GWAR with Napalm Death at 9:30 Club, Washington DC

GWAR came back to DC to melt our faces and drench us in blood and other fluids Monday night at 9:30 Club. Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the release of Scumdogs of the Universe. Click below for a bunch of blood drenched pics.

I traveled to Richmond, VA to see the GWAR Drive-in Show at the Diamond. It was incredible to be back in one of my favorite places on earth (the photo pit of a GWAR show) after over a year in the pandemic. GWAR did their part, the show was fantastic, but it was hard to match the full-on soaking you get in a club, indoors. I’m grateful that GWAR made the effort, and did as well as they did, but I was overjoyed to be close to back to normal this week.
GWAR is my favorite band to see live. Nothing compares to the experience, and I strongly suggest everyone attend at least one GWAR show in their life. The music will shake your bones, and you’ll be washing blood off your skin for several days after. Yes, you get splatted with blood, but that’s the fun. It’s true, you can avoid getting messy if you really want to, but then why even go? It’s the most literal of all experiences that claim to be visceral.
At this stop Napalm Death was opening the show. Formed in 1981, it was a treat to get to thrash with this death metal icon. They were able to squeeze in 17 songs and get a good mosh pit cooking. Yes, they played Scum and Suffer the Children. 9:30 Club can hold 1200 people; I estimate there was just over a 1000 this night? It was comfortably full, but you could maneuver to the bar and back to your spot with minimal pushing.
Now on to the main act! GWAR’s setlist covered Scumdogs of the Universe with some extras thrown in. They closed with Fuck this Place!, which, you could tell they loved performing in DC.
I enjoyed following along with the Scumdogs playlist, particularly Sick of You, but I did miss my favorite songs Genocide, Bring Back the Bomb! and Meat Sandwich, in case you were curious.
I have no criticisms of this show. I got more drenched than I ever have before. It think it was when the groupie had her gargantuan rubber breasts chopped off that really soaked me. Or maybe when the old guy had his face chopped off and twin streams of blood came out of his eyes. I’m not quite sure. I was in the balcony by the time Biden was decapitated.
Someone online asked me if the lack of Brockie impacted the show. My first GWAR show (2013) was the last time I saw Brockie. My very next show featured the introduction of Blothar and Vulvatron. I’ll say this. Brockie was the heart and soul of the genesis of GWAR, but it’s a testament to his legacy that it’s still going as strong as it is. Yes I wish Brockie was still here, but I’ve never heard a single longtime fan complain “the live shows just don’t compare anymore.” Brockie’s presence can still be felt. That’s the gooey feeling pooling in your socks.
I can’t believe I didn’t fill this review with just pics of Balsac the Jaws of Death. He’s clearly my most meaty man crush, but I’ve got a good load of pics in the gallery below. Baby wipes not required.
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2021 GWAR At 9:30 Club

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