Review: With Depictions of Politician Beheadings and Plunger Abortions, How Has GWAR Not Been Canceled Yet?

Joe Biden, MAGA fans, and Xi Jinping all fall victim to the band's violent displays on its current tour.


The band members have changed. So have their on-stage victims. In every other way, GWAR remains as irrepressibly irreverent as when they were first freed from their mythical Antarctic lair in the late 1980s.

The Richmond, Virginia, metal group continues to play basic thrash songs made more exciting by obscenely intricate live shows where the band perform as murder-obsessed aliens hellbent on killing various world leaders.

Its latest tour features GWAR beheading a rambling Joe Biden, dismembering a MAGA hat–wearing January 6 conspiracist, performing an onstage plunger abortion, severing Vladimir Putin's nipples with an axe, and killing Xi Jinping while demanding he fork over some General Tso's chicken. With each act, spurts of fake blood and/or alien semen are sprayed onto the cheering crowd, many of whom come wearing white T-shirts, suits, and thrift-store wedding dresses.

One might wonder how the deliberately gross and offensive GWAR has escaped cultural cancellation in these sensitive times. It may be, in part, that they are veterans of these fights. They've already been through being dragged onto Jerry Springer to apologize for corrupting the youth with songs about Saddam Hussein and preschool prostitutes. It also probably helps that the act is as bipartisan as it is absurd. No one, Democrat or Republican, alien or terrestrial, is spared GWAR's wrath. That makes it a little harder for any side to get too seriously offended. Somehow, all that fake blood washes scandal away.