Gwar 10/30 at House of Blues

Gwar 10/30 at House of Blues

After a bit of a hiatus, a Halloween tradition returned (one day early) with Gwar once again playing here, this time at the House of Blues. For a lot of years, Gwar would play Chicago every Halloween, but I think they took a few years off from doing it. After having so much fun seeing and shooting Gwar last year at the Viva La Bands show (where they had to take second billing to Cradle of Filth), I was stoked to be seeing them again where they’d have more time to play and were in the proper headlining spot.

When I got to the venue people were filing in at a steady pace and the ticket booth was busy with a lot of walk up purchasers. The show eventually sold out I think while I was sitting there waiting for my photo pass.  The people herding in just seemed endless. When I finally got up the stairs and into the venue, the place was already packed and getting up to the front barricade was quite a task.


Toxic Holocaust


Toxic Holocaust

Toxic Holocaust were first and I had seen them before so I knew what I was in for. They sounded much the same as the last time I saw them, which is to say they played some quality thrash metal. They seem to have a pretty good following in this town and I even saw someone holding up a homemade Toxic Holocaust banner while the band were playing! They played about a half hour and I think I enjoyed them more this time than the last so they must be growing on me.


Kingdom of Sorrow


Kingdom of Sorrow

Kingdom of Sorrow soon followed. This band was made up of people from Hatebreed, Type O Negative, and Crowbar. Because the singer was the singer from Hatebreed, I coudln’t get the comparison out of my head even though Kingdom of Sorrow are far more metal than even Hatebred were. While the music wasn’t bad (in fact the last couple songs were the best of their set), the constant pleading to the crowd to move around, mosh, etc was annoying and amateurish, which given the fact all these guys were already in well established bands, came off as odd and insecure. Take out that ingredient and had they played about 15 less minutes, I’d have enjoyed them far more than I did. For some reason they were playing in near darkness too which made shooting them near impossible even with my trusty gear.


Gwar (Sleazy P. Martini! on the big screen)


Gwar


Gwar

The crowd started getting antsy and were chanting for Gwar. They were also so packed in there that the people on the other side of the barricade from me looked to be in pain. As the setup was still commencing, the entire main floor crowd were pushing themselves forward, and then back and forth. I thought for sure people were going to get hurt and security did have to fish out a couple of people who were getting harmed by this act of stupidity. After about 5 minutes of that nonsense they finally subsided and the screens came on with a countdown stating when Gwar would start.


Gwar


Gwar


Gwar

The image that came on the screen right before the band came out made me happy. It was Sleazy P. Martini! He had returned to his rightful management position and right then and there, I knew this Gwar show was going to be way better than the last one I saw. I also noticed they had set up ring posts on either side of the stage which I knew would be used for some Intergalactic Wrestling bouts! I suited up in my rain poncho and attached the rain cover to my camera and I was ready for action. I was also the only brave photographer in attendance this evening, I had the entire pit to myself, only sharing it with the security guards who really had their work cut out for them this evening.


Gwar


Gwar


Gwar

Sleazy P. came out and did some introductions, then John McCain came out and was promptly beheaded, shooting blood everywhere in the crowd, and all over me! It seemed that election year is perfect fodder for a Gwar show (and always has been) and the band certainly took the ball and ran with it in terms of the political characters ripe for dismemberment.


Gwar


Gwar

The band came out and started playing their first song. Now I can’t tell you what song that was as I only own the first Gwar album and it wasn’t from there, but it sounded great. It didn’t take long before more blood was flying, a lot of which hit me right in the face! The crowd were loving it, many of them wearing white shirts to show off their bloody souvenirs from the show. I was in the line of fire quite often being right up in front and I was having a blast as well.


Gwar


Gwar

Every few songs, one of the Gwar slaves would set up the ring ropes and there would be an intergalactic wrestling match just like they would do in their earlier years. This Gwar show had some retro elements in it which I really appreciated and made it a lot more fun. The intergalactic tag team belts were on the line and Oderus along with his tag team partner (I couldn’t make out his name) would end up decimating their opponents, many of whom were political candidates. Every match resulted in be-headings and fluids flying everywhere, out of heads, arms, and even the breasts of Sarah Palin!


Gwar


Gwar

Eventually after defeating everyone, Oderus and his partner were brutally attacked by someone related to Techno Destructo (I couldn’t make out his name completely) who hacked the shit out of them and stole their tag team belts. This of course led to some mock interviews like in the old wrestling shows and the main event match which ended in a total blood bath and thus ended the main part of their set.


Gwar


Gwar

When they returned for a much demanded encore, Sleazy P came out and sang a medley of songs while a slew of special guests came out and were promptly killed and beheaded. It was one after the other and there was very little respite from dodging fluids for me to try and get some shots it. It was amazingly fun. I felt bad for the security guards who had to keep up with not only catching bodies flying over the barricade, but with constantly trying to mop up all the blood on the floor to keep it from being a hazard to them while they were catching the people and safely returning them to action. It seemed like every couple of minutes one of them were tapping me on my back to alert me that I was in the line of fire for a body heading our way.


Gwar

When the band finally finished playing it was well after midight and they left a blood drenched crowd completely happy and satisfied. I don’t think there was a single member of the audience that didn’t feel like they got their money’s worth that evening. I cleaned off my gear, hit the road and two showers later was still washing the blood off of me! Now that’s proof of a good time!






3 comments

Advertisement


Subscribe to The Punk Vault

Enter your email address to subscribe to this site and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 492 other subscribers

Advertisement