Concert Reviews

Gwar  - Watch Them Die - Bad Acid Trip
May 9th 2004

Ok, I have something horrible to admit, I've heard the stories, seen the photos, but in all my years of metaldom, I had never actually gotten myself to a Gwar concert. So I felt it was finally time to experience a show when the band decided to grace San Francisco with its presence (and apparently it had been awhile, as Oderous shouts in the microphone "It took electing Arnold Schwarzenegger as your new governor before Gwar would come back to San Francisco"). Not only that, but my new girlfriend had never really gone to a metal concert before, so what better introduction than to get squirted with fake blood and watch monsters and celebrities get eviscerated and impaled (she didn't leave me after the concert BTW, which I take as a sign of true love).

The first opening act was a local act called BAD ACID TRIP, which was a grindcore / punk band. The vocalist was very animated on stage, and the band was decent as well. While they may not have been revolutionary, what they did provide was a good slam to the face to start off the evening, which is always appreciated.

The second band was a new act called WATCH THEM DIE, who were pretty cool, more in a standard metal vein. But without the pure violence of the opening act, and without really killer and catchy riffs, they sort of ended up being the least memorable of the evening. All the while, I noticed people were putting more and more plastic up around the venue, covering electrical panels, the sound board, etc. Gwar was near.

After another short break, the main event goes on stage. You're not quite sure what to do when they first appear, laugh out loud or pump your fist in the air with a resounding "Fuck yeah!". On one hand, it's really quite a ridiculous sight. On the other hand, you have to give them respect for getting on all that shit every night, and doing far more on stage then just play the music and bang their heads occasionally. The concert started with 'Ham On The Bone', which was a great way to get things going. It didn't take long for the craziness to begin. Unfortunately, the dna lounge is not very large, and hence has a small stage, so there wasn't too much room for a huge stage show. No dinosaur, no spinning wheel of death. And no guest appearances from say "Sexicutioner", it was basically just the 5 members of the main band, two slaves, and the various characters that came to get impaled. Among those who got killed that night: George Bush, Osama, some boxer, John Kerry, the pope, some godzilla-esque movie monster, and much more. Each one came down the back stairs, came on stage, jeered the audience some, then proceeded to get their head and arms cut off, spewing fake blood all over the audience (I was lucky enough to have oderous give me a good spraying early on). While formulaic, it was still fun. Other songs they played during the evening included 'The Salominizer', 'Immortal Corruptor', and of course the encore included a great rendition of 'Maggots', probably their favorite song of mine. The mosh pit was pretty damn crazy, everyone drenched in blood and some sort of green substance that Oderous squirted from a giant cannon attached to his penis. Ya gotta love it. Anyways, covered in goo and deaf, we headed back to the car with trash bags in hand, ready to cover the seats should the blood not dry in time.

The venue was nice enough to post some pics from the event, available here: http://www.dnalounge.com/gallery/2004/05-09/. In closing, don't wait as long as I did, go see Gwar before they do something horrible like decide not to tour anymore. Although I do recommend trying to see them at a larger venue, and of course wear disposable clothing.

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