Friday, October 25, 2013

The GWAR experience

It was a rainy afternoon in Santiago, about 2 years ago, when my boyfriend popped the question: "Have you ever heard of GWAR?" - War what??? That was all he needed to hear and before I knew it, I was watching GWAR videos on Youtube, one of them was of a giant spider/ant/space alien sitting on a chair and talking to Jerry Springer about rock concerts and blood. What had I gotten myself into??? Turns out that GWAR is a metal band from Virginia and they have been around since the mid 80s. Wikipedia calls them "a satirical" metal band, probably because their trade mark is to dress up in fantasy animal costumes and spray fake blood into the audience. I guess that's what the British might call a bloody show ...
Fast forward two years. It is the year 2013, I am in Columbus, Ohio. I am surrounded by metal aficionados (most of them male, and most of them have longer hair than me), and we are all waiting for one thing: GWAR. Admittedly, I am not the biggest fan of cookie monster music (although it has its moments), but I sure love a good show, and after all the YouTube videos I have seen, I REALLY want to see GWAR live and in concert! Since everybody knows that we are all going to be spray-painted, most people are wearing white (come to think of it, this is probably the only metal concert I have ever been to where I have seen more people wear white than black ... or any white at all).
And here they come, the one and only, the mighty ... GWAR. From a more objective perspective, I am seeing a bunch of people on stage dressed up as giant insects. They yell something about attack and aliens (I think...), and then the (g)war already begins: The giant insects play their instruments as if their life depends on it. In the course of the concert, they dissect and kill various other creatures, and spill their "blood" into the audience. I am trying to stay close enough to the stage to catch some "blood" and get a cool pattern on my shirt, and at the same time I want to keep my distance from the mosh pit. (My tip: If you want to get a piece of the action, but not be torn INTO pieces, the safest place at a heavy metal concert is the couple corner, where the boyfriends want to stay close to the pit, but still form a wall to protect their girlfriends.) While GWAR is screaming and shouting and rocking it out on stage, people are going wild in the audience. I am not sure which show is more entertaining: the giants in costumes on stage or the massive show the fans put on that involves screaming, jumping, pushing, shoving and spilling beer all over me. Everything is happening at once. It is loud, it is massive, it is metal, it is GWAR. It is awesome! The only thing I didn't like is that with everything going on on and off stage, it is hard sometimes to pay attention to the music, which is a shame because, dramatic show effects aside, GWAR knows how to make good metal music! Oh well, I guess, I just have to throw myself into the metal madness and the only thing I can tell you for sure after the concert is that I am one colorful, beer smelling, but somehow ecstatic and happy mess!

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