NPR Scored GWAR For An Unforgettable Tiny Desk Concert

18 July 2023 | 10:23 am | Mary Varvaris
Originally Appeared In

You have to see it to believe it.

GWAR Tiny Desk Concert

GWAR Tiny Desk Concert (Source: YouTube/NPR)

More Gwar More Gwar

GWAR and NPR – they said it couldn’t be done,” vocalist Blöthar The Berserker said at the opening of the American costumed heavy metal band’s Tiny Desk Concert. Who would have thought that GWAR would ever perform behind a Tiny Desk?

In February 2020, parody website The Hard Times shared an article titled, “GWAR asks NPR’s Tiny Desk Staff if They’re Ready to Get Their Assholes Ripped Open.” If only the editorial staff at Hard Times knew NPR were already working on it.

Lars Gotrich, producer and writer at NPR Music, had been in touch with GWAR’s team since 2019 “to bring the Scumdogs of the Universe” behind the Tiny Desk that’s seen the likes of Yusuf/Cat Stevens, Usher, Harry Styles, Alicia Keys, Olivia Rodrigo, Lewis Capaldi and many more. But if NPR can host Turnstile and IDLES, why not embrace something a little weirder? You have to see it to believe it.

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Running through a set of the “raunchiest, silliest and hookiest heavy metal songs”, per the video description, that included Sex Cow, I’ll Be Your Monster, Ratcatcher, and Phantom Limb, GWAR brought their grotesque all to the NPR office to the delight of the laughing audience members.

The YouTube comment section is also a hoot, with many viewers thrilled by NPR showcasing all types of music.

“This is incredibly wholesome and warms my blackened little heart,” @thereallycool wrote. “Thank you NPR. Thank you GWAR. REST IN POWER ODERUS”. @lindseyleed added, “God what an awful racket… bloody good time! Thanks NPR this was great,” accompanied by the devil horns emoji.

But viewer @RuliManurung laughed or cried so much that coffee was spilt, commenting, “NPR you owe me a new keyboard (and a cup of coffee). Never in a million years would I have imagined ‘GWAR: Tiny Desk Concert’ would appear in my feed. Well done!”

While it’s still a GWAR performance, there was no fake blood to be seen splashing in the NPR headquarters. You can check out last year’s Kill Your Stereo interview with Blöthar the Berserker here.