Gwar, Decapitated, American Sharks at HOB NOLA

Gwar

If you haven’t been to a Gwar show, it’s a little like trying to explain Mardi Gras to someone who’s never visited New Orleans.  No one understands, until they actually experience it (and many times, not even then) why New Orleanians watch endless streams of floats, screaming like they’re on fire to be pounded with cheap plastic beads. Similar with the bloody goo spraying everywhere at a Gwar gig. But for Gwar fans, like fans of Mardi Gras, it’s not about the explanation–it just is, and you’re either in, or out. Gwar fans at the HOB crowded the barricade, essentially begging to be drowned in red goo rushing out of a large costumed monster’s deformed udder.  And when we say drowned, have a look.  Gwar may be the most equipment-endangering gig a concert photographer ever shoots–while trying to leave the photo pit, we were almost dragged on stage, while being completely hosed with the red elixir.

This was Gwar’s first appearance in New Orleans since the passing of David Murray “Dave” Brockie, who was the last founding member (Brockie died earlier this year of a heroin overdose). Dave’s character in the band was the much-loved Oderus Urungus and Gwar’s new lead singer Vulvatron (heavy metal seamstress and computer scientist Kim Dylla), perhaps in homage to the passage of Brockie, seems to assimilating slowly into the band, since they played three songs before she even appeared. Being thrash metal fanatics, we love some of the early Gwar material best, but judging from what had to be a sellout crowd and hundreds of insanely zealous fans screaming for (more) blood, Gwar still delivers exactly what its fans want.  More power, guys. Check out the scenes reminiscent of particularly gory slaughterhouses below (and salute the brave security personnel who unflinchingly took the brunt of the spray):

 

Gwar performs at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA on October 24, 2014. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Gwar performs at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA on October 24, 2014. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

The Udder of Doom does its thing, on fans and photographers alike–there’s no consent form!

Gwar performs at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA on October 24, 2014. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Gwar performs at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA on October 24, 2014. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

More blood!

Gwar performs at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA on October 24, 2014. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Gwar performs at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA on October 24, 2014. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Gwar shares a moment without violence.  Inevitably, heads, impossibly large chains, and blood will fly.

Gwar performs at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA on October 24, 2014. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Gwar performs at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA on October 24, 2014. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

And there it is.

Gwar performs at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA on October 24, 2014. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Gwar performs at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA on October 24, 2014. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

And then there was Vulvatron!

Gwar performs at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA on October 24, 2014. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Gwar performs at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA on October 24, 2014. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

American Sharks

We’d generally prefer our own descriptions, but after reading American Sharks (hailing from Austin, TX) billed as “stoner metal with punk speed”, we’ll buy that.  But had they simply arrived on staged and delivered a Lemmy-esque line like, “Hi, We’re American Sharks. We play rock and roll”, that would have been our first choice.  Their self-titled album American Sharks is out and widely available–definitely worth a spot in your listening queue. Grab a copy and rock on.

americansharks

American Sharks opens for Gwar at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA on October 24, 2014. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

American Sharks opens for Gwar at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA on October 24, 2014. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

American Sharks opens for Gwar at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA on October 24, 2014. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

American Sharks opens for Gwar at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA on October 24, 2014. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

A quick note about the “punk speed” issue–while we were able to see what the drummer looks like, thanks to Nikon magic and fast glass:

American Sharks opens for Gwar at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA on October 24, 2014. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

American Sharks opens for Gwar at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA on October 24, 2014. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

…concert goers were much more likely to see something like this–human eyes just aren’t fast enough for these guys!

American Sharks opens for Gwar at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA on October 24, 2014. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

American Sharks opens for Gwar at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA on October 24, 2014. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

Decapitated

Decapitated was, in our metal loving eyes, the star of the show.  One of the reigning kings of technical Polish death metal, we were blown away by the energy they brought to the House of Blues, especially since they were involved in a spectacular van crash on the way to New Orleans (luckily, everyone was OK).  After enduring some tragic events when the band first started, disbanding, and then reforming, they’re now at the very top of the art. The new lead singer,Rafał “Rasta” Piotrowski, has a fantastic voice and a spot-on stage presence.  Overall, one of the best metal performances we’ve seen in years and we can’t wait to see them again.  Their new album is Blood Mantra–check it out!

 

Decapitated opens for Gwar at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA on October 24, 2014. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Decapitated opens for Gwar at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA on October 24, 2014. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

Decapitated opens for Gwar at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA on October 24, 2014. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Decapitated opens for Gwar at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA on October 24, 2014. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Decapitated opens for Gwar at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA on October 24, 2014. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Decapitated opens for Gwar at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA on October 24, 2014. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

Decapitated opens for Gwar at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA on October 24, 2014. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Decapitated opens for Gwar at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA on October 24, 2014. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

Decapitated opens for Gwar at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA on October 24, 2014. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Decapitated opens for Gwar at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA on October 24, 2014. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

Decapitated opens for Gwar at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA on October 24, 2014. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Decapitated opens for Gwar at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA on October 24, 2014. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

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