GWAR tonight in the Main Room
No one, not even GWAR's most hardened fans, would likely argue too loudly for their credentials as musicians. But as a spectacle, as an all out piece of choreographed mayhem that approaches high art, GWAR stands head and shoulders above the rest, as Gene Simmons eats his cold, black heart out with a spoon.
GWAR on Joan River, posing the pertinent question: what's scarier? A demon or a botched face lift?
There's an old adage in the music business--if you're going to have a gimmick, make it a good one. Simmons has his kabuki paint and fabled tongue. Manson had his smeared lipstick and scarified torso. And GWAR has a few gallon drums of phony baloney excretions of all stripes. Blood? Semen? Poop? It's all there, and in copious amounts.
A sense of humor goes a long way, particularly when it comes to your sense of yourself. And it's a testament to GWAR's execution that all their demonology, all their on-stage butcherings of famous politicians (who appear in absurd caricatured effigy), all their spilled blood and all their profanity, there's something undeniably innocent about the whole thing. You'd be hard pressed, for example, to find a concerned parent so paranoid that they can't see GWAR's tongues pushing through their puffy, foam-rubber headpieces.
How long can fake phalluses and counterfeit ejaculate keep you on the Main Room stage, commanding a $20 cover? GWAR formed almost 25 years ago. They're like Castro with guitars and some red food coloring. Which is to say, despite the fact that their music is a total afterthought, wholesomely badass.
All ages. $5.00 P.M. $20.00. With the Red Chord. First Avenue Main Room, 701 First Avenue North, Minneapolis; 612.338.8388.