Richmond, VA has become our East Coast home away from home. I can now find my way from our friend Jim’s house to the Slave Pit, but more importantly, to the local WAWA. Of course, we were more than stoked to be invited again for the annual GWARBQ to play and get wicked drunk with all our good friends.
First, we shipped all of our biggest stage accouterments on Amtrak well ahead of our flight. Tip: this is easily the cheapest shipping method for large items in North America. Then, we headed out on an early flight to enjoy the rest of the weekend.
[contextly_sidebar id=”sgizHKikPjp66gnXHMwWtiwgGmGWgBSY”]The GWARBQ has expanded quite a bit. There’s the BEFORE-BQ show, which this year basically swallowed already going Summer Slaughter tour to cross promote the events. Then there’s the GWARBQ itself at Lake Hadad, followed by the Brutal Brunch (or, as we called it after having run out of GWAR related puns, the GBrunch) at the very new GWARBAR. Basically not giving two shits about the line-up for Summer Slaughter, we decided that Friday to take in the GWARBAR, hoping for a slightly more reasonable crowd than we would expect at the brunch event.
It was crowded, but we got seated and enjoyed all what the recently anointed GWARBAR had to offer… mainly booze and food. There is some cool decor up, but it’s all done in decidedly good taste to make a nice looking pub. So, I hope that changes. Certainly, the common public is ready for a bar with fake severed guts and tits hanging all over the place, right? Still, it was nice to see Oderous sword Unt Lick and Corey Smoot’s custom Flattus guitar hanging up.
Now, I don’t consider myself a foodie, I consider myself a gastronome, or at best, a gourmand. And as an epicure, I will say the food at GWARBAR is HOLY FUCK BALLS SO GOOD. I had a Pustulus Mac N Cheese sandwich that was to die for. The tater tots are so beyond amazing regular bar food, and I wanted to swim in the poutine sauce. I ate and drank so much that I rolled around on the floor hours later cursing my new food baby. When we had to wake up at 7 AM to get to the GWARBQ, that motherfucker cursed me.
Lake Hadad was a little different than I remembered from before, having added in some land to the “lake,” and making room for an entire gigantic second stage. This event was going to be much bigger than the last GWARBQ I played in 2012. Bands started playing just after the doors opened at 10 AM in the brutal sun while revelers swamped the merch tents and food trucks. The moshing got off to an early start.
I got to check out some of the bands early on, with highlights including Troglodyte, Stonecutter, Child Bite, Bat, and MC Chris. Yes, MC Chris. I don’t think he thought he would go over well, but GWAR fans are an accepting bunch, if We Kill Everything is any kind of example (SNAP!). Pretty soon we had to get ready to go on. Being that it was GWARBQ, we decided to dress for the summer fun. Trigger warning: you can’t UNSEE the next photo.
Our set was a lot of fun, we got to re-kill Cecil the Lion (and make at least one person upset) and I launched a good few feet into the crowd and made them uncomfortably touch my bum. After we cleaned up, Ben, Peijman and I went swimming in the lake in full costume, delighting some onlookers and playing splash games with the kids.
Afterwards, a lot of the day became blurry as I could I finally start drinking while we were obliged to start doing press bullshit. We had to sit at a table, and in full hooded-glory, got mistaken by some numb nuts as the Descendants. I guess our burlap masks look just like their aged complexion? That’s rough (pun intended). No one was immune to these press obligations, though, not even our lords and masters from outer space.
I was able to do a little of my own press for my friends at Illogical Contraption radio and podcast. While running around backstage, I was able to grab a few of my, ahem, celebrity friends, and basically ambush them with questions about conspiracy theories and such. The idea was to keep myself busy and not get wasted, but that failed spectacularly as evidenced if you listen to how my interviews devolve. It’s a great show, so listen to the whole thing. My segment starts around 36 minutes in, linked here.
So, wasted I got! It’s amazing what a man can drink when he knows he doesn’t have to pack up a trailer and drive somewhere. I did miss out on many of the fun events, like the Spew Olympics, the “haunted house,” all of the food trucks, but of course, the day ended fantastically with a set by the almighty GWAR.
There were some after parties, but we headed back to our buddy Jim’s house, where I stumbled around nearly breaking everything in his living room trying to swat a wasp so no one would get stung. Even wasters, I’m ever altruistic, if not destructive.
The next day we headed out to the G-BRUTAL BRUNCH, back at the GWARBAR. This was a much more subdued event, as GWARBAR roped off their parking lot, set up benches, served food and drink outside, and everyone just kinda hung out. Some of the GWAR dudes were there, the rest sleeping off the previous day’s events. Instead of serving our lords and masters, I was able to be served by them as Mike Derks ran the establishment with great aplomb and a smile on his silent kisser.
As the event winded down, I headed out with my bud George to do some more drinking, go to some damn thing called the Escape Room (you actually pay for the privilege to get locked in and have to escape from a room), more food and drinking at Wonderland Bar, then more drinking with more RVA friends at some other bar where an all-girl Japanese psychobilly band played the best cover of “House of the Rising Sun” I’ve ever heard.
The next morning, hungover as all hell, we had breakfast and visited the Slave Pit for a proper goodbye with some of the GWAR slaves. They’ve really been so kind and generous with us, their little Cali-based
rip offs proteges. It really warms the cockles of my heart. And my cockles.