If you couldn’t tell from the years of GWAR interviews, countless live/album reviews, and my “tattoo of “Dave Brockie” (that I got when he was alive, mind you): I fucking love GWAR. When Brockie died in March from being an idiot moron asshole, I was devastated. This was a dude who not only fronted the most ridiculous spectacle known to man, he was also one of the funniest and most intelligent dudes I had the privilege to meet. Then I heard that GWAR was to go on, with Mike Bishop returning to the fold not as Beefcake, but as Blóthar, a rotund hunter from Scumdogia. I admit, I was very interested in seeing what was to happen. Then word came of GWAR vape juices. And GWAR beer. And GWARBQ sauce. And people started talking about using Brockie’s death to peddle GWAR-branded shit. While I know, just from a business/contract/branding standpoint, that this shit takes forever to do, even if it were true, I don’t think Brockie would actually have a problem with that. Brockie was a shameless self-promoter, who just so happened to be able to con people into paying him to be as ridiculous as he could. Those who thought the band couldn’t go on without Dave are dumb as hell. For I saw the future of GWAR, and it is… well, bloody as all fuck.
I was fortunate enough to go to their Orange County show at the Observatory on November 3rd, 2014. While I went in to it more curious than excited, I couldn’t wait to see what was in store. The Eternal Tour brought out all the stops, from Sleezy P. Martini to Blóthar to Vulvatron tp Bonecrusher to the 10-foot tall Mr. Perfect, there was no shortage of characters. What I witnessed was the beginning of a new GWAR, one that had to deal with the setback of Oderus’ disappearance by introducing the newest members of GWAR, and addressing the bloated, rotting elephant in the room: Dave’s dead, and he’s not coming back.
While the stage show is still as belligerent as it always has been, there was a bit more campiness in the dialogue between the bandmates as Oderus wasn’t there to hog all the attention and keep the show moving along. Vulvatron and Blóthar are both perfect Scumdogs, and it doesn’t hurt trying to throw as much character as possible to try to fill the void left by Oderus’ massive ego. Vulvatron’s scathing screams and Blóthar’s voluptuous vocals were on point, but towards the end, people were wondering where all this was going. It wasn’t until the bit with Mr. Perfect, where he declared, “Oderus is dead,” that it really hit. Brockie’s buried, Oderus with him, and there’s nothing any of us puny portals can do about it. GWAR, however, ripped Mr. Perfect apart, giving us a scapegoat, someone to blame, and offered us the chance to see that blame’s head ripped the fuck off. The fans cheered louder as fountains of red and green anointed them with the relief of acceptance coupled with the joy of vengeance. The night culminated in the bands AV Club cover of Pet Shop Boys/Jim Carroll, sharing the sentiment felt by many: Dave is dead, and we miss him.
Now that the pleasantries and introductions are out of the way, I think GWAR can get back to business of being the most insane touring act around and I look forward to facing my imminent death once again next year when GWAR comes through. Dave, your death was useless and lame, and I wish people realized you needed help earlier, but I know thousands of people will line up to get space-jizz on them, just as you would have wanted.