Originally written March 23, 2014. R.I.P. Dave Brockie.
Dedicated to the legacy of Oderus Urungus, whose home planet needs him much like Poochie’s.
GWAR was never on my mind much in recent years until the tragic and sudden death of Oderus Urungus himself, Mr. Dave Brockie, on March 23, 2014 at age 50. I was one of the lucky witnesses to the experience that is a GWAR concert at age 16 back in 2007, when GWAR headlined the metal festival Sounds of the Underground which featured many of 2007’s most popular and most acclaimed metal acts, bands I am very familiar with and have seen many times in concert since. Chimaira, The Acacia Strain, Every Time I Die, Job for a Cowboy, Goatwhore, Amon Amarth and Darkest Hour all played that day, and yet the best act of the festival was the alien invasion and cultural terrorism known as GWAR. This would be the only time I would be in attendance at ground zero. Unlike every other act I have listed, who most metal enthusiasts would claim were at their absolute prime back in 2007, GWAR were already nearly 25 years deep into their invasion of Earth and featured two members who are now deceased, the other being Flattus Maximus, Earth name Cory Smoot. What I witnessed that day was the absolute apex in live experience trumping recorded music, the moment defeating the wails of a thousand voiceless critics, the perfect combination of theatrical and musical outlandishness. No band has ever put on a live performance quite like GWAR did, no one ever will again either. No other band has audience participation like GWAR did. No other live act could ever pull off what GWAR did, and acts like Slipknot and Mushroomhead gained far wider followings along with critical and commercial success despite essentially being a watered down, less weird version of GWAR. GWAR’s sound combined thrash metal, hardcore punk music, and other metal subgenres with bizarre forays into pretty much any form of music imaginable. GWAR’s actual studio albums are insane trips into delusional madness from the point of view of invading space aliens, and I am guilty of not paying much attention to their recent output. The last new GWAR album I downloaded was 2009’s Lust in Space, and I did not even know there was a GWAR album released in 2013 until today unfortunately. However, in my 16 year old mind, GWAR was the be all, end all of concert experiences and no other concert I have ever seen has lived up to the experience of their set at the 2007 Sounds of the Underground tour in my current mind, and I don’t think that will ever change. No one will ever be GWAR again, no concert will ever live up to the standards of a GWAR concert and those of you who never witnessed will never understand, you missed something special.