GWAR/Corrosion of Conformity/The Meatmen - Live in Grand Rapids (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

GWAR / Corrosion of Conformity / The Meatmen

Live in Grand Rapids (2014)

live show

The Intersection is in downtown Grand Rapids MI, only a block away from Founders, one of America's greatest small breweries. Many bands have been missed while a thirsty concertgoer ducked in for a quick pint of Dirty Bastard or All Day IPA. I guess what I'm trying to say is, sorry American Sharks, we missed your set on November 23, 2014. Luckily, we did get there in time to catch the mighty Meatmean. Tesco Vee and company were not touring with the rest, but made the drive over from Lansing/Detroit for this one show only.

The Meatmen took the stage by storm, opening with their classic "Abba, God and Me". Tesco was armed with a confetti cannon and an enormous inflatable phallus. The party was officially under way. The crowd really seamed to enjoy it, especially considering the majority had probably never even heard of the band previously. Tesco Vee is a very funny man, and is not the least bit concerned about political correctness. He had lots to say about fat girls, religion, deviant sex, and even took a pot shot at Greg Ginn. They played two songs from their excellent new LP Savage Sagas. "I'm Gonna Fuck You Up" and "Speed Kills (But It Sho' Feels Good)" were both well received. Their classic anti-Beatles rant "1 Down 3 to Go" was updated for modern times. "Day Tripper" morphed into "2 Down 2 to Go". The Meatmen wrapped up their high energy 30 minute set with "We're The Meatmen and You Suck", and I suspect they made a lot of new fans. You definitely need to check out the Dutch Hercules if you ever get the chance, he's a geriatric punk legend that puts most punks less than half his age to shame.

Next up was Corrosion of Conformity. They opened with "The Nectar" and "Brand New Sleep", two of the longest, most Sabbathy songs from their new record. The audience didn't know how to react after the bombast that was The Meatmen. Their set concentrated on their two most recent LP's, recorded by the current trio. These guys are really locked in musically, it's like they can read each other's minds. The songs effortlessly shifted from fast thrash to slow doom. "Your Tomorrow" and "Psychic Vampire" from 2012's self-titled album were good examples of this. It was very hypnotic, even if it lacked the humor of the other bands. "Deliverance" from the 1994 record of the same name was probably the crowd's favorite. Pepper Keenan is set to rejoin C.O.C. next year, most likely raising the band's profile. I look forward to hearing what they do next, but have enjoyed the stuff they've done as a three piece.

I've seen GWAR many times over the last 20+ years, but I've never taken their music too seriously. At the end of the day, GWAR is performance art under the guise of heavy metal. The narrative this time revolved around a time machine and trying to find their lost leader, Oderus Urungus. New (returning?) member Blothar handled the majority of the front man duties, but five or six different scumdogs took a turn at lead vocals, including the voluptuous Vulvatron. As you can imagine, there was plenty of masturbation, decapitation and cartoon violence. The crowd was soaked in blood, semen and green slime. This included a drenching from Blothar's bag of dicks and Vulvatron's massive mammaries. They even injected drugs with an oversize needle, only a few months after Dave Brockie's overdose death. I guess there really is nothing sacred to these guys (and girl). The band also sounded really good, even if the songs only exist to string together the storyline.

There are a few reasons why I continue to see GWAR after all these years: 1.They always seem to have great opening bands, often of the punk variety. 2.They put on a great show, for 90 minutes they take you from your world and submerse you in theirs. Like a good film, it's total escapist fun. 3.They give you a good bang for your buck, you get a lot of entertainment value for your hard earned dollars. 4.You don't need to know their music to enjoy the show. I don't have a single GWAR album in my collection. 5.Everybody's inner child loves giant rubber monster costumes.

The Meatmen setlist:
Abba, God and Me
Meatmen Stomp
Tooling For Anus
Triple B
I'm Gonna Fuck You Up
Dumping Ground
Shut Up and Suck
Lesbian Death Dirge
Pope on a Rope
I Sin for a Living
Mr. Tapeworm
Speed Kills (But it Sho' Feels Good)
Day Tripper/2 Down 2 to Go
Evil in a League With Satan
We're The Meatmen and You Suck