GWAR was on the Dallas stop for their “Blood of the Gods” tour to promote the first album they released since the death of guitarist, Dave Brokie. The lineup for the night included three other bands: U.S. Bastards, He Is Legend and Goul.The second act, He Is Legend, a four-piece rock band from Wilmington North Carolina, was much more dynamic and proved to have a much bigger draw. Blood red stage lights reflected off the band’s instruments and the face of the singer as they began their set of fast-paced, serenading power chords, hooky choruses, and breakdowns. As the night progressed, the venue wreaked more and more of weed, alcohol, and cigarettes. “Y’all smell good!,” Schuylar Croom, lead singer of He Is Legend said. By the time the second act closed their set, 400 to 500 people had populated the energetic, diverse crowd.
As the third act Ghoul took the stage the standing room only floor was full. Stagehands wrapped stage monitors in plastic bags in preparation for theirs and GWAR’s notoriously messy stage presence. All the Ghoul band’s members war brown cloth bags over their heads chanting the hook to their first song. “WE ARE THE LUNATICS! WE ARE THE LUNATICS!,” the band screamed. A voodoo practitioner, played by one of the band members, wielding the corpse of a dead chicken, came out to use his magic to liven the crowd. As the band began their next song, he cut off the head of the chicken and started spraying the crowd with its blood. Before their last song, an interdimensional entity appeared on the stage and proceeded to eat the members of Ghoul. In the end, the object prevailed, running Ghoul off the stage.
As Ghoul left the stage, the audience began chanting “GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR!” Then suddenly fog flooded the stage and sirens began to ring. “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath began to play over the speakers as the audience sang along. Suddenly, the song stops. Animation began playing on the screens that overlooked the stage reading: “Gwar: Blood of Gods.” The immortal warriors and part-time rock gods stepped foot on the stage. Sword and ax-wielding frontmen, Blothar and Beefcake the Mighty, work for the crowd as a screaming guitar solo plays behind them. Minions bring GWAR a warhead before having their heads chopped off spraying fake blood all over the crowd. The minions left the stage headless and covered in blood. Blothar takes center stage and raises his sword in a display of victory. A nuke is then shown blowing up on the screens behind them. “They nuked us, man!,” Beefcake the Mighty said.
The stage antics were insanely upbeat and theatrically messy. At one point, Blothar battled a priest wielding a cross as his weapon. Blothar took the cross from the priest and used it to sodomise him. As their song ended, Blothar joked about the show in Dallas. “I’ve been spending some time here in Dallas, and I think the last good thing to happen here was the Kennedy assassination. I think it’s safe to say, ‘fuck this place.’” Prompted them to begin playing their song by the same title. After GWAR left the stage, the fans demanded an encore. They came back to play two more songs, ending the night with their cover of “If You Want Blood (You Got It), by ACDC.
Overall, the show lived up to the standards of every GWAR fan that night. Concertgoers got treated with all the new as well as plenty of classics, and an incredibly messy stage show. As people made their way back to the parking lot, they wore their blood-stained clothes with honor; clothes they were sure never to wash again.
Review by: Jacob Vaughn
Photos by: Michael Dunlop
Check out photos from GWAR at Gas Monkey Live below: