gwarShock value collecting might be something I'm starting to explore and collecting GWAR concert posters might be the way to go. Musically, these guys are alright. There are worse bands out there, and there are also better bands currently out. What's intriguing for this collector, however, is not the music itself per se. It's the shock value associated with this metal band, shock metal, whatever you want to call it.

However, I offer a fair bit of warning: part of the shock value is the outlandish and adult-themed imagery. I have no intention of sharing anything appropriate. I do have to show some images to give you an idea of what this band is about.


GWAR: Shock Value for the Sake of It, Perhaps

After nearly thirty years in existence, wondering how a group like this came to be is natural. The origins of this group are humble. A few of the original members (Dave Brockie, Hunter Jackson) met creating costumes and music for a movie project that was intended to be made. GWAR originally had a much longer name and came about originally as almost a gag of sorts. The thing was, people would come to the shows they opened and then leave right after, so Brockie and a handful of others went all-in on the band.

Nearly thirty years later it's paying dividends, just not for who you might think. 

The odd thing though is that none of the original members are still in the group. The imagery hasn't really changed though. One such blip in time to consider is the following artwork.

The concert poster artwork does not do the live version any real justice. The colors are great, but they're a bit comic book-y and too bright for what's on stage. Jermaine Rogers in 1999 worked to create this image. Comic book art is Rogers' specialty. This artist proof means that only a certain number were created, per the artist's determination. Another factor in collecting this piece is just how unpopular the 1999 release of We Kill Everything was for the band's fans. Perhaps due to that or in spite of the unpopularity, this piece goes for $169.40.


Posters from Better Times

When figuring out what's popular from a group, it never hurts to look towards the beginning. The worldwide tour to support Scumdogs of the Universe spanned over much of 1990. The band even had a VHS of live performance and their music video Sick of You. This Canadian stop for the band shows even from the beginning how on brand this group is:

Vancouver, British Colombia is home to the 86 Music Hall, a venue that had plenty of rock and roll pass through its doors. The lettering again feels like something out of a comic book. The band members appear to have their over the top costumes, but you can tell these are a precursor due to how subdued they feel in comparison to later iterations. This particular poster only runs for $20, and it's an album that did much better than We Kill Everything.

One last poster to check out is one including the band's logo.

The logo is front and center where it should be. Lettering again reflects the band's comic book appreciation. This 2012 show in Portland would be the last tour Dave Brockie appears in, due to passing away from a heroin overdose. The Fate Or Chaos Tour had commercial success and even scored a broadcast on AXS TV. A cool $10.99 will get you this poster, which is hard to complain about unless you really and truly dislike this band.

One thing to notice for concert posters from GWAR is that as time went on, the imagery chosen for the posters did not reflect the live performance. That was a solid marketing strategy, as portraying their costumes on their posters would've been a very bad PR move.