Column: I survived the GWAR-B-Q

(Jamie Betts Photography)

WASHINGTON — “Are you guys freshmen?” asked a friendly blond college student carrying a clipboard and wearing a Virginia Commonwealth University shirt.

“Definitely not,” chuckled a group of black-clad, tattooed miscreants carrying coolers of booze.

While most of downtown Richmond was filled Saturday with parents and their kids heading off to college for the first time, others flocked to the capitol for a very different reason.

They crowded onto free party shuttles blasting heavy metal, swigging cheap beers and preparing to be splattered in fake blood at the fourth annual GWAR-B-Q, an all-day assault to the senses hosted by GWAR and featuring a dozen punk, metal and thrash bands.

As the shuttles pulled up to Hadad’s Lake, a “family oriented water park and picnic ground,” the collective roar increased in anticipation of seeing bands like Corrosion of Conformity, Municipal Waste and X-Cops, a GWAR side project.

Sweaty concert-goers jammed inside the gazebo, which was transformed into a second stage, to see local grindcore heavyweights Pig Destroyer, which sold out D.C.’s Black Cat in March. Some people climbed the rafters to get an aerial view of lead singer J.R. Hayes growling into the mic, while others braved getting punched in the face as the circle pit expanded into a giant, human vortex.

Saturday’s shining moment came when Oderus Urungus, Balsac the Jaws of Death, Pustulus Maximus, Jizmak de Gushua and Beefcake the Mighty took the main stage. They ripped through classics like “Bring Back the Bomb” and “Jack the World,” and also played a new song, “Bloodbath,” from their forthcoming album “Battle Maximus.”

In true GWAR spirit, they didn’t hold back on the offensive on-stage antics. Fake blood spurted out of fake alien orifices, President Barack Obama was beheaded and Jesus was disemboweled.

Somehow, between the meet-and-greet and taking the stage, Oderus managed to fit in time to speak on camera with Metal Injection. See the video below.

Editor’s note: This video is not safe for work:

To see more pictures from the GWAR-B-Q, click on the image gallery or check out official photos from Baltimore City Paper here, courtesy of Josh Sisk.

Follow @WTOP on Twitter.


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