GWAR at Ruoff Music Center on 08/08/23
Photos and Review by Laura Fox (LLFoxphotos)
I was trying to explain a GWAR show to a friend who isn't into metal at all, and the best I could come up with was "a sci-fi metal musical performed in grotesque costumes with a copious amount of fake blood, guts, and sex organs." It's disgusting and ridiculous...and great fun.
The band, which has been around for almost 40 years, is known for their theatrics, especially the gallons of fake blood (and other fluids) they shoot at the audience. They have a cult following that's strong enough to support their nearly constant touring, a video game, an adult beverage line, comic books, toys, skateboards, and even the GWARbar restaurant in Richmond, Virginia. (The menu looks pretty good; you should check it out.)
Although the band's lineup changes frequently, GWAR's key characters sound and remain consistent. For the back story and character descriptions, go to the Mythos tab on GWAR's website. It's some fascinating reading!
Anyway, I'm sure GWAR fans got a lot more out of the show than the uninitiated; especially the poor, unfortunate souls who had no idea what GWAR was about. I can't tell you how many people I saw with a look of disgusted fascination on their faces - the classic "This is horrible but I can't stop watching" look.
After GWAR's set, the fans who were brave enough to stay in the front and who didn't wear rain gear were soaked in fake blood (fortunately, it wasn't sticky), and the photo pit looked like a crime scene. (Or at least what I imagine a crime scene looks like; I've never actually seen one.) I thought it was hilarious, but I'm glad I opted to stay out of the pit for this particular performance!
GWAR has just announced another headling tour, and in the meantime will continue touring in support of Mudvayne on the Psychoterapy Sessions Tour.
WARNING: THE VIDEO BELOW CONTAINS GRATUITOUS BLOOD, GUTS, AND GORE!