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There will be blood: GWAR to touch down at Upstate Concert Hall

There will be blood: GWAR to touch down at Upstate Concert Hall

The sci-fi-themed metal band continues to occupy a singular perch in the music industry
There will be blood: GWAR to touch down at Upstate Concert Hall
GWAR takes the stage Saturday night at Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park.
Photographer: photo provided

CLIFTON PARK — How to describe to a family newspaper a band that’s notorious for its over-the-top, often-unpublishable antics?

“GWAR is a group of interactive space aliens that went AWOL and formed an intergalactic army,” said guitarist Pustulus Maximus. “We’ve been banished to earth as punishment for walking away from our leaders, and there’s nothing else to do but to form a rock band and travel the earth.”

And, he added: “Burger King was not hiring at the time.”

The roaming gang of monsters brings their roadshow to Clifton Park’s Upstate Concert Hall on Saturday. 

The sci-fi-themed metal band, said Maximus, will travel through the woods under the cloak of darkness. 

“That’s usually how I get from one venue to another,” he said. 

All jokes aside, the Richmond, Virginia-based outfit continues to occupy a singular perch in the music industry after three decades of bringing blood, guts and tongue-in-cheek blasphemy to the masses in a stage show that makes KISS look like a neutered lounge act.

Think elaborate shows replete with complex plots, a heavy dose of satire and violence - and, of course, fluid-spewing prosthetics.

“That kind of makes us philanthropists in a way,” Maximus said. “No other band will shower you in warm, salty bodily fluids except for us - that’s why we’re givers.”

Celebrities are often at the receiving end of their mayhem. 

Due to make appearances on their “Use Your Collusion” tour are puppets of President Trump and Caitlyn Jenner. 

The band’s star rose to its zenith in late-1990s, a time when rock and roll and daytime TV formed a singularly potent force in driving pop culture. 

But since then  — and two Grammy nominations later — the band has since receded comfortably into cult status (and taking a page from KISS, rolling out an increasingly-diverse stream of merchandise, from board games to barbecue sauces).

The gang of intergalactic misfits nearly ran aground with the death of co-founder of Dave Brockie in 2014, which left the outfit without any of its founding members and its most identifiable figure. But they’ve since course-corrected and released their 12th LP, “The Blood of the Gods,” in 2017 to positive reviews. 

“Quite frankly, man regards us as legends and rock star royalty,” Maximus said. “While their praise and accolades are woefully inadequate, they’re still good for the ego.”

All members use pseudonyms and wear elaborate foam-constructed costumes, or, as Maximus calls it, “intense armor and garb to protect us.” 

Joining Maximus, who is the guitarist and is equipped with mammoth skull shoulder-pieces, are comrades like Blöthar the Berserker, Beefcake the Mighty and Sleazy P. Martini, the band’s lounge suit-wearing, pompadour-sporting and vulgarity-spouting MC.

And while numerous politicians have met comically-grisly ends over the years, the self-proclaimed “scumdogs of the universe” insist their schtick isn’t political: Presidents from Ronald Reagan to President Trump have all been lampooned by the outfit. 

Maximus — also known as Brent Purgason — painted a dim view of global civilization. 

“I kind of want to be around for the show,” said Maximus when asked if current affairs have become too chaotic even by their own intergalactic standards. 

“It’s very fun to watch the destruction of mankind by its own hand,” he said. “Humanity deserves it in a way. They’ve allowed themselves to be placed under the thumb of the rich and powerful. Man created money - now he’s enslaved, and I can’t think of anything more poetic than man being undone by his own creation.”

The band will perform with support from fellow thrashers Sacred Reich, Toxic Holocaust and Against the Grain.

“It’s going to change your life - murder, death, destruction,” Maximus said. “There is blood coming from all over the place. If you’re in the front row, you’ll definitely be covered in blood before you leave.”


With Sacred Reich, Against the Grain, Toxic Holocaust
When: Saturday, Oct. 5, doors open 6:30 p.m., show at 7:30
Where: Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park
How much: $20 advance, $23 day of show
More info: 518-371-0012, upstateconcerthall.com

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