Gwar B-Q Adventures Final Chapter: GWAR Lives!
Once all the supporting acts had played, the only thing left was for our hosts and masters GWAR to hit the stage. This was their first performance since lead singer and founding member Dave Brockie, aka Oderus Urungus, passed away. All of Hadad’s Lake waited in anticipation to see what had become of Brockie’s legacy. I inched my way closer to the center of the front row and saw the band’s manager Sleazy P. Martini (Don Drakulich) take the stage with Michael Bishop and the surviving members of GWAR. Bishop had formally played bass as the band’s original Beefcake the Mighty. When asked who he was by the current Beefcake Blöthar said, “I was you before you were you, fatso.” Clad in a horned helmet, thorny antler-esque wings and blueish purple fur he took center stage reborn as Blöthar, GWAR’s lead singer.
Blöthar hit the mic with force bellowing out “Madness at the Core of Time.” I really have to give it up for him. He not only stepped up to the plate, but he hit what I would have thought to be an impossible home run. Brockie had such a unique voice that I dreaded hearing his songs sung by anyone else; however, Blöthar set my mind at ease. He sounded enough like Brockie that the songs were recognizable and brought enough of his own flavor that I felt confident in his ability to lead the band into the future.
As for the stage show, every GWAR show has a story. From pro-wrestling title matches to fighting off giant alien overlords to traveling to the depths of hell to kill Satan. The crowd is sprayed with blood, piss and other foul liquids (i.e. water and food coloring) as these barbaric anti-heroes battle their foes onstage. The GWAR B-Q show mostly concerned the loss of Oderus, beginning with a battle to determine GWAR’s new lead singer. After singing “Years Without Light” Blöthar was challenged by rival scumdog Sawborg Destructo (Matt Maguire) wielding his giant mechanical buzz-saw arm. Sawborg sang “The Private Pain of Sawborg Destructo.” He was then violently dispatched by Slymenstra Hymen. Then Bonesnapper (GWAR’s ally who swears he’s not a turtle) threw his hat in the ring and sang “I, Bonesnapper.” GWAR booed his efforts then Blöthar showed the crowd what he could do, singing one of GWAR’s greatest hits, “Saddam a Go-Go.”
Afterwards we saw the return of Sexecutioner in his first appearance in over a decade! He didn’t challenge Blöthar, but mourned the loss of Oderus. Sexacutioner used to be GWAR’s head of security and body guard, but to my knowledge has not made an appearance since the You’re All Worthless and Weak concert in 2000. As a tribute to his fallen friend, he sang “Sexacutioner” and brought out the Limitless Sex Object. It was a touching moment.
GWAR followed with crowd favorites such as “Tormentor” and ”Hail Genocide!” while Slymentra Hymen performed her amazing fire dance. She breathed giant flames out over the audience and even had custom hand fans that were aflame. After her dance, she left the stage and returned with an urn. She opened it and poured ashes onto her still-burning hand fans. I’m not sure if the ashes were Brockie’s or Oderus’s from his viking funeral, but the act was clearly symbolic and the crowed roared with acclamation.
During a GWAR show no celebrity is safe. The GWAR B-Q saw the return of “Justin Bieber,” whom GWAR killed during the Battle Maximus tour. A new “Bieber” was created for the GWAR B-Q to audition for the band only to be dismembered. As with any GWAR concert, the celebrity slaughter was followed by a battle with a giant opponent. GWAR has faced many from their Master, to massive robots. For this epic reunion it was only fitting that they face their giant T-Rex, Gor-Gor. They fed it dead or half-dead babies as they played his song “Gor-Gor. The band lured the dinosaur off the stage and then followed with “The Road Behind” in tribute to Oderus. During this, I noticed Adam Green taking pictures and getting a little misty eyed. He really was there as a friend and a fan.
At the end of it all Sleazy asked the crowd to bow their heads for the great loss that GWAR has suffered…then revealed that loss to be the giant crack rock that Balsac dropped. If any of us were to find it, he asked that we please return it. He also told us to quit our crying. Which when I looked around many of my fellow bohabs were. Then Sleazy sang “Slaughterama.”
It was a great show, despite not having Oderus. It’s good to know that GWAR will continue. Oderus will always be missed, but as Brockie has stated many times before, GWAR is bigger then just one person and his wish was for the band to amass new members and last a thousand years. He laid such a strong foundation and created such a vast universe, that it may just be what happens.
The show was over and sadly I didn’t have much blood on me. The side of stage I was on just didn’t get splattered that much. But the slaves did their best to drench us at the end. I was even happily pelted with a blood ball that I squeezed over me and those that surrounded me. I didn’t go back to my hotel clean that’s for sure. I even got a slave to draw a dick on my shirt.
As the sun set on Oderus’s final resting place, the bohabs headed home: some on their own power, some being carried, some dragging their half-inflated sex dolls. I took a final moment to breathe it all in then climbed into my rent-a-car. “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds came over the radio as I drove away. I cranked it up, rolled down my window and shot a fist into the air Judd Nelson style. We won’t forget you, Oderus.