The Road Behind,” to Corey “Flattus Maximus” Smoot who recently passed away during the bands tour last year. As the band exited the stage, Smoot’s guitar stood on the castle under a spotlight, lights dimming as Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” played over the PA.
While GWAR is likely to not be the average person’s cup of tea, Monday proved they still put on one hell of a fun, if not frightening, show.