Sleazy P. Martini for President
The local "live" critic (with whom I agree more than not) mistakenly stated that Gwar, in the fifteen years I've seen them at the Newport, have never gathered a crowd larger than the floor's churning slavepit. FALSE. My first experience with Gwar, the 1991 America Must Be Destroyed tour, for which I had to sneak out from Troy to Columbus, I vividly remember catching blood from the balcony. Since then, yes, the crowds have thinned, but the cartoonish gore and brutal social criticism remains intact. This year would be my tenth Gwar show (a stat I'm not sure if I should be proud of) and I've never been disappointed. Granted, I haven't bought a Gwar record since This Toilet Earth (save their early '90s peak, the show has always eclipsed the music) but I have rarely passed up an opportunity to be apart of the carnal atmosphere they bring to town -- gathering up the scum of civilization, in the crisp autumn air, pulling out all the stops to make sure everyone gets soaked. I'm sure there's a crossover with the Juggalos, though I'd like to think Gwar fans have a leg up in intelligence, possessing a refined absurd wit and allergies to Faygo. Who knows? At least Gwar now how to pepper their set with the classics and they've never resorted to rap(e)-rock.
Now in 2008, does the show still hold up? Of course. I was a bit skeptical that Gwar has devolved into forming a pro-wrestling motif for the Electile Dysfunction tour, but it was for a good cause. Never one to shy from politics, Gwar brought out the candidates (must have planned it before Sarah Palin, cause she was spared desecration) to battle for supremacy. Duly noted, Barack Obama was slaughtered but rushed off stage before drained completely (I guess that's Gwar's way of saying they do have preference). Meanwhile Hilary Clinton's tits were stripped to squirt cold blood about 40 feet from the stage, and John McCain was ripped clean apart (see below).
This was the maiden voyage for my wife and bro's girl -- so it was a special occasion. We were all dirty beyond self-respect by the end. They played "Ham on the Bone" and "Maggots," so all was well. This might actually turn into a family affair one day. As I saw one dad graciously hold his boy on his shoulders to catch more blood than we were allowed, I thought that my future child, will get the benefits Gwar provide that my parents forbid. And surely Gwar will last beyond the grave.
Sub. Ref. live