With the end of the pandemic finally, in sight, that means we’re drawing ever closer to the glorious return of live music! Stage shows can run the gamut from understated to conspicuously expensive to downright bizarre. Here are some of the craziest live bands to ever grace the stage. Strap in, folks.
The Dillinger Escape Plan
One of the craziest live bands of the mathcore genre, The Dillinger Escape Plan is chaos personified. Their music is dissonant, turbulent, and abrasive, and their live performances distill this hectic energy into full-body experiences.
The members of the band – vocalist Greg Puciato and guitarist Ben Weinman especially – are known to throw caution to the wind. No height is too great for a stage dive, and destruction of equipment is commonplace. They’ve also been to known to breathe fire.
In 2002, at the Reading Festival in England, Puciato dropped a deuce in a bag and tossed the doodoo bag into the crowd. It was meant to represent the shitty bands that would follow them, according to Puciato. He also smeared some of the leftover caca on himself. The English language has so many terms for fecal matter. The band called it quits in 2017, but their legacy of insanity will live on forever.
If you’re living in fear that robots will eventually rise against their creators and take over society, then you might want to look away. Compressorhead is a touring band of robots that says “What if we made those creepy animatronics from Chuck E. Cheese metal?”
They started off “playing” covers, but they dropped an album of originals, “Party Machine,” in 2017. Don’t worry though, the songs were written by real people, not an algorithm. We have not yet reached the future musical Hell-scape where all songs are procedurally generated. We’ve got another 10 good years, maybe.
Arguably one of the craziest live bands
of the 21st century, Slipknot has been entertaining fans and terrifying Karens for over 20 years now. The numerous members of the band don jumpsuits and masks that range from goofy as hell to actually pretty scary.
Their early stage shows were reminiscent of The Dillinger Escape Plan in energy and acrobatics, but as their budget increased, so did their theatricality. The percussive garbage cans on either side of the stage are on hydraulic risers, and the drum kit platform rises and spins, allowing for insane upside-down drum solos.
Slipknot’s stage show is so impressive and engrossing that they can even headline their own festival. Regardless of your opinion of their music, there is no denying their incredible live show.
The band from outer space, Gwar is one of the most enduring jokes in music. This satirical sci-fi band that formed in the ’80s is known for its ridiculous costumes and horribly offensive live shows. Audience members are frequently sprayed with fake blood and simulations of… other bodily fluids.
You never really know what you’re going to see at a Gwar show. Decapitations, T-Rexes, man thongs–anything goes. Their appearance on “The Jerry Springer Show” is stuff of legends. They’re no stranger to controversy, but the Gwar experience is just way too silly to be taken seriously. It’s all about entertainment.
Entrances are often a critical moment of any film or live show. Childbirth is the original entrance. German industrial metal titans Rammstein once put 2 and 2 together, beginning their performance by having every member of the band be birthed from a giant uterus hovering above the stage. Talk about a tone-setter.
On one fatefully erotic night in 1998, two members of the band were arrested after their show in Massachusetts for simulating sodomy on stage, although their stay in jail didn’t last long. What’s more preposterous, that they were arrested for that in the first place, or the use of a biblical term as a euphemism for butt stuff?
Reproductive (0r non-reproductive) antics aside, there is no denying Rammstein’s incredibly choreographed pyrotechnics and lighting.
Named after the logo of the amplifier brand of the same name, Sunn O))) barely sounds like music. You can fast forward to random parts of an entire live performance video and you’ll mostly just hear the same droning the entire time.
You’ll also be greeted to so much dry ice you’ll get secondhand smoke just from watching a YouTube video. Sunn O))) has such a cultish vibe, as all the performers are cloaked and shrouded in the aforementioned smoke. If you watch for long enough, you’ll even see a trombone! You won’t, however, spot any drums or normal song structures.
Moving from the vaguely occult to something more overtly sinister, Gorgoroth effectively serves as a representative of the entire genre of black metal. It’s all about corpse paint and Satanic imagery.
Gorgoroth has been known to play shows with real people standing nude on crucifixes as set decorations. If that doesn’t appeal to you, how about severed goat heads?
The band’s entire stage presence is all about being as menacing as possible, a stark contrast to the over-the-top theatrics of a band like Gwar. Sometimes it’s all in good fun, sometimes the band might actually might be trying to summon the dark lord. Choose your own path.
Do you remember “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory?” Finding the golden ticket meant a delightful tour of the fabled chocolate factory. Rockbitch’s equivalent was the golden condom. If a lucky member of the audience caught the bouquet of boning, they got to have sex with the band members after the show.
Rockbitch was all about shaking things up, putting on a sex-positive show where nudity and actual sex acts were the norm. Their run was unsurprisingly short-lived, as they only released one album, but their mission to sexualize the world will live on forever. Google at your own discretion, and definitely not while at work.