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GWAR at the National 

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The members of GWAR have never taken themselves too seriously with their eccentric sci-fi outfits and obscene stage performances, but this thrash metal spectacle has long since been embedded into Richmond's consciousness and is now a certifiable, respectable cultural product. While the Virginia Commonwealth University alumni office doesn't make much of an effort to point out that the band originated on its campus, the fictional origin story is a much more interesting read: After losing its battle against the Master, GWAR was shot through the universe through a Butt-Cannon and landed on the ever-insignificant Planet Earth. Its members slept in the Antarctic wasteland, only to awaken in the mid-'80s thanks to the pollution of heavy metal. The band's New Year's show, while not as well-attended as some others in the city, nevertheless has seniority, by like, millions of years. GWAR's New Year's Eve show is Wednesday, Dec. 31, at 7 p.m. at the National. $20-$25. 612-1900.  — Alexander Chang
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