With the passing of David Brockie (Oderus Urungus) the front man of satirical thrash metal band Gwar, this will be the biggest impact on the band since the passing of Corey Smoot (Flattus Maximus) in 2011. It is still unclear whether Gwar will be retiring Oderus Urungus as the leader of these Scumdogs – much like they did with Flattus Maximus after Smoot’s passing – but the chances are high since Brockie was responsible for forming the band in 1984 and has played the character ever since.
Gwar’s impact on the musical world is undeniable. They have released 13 albums, countless films, and have been nominated for two Grammy Awards over the course of their 30 year history. But probably the thing they are most known for is their outrageously entertaining, elaborate, vulgar, and grotesque stage presence.
Everyone remembers, and will likely never be able to forget, their first Gwar concert. The memories are usually stained into your clothes forever. It doesn’t seem to matter whether the venue is large or small, the quality of the act is never sacrificed; unlike almost every living thing on stage. These are the 7 reasons why a Gwar concert is like no musical experience you’ve ever had before.
7. Blood… Sooo Much Blood!
If you can remember the scene from the Shinning with the blood pouring out of the elevator and flooding the hallway; that just scratches the surface to what you’ll see at a Gwar show. Bring a lifejacket; Hell, bring a raft.
It’s not like this is even some grand finale you have to wait the whole show to see. You get sprayed with blood from victims being maimed or sacrificed in the first few minutes; and usually is comes at the intensity and quantity of a water main break.
Probably the most alarming site is the post show parking lot scene. If you need to make a horror film with hordes of zombies, grab your camera and wait for the doors to open. A drunken crowd of blood soaked metal fans spills into the street creating a comically shocking image for unsuspecting passersby.
6. Chiseled Flab
Their costumes are elaborate, but much like prehistoric belly shirt armor, there isn’t a whole lot left to the imagination. These hardcore entertainers understandably don’t have time for the gym, but this doesn’t stop them from being sex symbols whose desirability spans to the far reaches of the universe.
After a couple tubes of black paint, their beer guts and flabby arms are transformed; making them more ripped than Conan the Barbarian. The paint-on muscles seem to be incredibly effective, allowing them to swing axes and swords that are larger than the man they are actually killing. There is a learning lesson here; stop trying to bench 300lbs, paint on some muscles, and go rip someone’s, limbs off.
5. Celebrity Sacrifice
Gwar’s members are the Scumdogs of the Universe, so I guess it makes sense that they keep up with Pop Culture. If you were one of the lucky attendee’s during the War Party Tour 10 years ago, you got to see a comical rendition of Paris Hilton and Hilary Clinton being torn apart limb by limb. And since all the members of Gwar are impartial to American political parties, you probably also got hit with the blood shower produced from George W. Bush’s head being lopped off with one swift blow.
But every year there are new Pop Culture icons, meaning fresh victims for Gwar to mutilate. For example, in 2013 it was documented that Justin Bieber was present to have his guts spilled out on stage like a human piñata. Thanks to tabloids and entertainment news, there is always a fresh library of carnage year after year.
4. Gor Gor
Ever wanted to witness a Dinosaur that takes regular injections of crack while it is in an egg, only to grow up a completely lose its mind on everything it see’s? It was hard to imagine how this could be illustrated on stage and not come off as a failed attempt to portray a fantastically sick and violent story.
But once the 20ft tall drugged up monster came out shrieking and eating everyone it could find, all doubt was drowned out; again, by a sea of blood. Gor Gor stomps around stage until enough is enough and the members strike down the beast with any weapon they can find. The final fatal blow is usually done by a mega-blade driven through the roof of Gor Gor’s jaw and up through his skull; resulting in a completely satisfying Dino Brain-Cano.
Though there is non-stop carnage taking place on stage, the band is busy 90% of the time… you know, playing music. So for the violence to be continuous they need a little help. Gwar slaves are the unsung heroes of the show. Usually just wearing boots, a mask, and elaborate codpiece/thong ensemble, they run around the stage setting up and staring in the elaborate killings.
It is a spectacular sight to see when the production is running to its full potential. Between band members, slaves, and victims, there will be close to a dozen people occupying the stage either playing instruments, swinging weapons, or getting mutilated. Without the slaves, the blood geysers would be fewer and the mayhem would be minimal; and for that we thank you.
2. Metal Head White Out
Fans that attend a Metal show are some of the meanest looking friendly people you will ever have the pleasure of meeting. The attire is usually dark in color and clothes are always tattered, torn, and slightly disgusting. But for this concert you will get to experience the Gwar white-out.
Everyone that has been to a Gwar concert knows to break out their whitest T-Shirt for their inevitable blood shower. This usually ends up with a lot of the attendees showing up in a brand new cheap white undershirt. The result is an untraditional sea of white at a metal show, but it only lasts for a moment. The rest of the concert is hilarious combination of pink and bright red, being worn by burly, bearded, thrashing maniacs.
These guys make the scene complete. As excited to be covered in the slurry of mess produced onstage as young children on Christmas; your fellow Gwar fans keep the energy level so high you are convinced the walls are going to be torn down.
Order most definitely gives way to the chaos, but getting lost in this pit of confusion makes the night unforgettable. When leaving the show it all feels like a dream, or a carefully constructed nightmare. Your hearing is dulled, your eyesight is blurred, and your speech is likely slurred; but everyone has a smile on their face.
Thank you David Brockie (Oderus Urungus) for everything you have done for the past 30 years; we are human scum forever in your debt.