Classic Tragedians GWAR Leave a River of Blood at The Diamond in Richmond

GWAR performs at The Diamond in Richmond, VA on October 10, 2020. Photo credit: Dave Pearson.

Richmond, VA – Inspiring great tragedians such as Aristotle, Sophocles and Shakespeare, GWAR has long been known for weaving epic tales of woe and blood. On October 10, 2020, they continued their storytelling ways as they brought their show to The Diamond baseball stadium in Richmond, VA. The interstellar warriors, formerly fighting with The Scumdogs of the Universe, did not shy away from tackling timely themes of the present day. Unlike those who came after, who included love, heroes, villains and death in their tragic stories, GWAR stuck to their time-honored formula of gore, metal, and… well… blood. How delightful!  

The Prologue, delivered by none other than GWAR’s narrator and manager, Sleazy P. Martini, sent the audience into a near frenzy – even with COVID-related restrictions in place. Kicking off the show to “The Salamanizer“, a lone protestor walked on to the stage wielding a sign that read, “I’m for it!”. Having none of it, lead vocalist and master warrior, The Berserker Blothar confronted and beheaded the antagonist. The result – Blothar began to howl to the music and the protestor began to… well… bleed… to the joy of all parked in front of the stage.

The second tale centered around an officer of the law as he ruthlessly attempted to beat members of the band, including guitarists Bälsäc the Jaws ‘O Death and Pustulus Maximus. Accompanied by “Krak Down” and “I’ll Be Your Monster“, one of their protectors came to the rescue and put an end to the evil officer. The result was… well… blood staining the white t-shirts of anxiously awaiting fans. The parked modern-day chariots of the fans were not immune to the carnage either, as they were also baptized with the telltale crimson fluid. 

A car baptized in GWAR blood at The Diamond in Richmond, VA on October 10, 2020. Photo credit: Dave Pearson

As the band played additional songs such as, “Black and Huge” and “Bring Back the Bomb“, we were introduced to an expecting and not very pleasant groupie. After the on-stage delivery of the hideous offspring, you guessed it, blood spewed out into the waiting spectators. 

In a timely tragedy, we met a COVID swab-wielding doctor who encountered bassist Beefcake the Mighty, meeting his ultimate demise at the hands of the bodyguard, Bonesnapper. The end result once again? You got it… blood, almost melodically pulsing into the crowd. 

The unlucky doctor on state with GWAR at The Diamond in Richmond, VA. October 10, 2020. Photo credit: Dave Pearson

Through all this, while not silent or insignificant, the drummer, Jizmak da Gusha was out of the limelight. While not directly involved in the tragedies unfolding before the Diamond audience, he was most definitely setting the tempo as only an alien drummer can do. 

With the evening still young, we were exposed to a heart wrenching tale of lost children with, “Have You Seen Me?” This is a song with an Elvisesque beat accompanied by some very metal riffs. Keeping true to the entire nights show, the costumes, props and story were detailed and grotesque. I don’t recall blood, but this is may have been when the green goo stream was fired into the awaiting spectators.  

Destructo and Blothar facing off at The Diamond in Richmond, VA on October 10, 2020. Photo credit: Dave Pearson

As the evening started to wind down, we were introduced to their nemesis, Sawborg Destructo, with saws for hands. We witnessed an epic battle between Sawborg and Blothar ending with Sawborg losing all teeth (of the saw variety) and, of course, blood. 

The main set concluded with a GWAR favorite, “Fuck This Place“, front rowers still screaming to be targeted by whatever blood was left pulsing through the veins of the band and their comic book enemies. I can only imagine what a GWAR show with a pit area and audience at the stage would have been like, as a sea of white shirts transformed to a red tide as the night progressed. 

Pick me! A fan getting stained by GWAR at The Diamond in Richmond, VA on October 10, 2020. Photo credit: Dave Pearson

As expected, the tragedians came back for an encore. Sleazy P. Martini appeared and led us though the last two songs of the night, blood spraying from the head of yet another character.

This was my first time experiencing GWAR and, in all seriousness, I was in awe. All the elements of the show were taken to extremes. The theatrics, in terms of complicated costumes, special effects, and precise detail, were more than one could gather in a YouTube binge session. The music was hard-driving punky metal with a grunge feel… and it never stopped. And the story, well… in the end, over the course of a little more than an hour, we had been exposed to at least 7 tragedies in epic fashion. While not all had the elements of love, heroes, villains and victims, all had elements that every great tragedy shares, death and blood… yes, there certainly was a lot of delightful blood. Next time, I’ll know to wear white. 

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Setlist

The Salaminizer
Krak Down
I’ll Be Your Monster
Black and Huge
Bring Back the Bomb
Horror of Yig
Maggots
Have You Seen Me
Metal Metal Land
Ham on the Bone
The Sordid Soliloquy of Sawborg Destructo
Beat You to Death
Fuck This Place

Encore
Slaughterama
Sick of You

Want to see more GWAR? Check out their video for, “Maggots”.