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.

A direct descendant of the outlaw Jesse James and star of a 1983 Kilpatricks Bread radio commercial, Reverend Justito has taken his gift of ADHD and put it to good use by creating one of a kind concert reviews. A bootlegger at heart, the man lives off Whiskey, Taco Bell and the love of San Francisco sports teams.
Wednesday, November 17th, 2010 at 3:42 pm.
Categories: Reviews.

4 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Andrew

    “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.”

    WTF?? I totally disagree. The House of Blues is a really cool venue that hosts some of the best metal shows in town.

    1. The drink prices are pretty much the same at every GOOD club.

    2. Why would GWAR allow video cameras in? It’s more than just music. It’s theatre and wouldn’t make any sense to have the thing posted on a million YouTube videos. There’s a mystique that needs to be preserved for shows like this.

    3. I’ve actually enjoyed myself more at the HOB than at most other venues BECAUSE of the no camera policy. What is more important? Enjoying the show or looking through a camera screen the whole time?

    4. Security have never beaten the shit out of anyone. I’ve been to tons of shows there and never saw that happening. They are some of the nicest guys around, kicking the troublemakers out and taking care of the fans to make sure no one gets hurt.

  2. Andrew:

    While I agree that HOB does host some of the better metal shows, does that forgive them for the sins of being douche bags to fans? I used to write for I filed a report on an Every Time I Die show at the venue where I personally saw security guards horsecollar tackle kids and kick one Marine out for simply moshing. While it didn’t come out great, watch the end of the Decay video here and watch closely as a guard punches a kid tackled to the floor. Even if the kid was being a d-bag, no guard has the right to punch a fan.

    It is also my understanding that GWAR does not object to YouTube. After all, in this day and age, how else are bands being discovered? Not MTV, that’s for damn sure. The no video policy is that of House of Blues.

    As far as the cameras at shows – do you realize what a gift that is? There are bands from overseas that I will never get to see. Thanks to Youtube I can. Same goes if a special guest joins in. Clearly I don’t tape the entire show. Just a song here and there. Last night, I didn’t even look through the lense, it sat on my knee as I watched on.

    In closing – thanks for reading my review. Glad you found my page.

  3. Andrew

    You are generalizing them for being “douche to fans” based on one experience. I’ve been to the HOB 20 times this year and never saw them being “douche” to anyone but the troublemakers, i.e. those that are too drunk and creating a mess. So I still don’t agree with that point.

    I know what you mean about having the camera to capture the special moments, but as it usually turns out, people (not you, but most others) stay behind the camera lens for pretty much the entire show. I think that’s really unfair to the band. They deserve a response from the crowd, and if I were up there on stage and looked down only to see a bunch of cameras, I would be very much pissed. So I’d rather the band (or the venue, whoever’s decision it is) not allow cameras inside. When I go to a show, my purpose of going is greater than just to enjoy myself. I want to make sure the band enjoy themselves on stage by singing along every word of their songs and shouting at the top of my voice. These cameras are a hinderance because people with cameras obviously don’t feel like doing that, they want to capture it and watch it later!! Leave the picture taking to the credentialed photographers.

    It saddens me that people talk shit about the House of Blues. Well good news for you is it’s going to be replaced by a hotel soon. So stand up and shout!!

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