Last year was a fantastic year for live music and I saw some awesome shiiiiiiiaaaaaattt!! However, it's hard to say that any show was as awesome as The Sounds Of The Underground show, especially since the DVD that was filmed there that day came out, and me and my son are on it numerous times. That's freakin' awesome! No doubt my expectations were high coming into this summer and SOTU, round two. There were only really five bands that I was interested in seeing, but they were five good ones. And one happens to be faaahhreeeekin' GWAAAAAAAAAAR!
I started my SOTU weekend by taking off work Friday and making a six hour round trip road trip to Queens Village, NY to pick up an old friend for the weekend. Making it even more special. Being the Gwarheads that me and my son are, you can imagine how special this weekend was already. My best friend and assistant photographer, Donna, my son and two of his friends set out early Saturday morning for some good, unclean fun. Once again, since the show was in the Starland parking lot, you had to park down the street and take a yellow bus over to the place. Last year it was crazy and I had the whole bus doing a GWAR!GWAR!GWAR! chant as we pulled up, but this year was a little more subdued. As I was walking past the long bus line to get my ticket and press pass, a couple kids started yelling "Tgod" and raising their fists. Freakin' amazing! Tgod fans! F**k yeah! Getting there early did me no good though, since we had to wait a friggin' hour for the press passes to get there. My son and company left us and bussed over. Finally, me and Donna arrived over to the show after a quick, much less enthusiastic bus ride and ahhhhhhhhh!!! Sounds Of The Underground...II. We made our way in. The Hardcore was already kickin'. Then another. And another. A whole crapload of freakin' Hardcore bands. I checked the schedule. Six Hardcore bands to start the day. Shit. I don't have to go up front till well after 3 o'clock.
My goals for the day were to get my pic taken with George 'Corpsegrinder' Fisher and get him to sign my shirt. A new white T-shirt with the word "Kill" spray painted in red on the back. Corpse was gonna be hangin' at their booth around 2:15 so we got in line to meet them. My other goal was to finally meet Kelli from Metal Blade Records, who hooks me up with guest lists and passes all the time. She was there and I would be as thrilled to meet her as George. However, George and Co. were here now and goal number one was at hand. My son cut in line and when he apologized to the kid behind him, the kid said "Hey, your son of Tgod, you can do anything." Hehe. Awesome!!The kid said I was a legend. Aaaaaaaaaaahhh!! That's great!! Anyway, I got to meet the whole band and they all signed my "Kill" shirt. I took some cool pics with George Corpsegrinder. Donna too. It was the shiiiiaatt!!! Freakin' Corpsegrinder!!!! Nice guy. By then (finally), there were two bands I liked coming up, so I made my way down front. I've gotten to know security at The Starland pretty well and they are the coolest guys and everyone was ready for some big fun. Hours of Hardcore made the day start with a lull, but that was about to change bigtime. I greeted the photographer crew in front and things picked upimmediately. Yeah!! Now it's time to get this party started. Freakin' BEHEMOTH!!! The surf was up immediately and I saw my son and his friend Erica already ridin' some big Jersey waves. Some real friggin' Metal. Corpse paint, spiked freakin' leather, big, black boots. Some Polish Metal. Thunderous. They were awesome and woke the metal crowd up!!! I was right below them, snapping pics and rooooooockin'!!!!!!!!! They were filming for SOTU DVD vol. 2, so they had a camera on a track going back and forth in front that we had to work around, but no problem. It was awesome up there. After the third song, security chases the photographers, so I plunged into the crowd. It was gonna be a great day. The Black Dahlia Murder was on next and I love these guys, so I was right back up front taking pics. Donna was on the rail right behind me, front and center (as always). BDM kicked butt too. They have a new drummer and bass player that are every bit as brutal as the old ones so...yeah, if there was a roof....it would have been blown off by now.
Then it happened all so quickly. After the third song, I was making my way toward Donna in the front when a friend of my son grabbed me and asked if I wanted to go party with Dave Brockie (Oderus of GWAR). F**k yeah, but surely this couldn't be true. I looked back and saw my son waving me over. Then, out walks Dave from the V.I.P. lounge. He was eating a cheesesteak and walking around looking for party essentials. Seems no one had the 'essentials' he was looking for. Except me. So we grabbed my son and ditched the growing crowd around him and flew out the side gait, telling the security guy I was his brother. We crossed the street and before we could realize the dream that was unfolding in front of us, me and my son were hangin' with Dave Brockie, partying on the GWAR tour bus. Just the three of us!!! Kickin' back on the freakin' GWAR tour bus!! It was amazing!! One minute I was in the crowd and the next, hangin' with Odie!!!!F*************K yeah!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh, how our friends were pissed. Ha! Donna was furious, but three's company......you know what I mean. It was surely a dream come true. A dream that only me and my son know the feeling. That's cool. We were gearing up for GWAR in a whole new light and after Converge and Terror were done...It was finally time. I hauled my butt back up front and center. I told Dave I would be right under his mic and he said they were gonna get me good. Hell yeah.
It was a good GWAR crowd and they were in a frenzy as the time had come. A pig in a cop's uniform walked out onto the stage. He was waving a club and saying the show was being shut down. "Everybody go home, you're making too much noise" he was saying. "The show's over". The crowd was going berserk!! Oderus and the rest walked out he plunged his sword in the pig and the blood began to flow. They kicked into "Salominizer". It was freakin' nuts. Kids were immediately flying everywhere. There is nothing like GWAR's first kill of the night. They ripped the pig open and the blood spewed. I was friggin' drenched already. I was going crazy, having fun and snapping pics. They bent the pig over and Oderus shoved a huge spear up his butt and out the top of his back and they paraded him around, skewered on this big stick. Yeah!! Then, they butchered the Nazi Pope. George Bush too. They played some new songs that were awesome from the upcoming new album. A rousing rendition of the Alice Cooper classic "Schools Out", drove the blueblood soaked crowd into a frenzy and Tgod up upon a big Jersey wave for a ride. Then, ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!! The pounding footsteps!!! GOR-GOR comes!!!! GOR-GOR wreaked havoc, chomping heads and stomping around before being slayed by the mighty sword of Oderus. Awwwwwwwwesome. It was big fun, maybe the best set I've ever seen them do. GWAR ruuuuulez the universe!!!! And oh noooooo!!!! Freakin' Corpse!!!! Cannibal Corpse hit the stage next and I was in a frenzy right under George's mic. The crowd was stomping and pounding with the Corpsegrinder!!! They were brutal!!! If there were any walls, they would've been blown out by the pounding of Alex Webster and Co. Amazing set. New shit. Hammersmashed freakin' f**king face! It roooooled! Ending with one for the ladies "Fucked With A Knife" and noooooooo, it wasn't the last song. "Stripped, Raped and Strangled"!!! Oh, the brutality. Yeah!! Trivium was next and although I'm not crazy for them, I was still up taking pics and having fun. They're great live. Same with In Flames. I like about half their stuff, but live, they are amazing. Yeah, I was right up there for their set. It had gotten dark and the day was dwindling down. As I Lay Dying was the headliner and certainly not as many people stuck around as did for Lamb Of God last year, and I even caught an early bus back to my car to hang and party after I snapped off the rest of my pics. It was a truly amazing day. I don't think it topped last year's, but GWAR's performance was even better and meeting Dave and hangin' on the GWAR bus...well.......can't freakin' beat that. I never got to meet Kelli though and was very disappointed about that but...................there was no disappointing today!!! SOTU II was the shit.
Click the link at the bottom to view the entire album of amazing pics from the day!!