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REWIND! GWAR – House of Blues Chicago – 2010

[REWIND! is a weekly feature where Hugh Voltage and Ray De Ation dig through the coverage archives. The original words and photos are published with modern commentary about what they think now.]

THIS WEEK: GWAR - House of Blues Chicago - 2010

HUGH: If you've never seen Sarah Palin brutally mutilated on stage, you don't know what you're missing. This was easily one of the most memorable, and fucked up, shows I've ever been to.

RAY: Damn son. It's been 8 years already. I remember this day as being the day that I received my 24-70mm L-series lens. I was planning on just unpacking it then heading straight to the HOB to shoot the show. But luckily the night before, I told my homie, fellow D!S photographer, Will Rice, that I was shooting GWAR. He asked me if I had protection. I laughed. He was dead serious and told me he was serious, and that I needed it. He gave me a lens condom for the following day. And man was he a life saver. When the band came on the stage, there was a lot, A LOT, of fake blood sprayed all over the photographers and crowd.

ORIGINAL REVIEW FOLLOWS: GWAR - House of Blues Chicago - 2010

GWAR shows are like nothing you have ever experienced. Unless – of course – you’ve already been to a GWAR show. Mixing a live metal concert with on-stage theatrics out of a Hollywood blockbuster, GWAR puts on a performance that will leave you drenched in blood, sweat and probably tears. If the interview we did with GWAR before the show was any indication, this was going to be a whole hell of a lot more than some dudes in costumes shredding.

The lead actors are the current “primary” members (Oderus, et al.) – the ones with instruments. The vehicle is thrash metal. The “backup dancers” include saw-blade wielding Sawborg Destructo, decapitated corpses, Sarah “Bloody” Palin and Lady Gaga. It’s almost Shakespearean in it’s perfection. Whether you like the music or not, the people in GWAR put on one hell of a show at House of Blues.

After landing on the stage (they’re from outer space after all), the audience decimating show kicked off theatrically with two decapitated corpses flailing around on stage. They were, obviously, shooting blood out of the area at the top of the neck that would normally cradle a cranium.

Next up on the dismemberment docket was two rounds of celebrity execution. Sarah “Bloody” Palin came out on stage, and the members of GWAR made everyone painfully aware where her nickname originated. Lady Gaga was wheeled out on a medieval torture device. Her tits (or what passes for tits when you’re talking about Lady Gaga) were promptly ripped off. Her more manly figure (GWAR makes the impossible, possible) shot two different colors of blood over a frenzied audience.

Clocking in over 25 years in the business, you’d think the members of GWAR would have at least slowed down a little. They haven’t. The visual aspects of the show were disgustingly awesome – in line with the best stage shows you will ever see. The music came from their entire catalog and was face-meltingly awesome. It’s ridiculous, loud, disgusting and awesome. It’s fucking GWAR. What did you expect?