Concert Reviews

Concert Review and Photos: GWAR at Gas Monkey Live! – Dallas

GWAR with Ghoul, He Is Legend, and U.S. Bastards

Gas Monkey Live! – Dallas, TX – 29 November 2017


THE BASTARDS, THE LEGEND, A GHOUL AND A GWAR…

…walk into a bar in Dallas, Texas. No, this isn’t the start of a bad joke, although I thought about trying to whip one up real fast. In doing so, my brain started to siphon simultaneous ideas whirling around to be funneled down the chutes in my mind. Luckily for y’all, almost as soon as the thought entered, it left. I’m not really good at telling jokes so why do I think writing them would be any better?

Part of that is true, however. The US BASTARDS, HE IS LEGEND, GHOUL and GWAR did walk into a bar of sorts in Dallas, only they’re touring together, so of course, it’s totally necessary. As I got ready for this show, I knew to expect the normal things about a live show – no matter who is playing. I can tell you what I wasn’t prepared for though, which might be a little more entertaining than telling you what you probably already know.

HE IS LEGEND
HE IS LEGEND
Photo © Cherri Bird

For the sake of time and short attention spans (on both writer and reader), I’m going to lump all of my findings into a concise little bullet-pointed list. Ready? Here are the items about this show that I was not prepared for:

  • The crowd. For a show that has 4 bands on the bill that are cousins of rock, I was pleasantly surprised that it was crowded at doors. I was also not prepared for fans staking claim to an area in front like the settlers did in the Oklahoma Land Rush and guarding it with their souls. I’m guessing they all took turns going to the bar or restroom and if by chance someone did encroach on their spot, I’m sure they would have defended it like Nicole and Tom in the movie “Far & Away”.
  • The white t-shirts. Of course, I realized immediately why about ¼ of the audience donned white T’s and some white pants, it just didn’t dawn on me beforehand to wear a light colored shirt to soak up the blood and gooze from GWAR’s set.
  • HE IS LEGEND to sound so amazing. It’s no secret that I love HE IS LEGEND. Literally becoming a fan of their music this year and this show being the 3rd time in Dallas this year, I wasn’t fully dialed into the other two times I saw them was outside and then in a teeny club. GAS MONKEY LIVE has a killer sound engineer and even if a band that comes through has their own, Lee has massively awesome set up at this joint. I don’t care who you are, even the crappiest of bands, you’re still gonna sound tight. Same for HE IS LEGEND – they sounded sick!!
  • How opposite US BASTARDS are to their band name. Having never heard music from US BASTARDS, I was totally prepared for them to suck. Know what? They sooo don’t! They’ve got an edgy sound that is just gritty enough – like just enough umph to make you bite your pillow, even though it doesn’t hurt…that kinda sound. Side Note: why is it when we haven’t heard of a band or experienced their live show before, why do we immediately think they suck? I will never understand that in myself…it’s not intentional or it’s nothing against the band, but I think it’s totally silly to think that the band can’t be good if we’ve never heard of them…I can’t tell you how wrong I’ve been about that over the last year.
  • The long line at the merch area. I should have been. I mean, it is GWAR: an event, a happening, a once in a lifetime thing for some, a first and a gazillionth…but it was a long ass line, that’s for sure. Why hasn’t anyone started doing presales with merch like the same time you’re buying your ticket, you can buy a shirt and it is shipped to you? I mean, I know bands that have a merch guy/gal or crew – some bands don’t though and it always seems like it would be kind of an ass whip to set that up and tear it down each night. I think buying them in advance might be cheaper for everyone in the long run…but what do I know??
  • Totally not prepared for GHOUL in the slightest. I thought they were more like horror metal or would be a bit heavier and darker, but it was kinda like Punch and Judy, only for adults that were either stoned or had smoked way too much over their lifetime; a little like fantasy rock, or gamer metal – but again a little not. The crowd loved them and I was able to check this band off the list, “Bands I’ve Never Seen (Or Thought I Would See)”. Plus, they rounded out the night nicely and prepared us for GWAR – at least in the way of seeing a band in costumes on stage.
  • Meeting a couple of moms that came with their kids – and I’m not talking about 16 or under. These kids actually came with their moms to a rock show. How kick-ass is that? Now, either party could have come without the other – but I thought it was pretty awesome that they went to shows together like that and not just this one. Now, they didn’t hang out at the show or anything – in fact, the kids kept the “I’m cool and my mom’s not here, I swear to god” type of ‘tudes. But just the fact that they all go together to shows is pretty nifty.
  • GWAR
    GWAR

    I have seen them once before a long time ago…but I didn’t remember their stage show being this intense. The members looked real, like real aliens. Their costumes were blubbery, giggly and BIG. I mean not giant or massive, but they’re not like a Halloween costume – even of the most righteous order. The production is pretty amazing, I will say. There must be a lot that goes into orchestrating a show like this. Especially since, for the most part, GWAR is always drunk and on the dope. I bet it’s really hard at rehearsals to choreograph the show when you’re all totally hammered. It’s got to be a meth-y situation, don’t you agree?

  • Lastly, I wasn’t prepared to like the show as much as I did. Look, I’m a converted bowhead that watched a METALLICA documentary back in the mid 90’s, threw away my bows and decided that metal was my calling. Since then, I’ve seen a lot of shows, heard about a ton of shows, bands, artists – and have been entertained by some of the shows that I didn’t expect to even like. This one was one of them. I loved the cohesiveness of the fans that were just along for a ride and to hopefully get some blood and gooze on their shirts to keep as memorabilia. The music was awesome – from all bands and frankly was a pretty brilliant mixture of punk, rock, metal, heavy metal and stoner rock that really was evident in all 4 band’s style. I loved that people came out to see this melee with force and they were happy, spending money and rocking out! I love the fact that bands got to make new fans and fans got to become exposed to new music!

As for the BASTARDS, the LEGEND and the GHOUL and our might GWAR – follow them on Facebook and get to know them all a little better if you need to. And go ahead and make up the joke about them all walking into a bar now…you know you wanna!

Til Next Time – MRML

All images © 2017 The Bird’s Nest Media Group/Another Face In The Crowd. All rights reserved.


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Cherri Bird

Independent and selective rock journalist & wordsmith, focused on strengthening the connections between a fan and the bands they follow through the words she writes. Specializing in interviews, music & show reviews, and candid photography; Cherri takes what she discovers and pounds the social media pavement to fuse the energy that music brings us with the bands that create it.

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