Tag Archives: GWAR

Riot Fest 2017: No Dicks on the Dancefloor

Riot Fest once again proved itself to be the music fest for grownups. Grownups in black t-shirts.

While all the other big festivals rotate the same dozen headliners, it’s great that Riot Fest has retained its punk rock focus. Maybe not as strictly as during its first several years as a multi-venue festival, but most of the performers still fall somewhere along the punk rock spectrum. And even the ones who don’t play distorted guitars could be said to have a punk rock attitude. Gotta respect that.

Riot Fest sometimes gets accused of cashing in on nostalgia. Sure, a lot of the bands peaked 20 or 30 years ago (or more). But the fact that they’re still around and kicking ass is a testament not only to their survival but to our own. We should all hope we age as gracefully as the most of these artists (Al Jourgensen excepted).

Headliners this year were Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, and a reunited Jawbreaker, playing their first full show in 21 years (other than a couple warm up gigs around San Francisco last month). The headliners get the big font on the poster, but fest diehards know that the undercard is always where the action is.

It was hot and sunny when we got to the park on Friday. You never know what you’re going to get in September in Chicago, but you can usually count on at least some rain. The line to get in was down the block and security was being thorough. I heard one guy complaining that they had opened his cardboard cigarette case the wrong way and wrecked it. A woman behind me was worried she was going to miss X, who she had last seen in 1983 with the Replacements opening up for them! Don’t worry, she made it in with time to spare.

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New GWAR video: Fuck This Place

Video: GWAR – “Fuck This Place”

GWAR "Fuck This Place"

From The Blood of Gods, out October 20 on Metal Blade Records.

Remember Coq Roq? If you don’t, they were a fake band made up by Burger King to sell “chicken fries.” In retrospect this seems preposterous if not insane, but it really happened. They kind of looked (and sounded) like GWAR, so much so that they got sued by Slipknot for stealing their shtick. These were the days when a dopey link on a blog would generate 138 comments from angry fans. So much fun.

Anyway, Coq Roq is gone but GWAR is still around. When they’re not busy disemboweling effigies of our orange fuhrer on stage, they’ve been recording a new album. It’s their first without frontmonster Oderus Urungus, who died of a heroin overdose in 2014. “Fuck This Place” is a tribute: “Oderus, you left us stranded on this world of pus / And in death you have forsaken us / This planet fucking sucks!” Can’t really argue with that.

GWAR plays Riot Fest at 7:15 PM on Sunday, September 17.

GWAR: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

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