GWAR w/ The Casualties 11/16/10
House of Blues – West Hollywood, CA
Words/Photos by Reverend Justito
Oh the House of Blues on Sunset Blvd. Where a tall boy of Bud Light is $11 and video cameras are not welcomed because it looks bad when fans videotape security guards beating the shit out of fellow fans. While you won’t catch me paying for a ticket to the venue that the late great George Carlin declared needed to be burnt down, I have no issue checking out a show for free. Thus the reason you’re about to read this review of the awesome double-threat of The Casualties and GWAR rocking the venues soon to be demolished Sunset Strip location.
Walking into the venue, I noticed a sign posted over the venues overly racist décor. It declared that audio and video recordings were against the rules and equipment would be confiscated. You know this only further encouraged me to snag some footage in glorious HD (update 08/20/2011. After losing my YouTube account in May, the footage for this and a few other November shows is missing from my hard drive. Mother fucker). So I made my way up the stairs, found a spot and parked my ass right down just as The Casualties were hitting the stage.
I am not going to act as if I am some hardcore fan of The Casualties, because I am not. I have heard a few songs over the years, and based off the words of their devoted fan base was eager to check out the “insanity” that ensues when the New York based band hits the stage. For 45 minutes, the near capacity crowd was treated to a set of what punk is all about – authentic attitude and aggression. Kids with colorful Mohawks used the venues main floor to bounce off each other as the band ripped through songs like “War is Business”, “Heart Bleeds Black” and a cover of The Ramones classic “Blitzkrieg Bop.” The group even took a page from the metal heads playbook and split the rowdy crowd in tow for a massive Wall of Death during the song “Riot.” When lead vocalist Jorge Herrera was not speaking to the crowd en Espanol (much to the delight of many young Latinos in the crowd) the group was thanking GWAR fans having an open mind and getting down with them on a Tuesday night. The fearless foursome closed their set with “Unknown Soldier” which gave a whole new generation of gutter punks’ one last chance to inflict insanity upon each other.
During the switch over between bands, one could see a radical change upon the main floor of House of Blues. Gone were bright Mohawks, leather jackets and plaid pants. They were replaced by a sea of young men and women dressed in white t-shirts, itching for a bath made of intergalactic blood and urine via GWAR leader and Fox News correspondent Oderus Urungus. When Urungus and his backing band (featuring members with names such as Beefcake the Mighty and Balsac the Jaws of Death) hit the stage at 10:30pm sharp – the crowd was surged forward looking to get that first taste of blood.
The band is currently deep into the second year of their 25th Anniversary Tour. Per Urungus – this entailed that we were to party twice as hard, and the crowd did just that. It did not matter if the band was playing a new song from the recently released Bloody Pit of Horror, or a classic jam like “Vlad the Impaler” the fans were soaking up every note ringing through the PA.
Of course, a GWAR show is not a GWAR show without murder. Upon the stage at House of Blues on this November night, Urungus and his slaves welcomed pop superstar Lady Gaga to the stage. After she was allowed to eat human feces and shoot blood from her titties, Urungus did the world a favor and killed the multi-platinum singer/songwriter. A machine very similar to Bumblebee from the Transformers movies also met his maker towards the end of the set as the band rocked along with a smoking version of “Beat You to Death.”
With the rowdy crowd chanting GWAR loudly, Urungus wasted no time telling them to shut up before launching into a five song encore. Interestingly enough, the first four songs just so happened to be the first four songs from Bloody Pit of Horror. One look down on the rowdy floor and one saw just that. Fans soaked in blood, sweat and whatever Urungus was squirting out of his giant cod-shaped cock. Yet it was the final song that really sent the crowd into pure euphoria. Informing the masses that they would return next year to celebrate their 27th anniversary, the band launched into their biggest hit – “Sick of You.” For the first time all night, you could look across the venue and see everyone (even the few remaining fans of The Casualties) pumping fists and singing along.
Even if you hate loud and aggressive metal music, everyone owes it to themselves to witness GWAR live at some point in their life. The bands theatrics put jokes like Insane Clown Posse, Lordi and Marilyn Manson to shame. While Alice Cooper may have created shock rock, GWAR has spent 25 years perfecting it. Next time the band is in your neck of the woods, put on a white t-shirt and get messy with the living legends.