Photos | GWAR @ Mr. Smalls (Pittsburgh)

GWAR Photos by Caroline Moore

[H]owever absurd you may expect GWAR to be on stage, they easily exceed those expectations. The show begins with a man in a loincloth, squeezing a plastic carcass and spraying the crowd with fake blood. Later, he tears the head from another man onstage, which shoots fake blood as well. Nearly everything onstage spews blood, and combined with broadswords, giant masks and stilts, and a rotating cast of characters, it’s a lot to take in. But their music holds up to the spectacle. They tore through new songs like “Bring Back the Bomb” and old favorites with equal skill, even adding covers from Billy Ocean (“Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car”) and the Who (“Baba O’Riley”) for their encore. If you’re seeing these guys for the first time, be prepared for a show. And maybe bring a poncho.