Gwar, The International, Knoxville, Tennessee

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Comic Shock Rockers, Gwar, violated souls at The International in Knoxville, TN this past Friday.   

The uptight and easily offended need not buy tickets to a Gwar event. You will only leave disgusted and Gwar doesn’t have a complaint department. Nor do they care.

I have heard about Gwar’s over the top concerts since I was a teenager. I have kept up with their music, change of characters, and political burns. However, I have never been to a show until now. I was as prepared as I could be but still left amazed and shocked. It was everything I expected and beyond.

The excitement in the air was thick in the moments leading up to the concert. Security was suited up with ponchos and fans, many in white, were almost on top of each other to get as close to Gwar’s canon’s of filth as they could. The back walls of the venue were lined with people hoping to watch the show but escape the gore.

Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” ushered the masters of disgust on stage. Bassist, Beefcake (Jamison Land), marched into his position. Rhythm guitarist, Balsac (Mike Derks), strode out clomping his cloven hooves with the gait of a deer. Lead guitarist, Pustulus Maximus (Brent Purgason), charged the stage with beastly intimidation. Blothar (Michael Bishop), came out swinging his massive antlers, staring menacingly at the crowd. And Drummer, Jizmak ( Brad Roberts) stealthily creeped to his throne before resorting to his favorite past time.

Once the show started, there was no pausing or slowing down. The songs came at the crowd rapid fire with a new character spewing fluids on the savage crowd at the change of every song. I had assumed that there would be a lot of people in the crowd that were there for the on stage spectacle and was surprised when the crowd sang  along violently with many of the songs.

They performed many fan favorites and some new material from their new album “Blood Of Gods”. Never ones to shy away from current events their recent single, “El Presidente”, included flaying Donald Trump characters chest cavity open and spewing the crowd with his blood.

They closed the set out with “Fuck This Place” from their new album. It was more infectious than Pustulus’ legs.  Although the song was new fans quickly learned the chorus and sang along with barely any prompt from the band and it was thunderous.

The band did not leave the stage for the encore but a character resembling Barak Obama joined them for the song, “Sick of You”. There were some boo’s from the crowd and he was quickly decapitated, drenching the crowd in blood. They ended the set with their cover of AC/DC’s “If You Want Blood”.

Overall, it was like nothing I have ever seen. I was genuinely surprised at how clearly I could understand Blothar and how spot on the music was. Gwar fans are the most loyal gluttons of punishment I have ever seen. This isn’t just a shock show, there is serious talent here that stretches far beyond sound.  A music video or review doesn’t do this performance justice. The only way you can truly understand the creative insanity of Gwar, is to experience Gwar live. After that, everything else is monotonous.

Setlist

Saddam a Go-Go
Womb With a View
Hail, Genocide!
Crack in the Egg
Horror of Yig
Bring Back the Bomb
El Presidente
Meat Sandwich
Black and Huge
Let Us Slay
Mr. Perfect
Fuck This Place

Encore:
Sick Of You
If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)


We rate:
5.0 rating

 

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