Monday, July 04, 2005

The All Day Throwing of The Goat

2005 was the first year of the Revolver Sounds of The Underground Tour, and for the date in Portsmouth, Lamb of God was headlining, and their special guests were GWAR. This prospect made attending the tour very attractive to us, especially John, who is, literally, a card-carrying GWAR fan (it's in his wallet). So, with our friend Matt in tow, we trekked to Portsmouth yesterday in hopes of getting a great show.

We weren't disappointed. First of, it was really, really hot, and so our first stop was to the concession stand to get mass quantities of water. The bands had already started playing, and each band would have the opportunity to have about a 30 minute set. GWAR was slated to take the stage at about 5:15PM, and then two other bands that Matt and John recommended, Clutch and Opeth, were slated to go on a bit later, around 8-9. The coolest thing about this tour was that each band did a meet and greet. As we were coming in we practically smacked into the guys from Norma Jean, signing autographs. They were right next door to the GWAR merch tent, so we wandered over there, where John proceeded to buy a flask, some dog tags, and a T-shirt that he planned to have the guys sign when we came back for their meet and greet at 3:15PM.

We spent the first couple of hours people watching, and you got an eyeful of some of the characters on display. All types of tats, piercings, and fashion (although the majority donned black leather and metal concert Ts). A lot of Dimebag Darrell tribute Ts, mainly the bands like Pantera, Killswitch Engaged, Mastadon, Atreyu. The crowd was for the most part, youthful, a lot of high school and college, with some older people. It was pretty diverse, some guys who looked kind of fratish, some looked like they'd stopped by Hot Topic on their way in. But I was struck as to how really nice, friendly and cool most of the people I interacted with were. Each time I went to the bathroom, someone new would talk to me, which is rare at an all ages show. All the bands were really cool too, no sign of the "rock star" bullshit that so many of these things contain.

GWAR's meet and greet was fun, featuring Oderus and Beefcake, who happily signed my poster, John's Tshirt and his GWAR slave membership card, which he flashed to the other guys in line gleefully, and Matt's shirt. When their set started, John and Matt got up at the front of the stage, and I sat in the DORK section (the ampitheatre had a floor set up for the rabid fans, while their parents and others who just wanted to sit and chill and listen to music could indulge without worrying about getting moshed around) so that I could observe without getting drenched in fake serosangunious "bodily fluids," that are the staple at any GWAR show.

GWAR blew me away- not only are they very stimulating and politically edgy, friggin funny as hell, and push the envelope in so many ways...they're also friggin great musicians. At the end of the set, Oderus (the lead singer) launched into a verse of Danzig's "Mother" and sounded just like Glen Danzig. They decapitated The Pope, George Bush, and a monster named Bonesnapper, who kinda resembled Barney The Dinosaur, and was cute in an offbeat way, so I was sort of disturbed to see him hacked to bits onstage (WARNING: Do not take acid and see GWAR. Your head will explode). I've vowed to go see them again, and next time, I'm getting pink (Explanation: GWAR sprays a lot of fake blood into the audience, whom mainly wears white, on purpose. At the end of the set, I noticed all these hard core metal guys wearing pink gear, which was surreal in itself). I found the now pink-clad and wet boys, and we spent the rest of the afternoon just sitting and chilling and listening to some pretty good music. Strapping Young Lad, Opeth and Clutch were also unbelievable. All in all it was worth every penny of the $30 fee and having to work the Fourth of July in compensation for taking the day off.

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