Copenhell - 2011

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Waiter, there seems to be blood in my beer!

This may have been the headliner of the day, but the joys of GWAR began already during the afternoon as they were set to have a signing session in the merch-stand, which we of course had to be present at to witness.
A covered truck drove up to the merchandise stand as time was at hand, and as the lift lowered shouts of adoration rose from the large, assembled mass of fans. Out came Oderus Urungus, Beefcake the Mighty and Flattus Maximus (where the others were we were never informed), drinking beer and shouting along with us. Beefcake turned out to be the most talkative of the group, not that he was well-heard over the noisy throng. After some time spent signing and chatting it was back in the truck with the unruly monsters and off they went.
(some photos of this can be found in the festival report)

Fast forward to night-time.
With GWAR came my first real disappointment of the day, but it had nothing to do with GWAR, but rather the festival itself. You see, I was over at the other stage enjoying Morbid Angel, well aware of there being a bit of time in between bands to make the change of location in, or so I thought. You see, Morbid Angel must have played longer than announced without me noticing it, and so when I was happily walking over to the Helvíti stage I noticed to much dismay that GWAR was already well underway in hacking up someone who looked quite a lot like the Queen of England. By the time I had managed to run up front and made my way as far in as I could get, Oderus had already hacked her breasts off with his mighty sword, and the poor woman was giving the fans their first spray of blood before she was ungently pulled off the stage.
Next up was some music in the form of Damnation Under God (from Lust In Space) and Hail, Genocide! from their latest album, Bloody Pit Of Horror. During the latter, Oderus killed a dog by inserting his cuttlefish of Cthulhu into its nether regions, thus creating yet another bloodbath…
Other characters who came to an untimely death at the hands of GWAR included a resurrected Osama Bin Laden (because we shouldn’t feel cheated just because the government didn’t want to show the pictures), Sawborg Destructo who had tried his luck with the song The Private Pain Of Techno Destructo but was ultimately slain by Oderus and his mighty battle-axe. Bonesnapper sadly lost his life in the heat of battle though…
Now that the killing-spree was on a roll, Oderus shared with us that he had really wanted to kill off Justin Bieber (to much applause) this night, but he was simply too small to find anywhere! Instead, they had brought a replacement victim in the form of Lady Gaga, today decorated with a toilet-bowl dress and poo in her hair.
Aside from all the death, this certainly also turned out to be a night full of resurrections; I have already told you about a certain middle Eastern terrorist, and later in the show both Sawborg Destructo (in a much improved armour) and Bonesnapper would re-emerge, to everyone’s great surprise, not in the least the bands.

There was something odd about this show though, or maybe I should say different?
For some reason, it felt like the band was focusing less on the stage show this night, and more on the music. Were GWAR trying their hands on being a serious orchestra? No, I should think not, there was death and destruction enough for everyone, even though it felt like less than usual. As an extension of this, the bloodbaths were fewer and further between, and the band had also limited themselves to only one colour on the spraying liquids…

Even with this, I still managed to walk away from the show completely drenched in alien blood and with a big old grin going from ear to ear. You see, even though GWAR might not completely have lived up to my (sky high) expectations based on earlier shows, they still delivered the most entertaining show of all of the bands at Copenhell 2011. The best possible way to end a festival!

Setlist (incomplete):

Damnation Under God
Hail, Genocide!
The Private Pain Of Techno Destructo
Bring Back The Bomb

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