On Sunday we headed to Joliet to see the band GWAR and I was given a media press pass to interview the band regarding their stage show and what not. We headed to Joliet around 2pm as I had to interview the band at 3. Got to the venue on time and the stage was being set-up. A GWAR show will guarantee a few things: an over the top stage show, lots of blood, and a lot of fun. We met the tour manager who set it up and we went to the band’s tour bus out back to sit and chat to Dave Brockie (aka Oderus Urungas, GWAR vocalist). We sat in the buses lounge and chatted to him about all random things GWAR, then we spoke to Mike Davis (aka Balsac The Jaws Of Death, guitarist), then Matt (aka Cyborg Destructo, GWAR slave, creative set design, comic book fanatic, prop maker, etc). We got a lot out of them and it will make for a great read. A lot goes into a GWAR show and you will be amazed at how it’s all put together. It’s a huge show.
After the interview was completed, we watched them do a soundcheck without costumes which was most interesting. Time for food and then we headed to the old Joliet correctional facility so I could get a photo at the gate where Joliet Jake Blues is released at the start of the Blues Brothers. Yeah, I get excited over that shit.
After that we met up with friends and waited in line for the doors to open so we could start rockin’ and enjoying a night of awesome metal.
The doors open and we headed inside. First band on was Legacy Of Disorder. They’re from New Zealand. I had never heard them before but they rocked. Spoke to the guitarist after the show and told him to contact me about the magazine. We should feature them cos they’re so close to home.
Ghoul took to the stage next and mate… These guys were wild! Technical death metal ala Cannibal Corpse playing with some punk style thrown in. Very fuckin’ cool. They had some crew that brought out props that shot out blood. Was awesome and they impressed me so much that I bought a t-shirt. Great band. Check them out if you like the bands I mentioned.
Party thrashers, Municipal Waste, hit the stage next. What a band! You know what you’re getting with these guys. Just straight up old school 80′s thrash metal with songs about partying and slam dancing. The crowd went nuts with circle pits and the wall of death. That was brutal.
I then went backstage and got some quick random candid snaps of GWAR in their stage get-up. I was then advised I could photograph for the first 3 songs. The blood started spraying from the first chord and the whole area around me became slippery. The crowd was covered in fake blood and the band were rockin’ it, bigtime. I was trying to take photos AND keep my balance from the slippery floors. Not an easy task but I succeeded and got some rad photos in the process. After my 3 songs were up, I got out of there and headed to the back and still managed to get covered in blood.
The venue, MoJoe’s, is not exactly a big place so there really wasn’t anywhere to stand where you didn’t get covered in blood… except maybe the merch desks.
All up, it was an awesome night. Rhea got completely drenched in blood and I was only half drenched. Either way, we both had to change our clothes for the drive home. Good times!
Woke up early the next day and headed to the airport for a flight to Vegas. Rhea wanted to see the desert, the mountains and the grand canyon. We landed at 9am and headed to the strip for some breakfast. We then checked in and slept because we had 2 hours sleep due to GWAR and getting ready to head to the airport. Woke up later and walked down the strip before realising the time was 1am and time for sleep as my friend, Corinna, offered to take us to the mountains the next day.
Woke up and Corinna and her daughter, Kyler, picked us up and took us to Mount Charleston and the elevation there was 7000+ feet. Was pretty awesome. The views were incredible and it was good to see Corinna again. I miss my friends in other countries and I am so stoked to see them again. Just wish time wasn’t so short. Around 5:30 pm, we returned to the hotel, ate Asian food for dinner and slept due to exhaustion.
Woke up on the Wednesday and I headed to Record City. Not a bad store, a bit overpriced on some things but I did find some cool records. The thing I find with some record stores is that these records will stay there, on the shelves or in the racks for years because no one is going to pay ridiculous prices for records when there is eBay and online stores that are cheaper. Just my thoughts.
We then got ready to head out to play KISS mini golf. Yeah, we did that. We arrived and got our clubs and played. This place, I must say, was a bunch of fun. How could you not have fun playing KISS themed mini golf? They play non-stop KISS tunes and you play mini golf that glows in the dark while you try to putt the ball, winding your way around boots, drums, guitars and even hitting the ball up Gene’s tongue (of course you do). It was pretty cool. We then finished our time there with about 10 games of air hockey, all of which I lost (although I kicked Rhea’s ass at mini golf). We then visited the KISS merchandise shop and I wanted pretty much everything in there. I walked away with a coffee mug and an Ace Frehley golf ball… And why not?T
We then ate food at the Hard Rock Cafe across the road and had the best meals. So awesome! At this time, I spoke with Corinna’s friend, Blas (the drummer from Slaughter), as he had the hook-up for half price tickets to see the Blue Man Group for the 10pm show that night. Awesome! It was on.
We headed to the Venetian, got our tickets and enjoyed the show. I still think they use plants in the audience though for the late arrivals joke and the person they get on stage. That’s just my theory anyway. Inside goss is that all the shows use planted audience members, anyway. From there we returned to our hotel to sleep as we had an early start.
Woke up, checked out of our hotel, got the bus to the airport, rented a car, and hit the open road for the Grand Canyon. Took around 5 hours to get there but was well worth the visit. This site is incredible and well worth your time. It’s a beautiful place to see and the views are breathtaking. We were there for about 2 hours before we had to start heading back. We decided we need to go back here and stay a night or 2 and hike through the Canyon. I hope we can make this happen.
On the way back, we stopped off at the Flintstones hotel for photos (it is exactly what you would think: Bedrock). Arriving back into Vegas we hit up the old Vegas area, took in some sites and returned the car and checked in to head back to Chicago.
Didn’t sleep at all on the flight back as per usual, I was terrified of the stormy weather and the fact that when we were descending, I was looking out the window only to see lightning flashes amongst the clouds. Yeah, I was freaking out. Still, we landed safely and here I am writing to you now. Have pretty much slept since getting home yesterday. We did have plans to see M-Pire Of Evil which is a metal band with 3 dudes who were once in Venom but i didn’t hear back regarding my interview request so we didn’t go and instead we ordered pizza, I watched BMX BANDITS on Netflix, and then we fell asleep.