In most cases, music is about how someone sounds – their lyrics, their technique, their passion. However, the following five artists have chosen to give their audiences something more: a visual flair to compliment their auditory feasts.
Whether you choose to view it as a gimmick or an extension of artistic expression, something to be mocked or admired, one thing is guaranteed – you won’t be able to buy these outfits anywhere anytime soon.
5. Lady Gaga
Let’s get this obvious one out of the way first. Gaga certainly does not own the copyright for odd garbs, nor was she the first to dress in outlandish fashion, but what makes her stand out is the scale of her audience. While well known, the other artists on this list could only dream of holding the public’s attention the way Lady Gaga held it. Some of her greatest outfits include an ensemble made of raw meat and a dress that was inspired by the universe, complemented by a mask of the sky.
4. Marilyn Manson
Manson has been criticized time and time again for his appearance, but the demonic artist finds a home on this list. The criticisms about his look probably even played an important role in propelling Manson to superstardom. Manson is nearly always seen wearing mismatched eye-altering contacts and white makeup, which leaves him looking pale, and often wears all black clothing. If one were to describe Manson’s appearance in one word it would undoubtedly be ‘unnatural,’ and this is most certainly his intent. The artist has often said that he hopes his appearance inspires people to be truer to themselves and reject societies’ standards—a noble endeavour indeed.
3. The Locust
While on stage, members of The Locust all dress identically so they collectively hold the third spot on this list. All four members of the group perform in green and black body suits and wear masks that are made to make them resemble their namesake. As a group stylistically defined as belonging to the powerviolence genre, The Locust’s songs are fast, frantic, and full of screeches. All of this combined with creatively naming their songs things like “The Half-Eaten Sausage Would Like to See You in His Office” and “Gluing Carpet to Your Genitals Does Not Make You a Cantaloupe” has earned The Locust a respectable following over the past two decades.
2. The Residents
The Residents, like The Locust, all wear the same attire on stage – giant eyeball helmets usually complemented by tuxedos and a top hat. Details on the art collective are scarce since they often attempt to misinform their audience and contradict themselves. In fact, no one is truly sure who The Residents are, though it is assumed that their members have changed multiple times since their formation at some point around the early 70’s. Other visual performers often accompany them dressed as everything from death to jesters. The only thing stranger than their uniforms is their music, which escapes description and must be heard to be appreciated.
1. Dave Brockie aka Oderus Urungus
Known to his fans as Oderus Urungus, Brockie was the frontman for GWAR from 1984 until his death earlier this year. GWAR as a whole is truly something to behold, as all of its members dress as different types of extraterrestrial warriors from the planet Scumdogia and rarely break character in public. Their live shows leave audiences drenched in fake blood and other bodily fluids. While this list could have been totally populated by the various GWAR members’ amazing costumes, their leader, Oderus, stands as a personal favourite. His horned head, spiked shoulder and crotch pet known as The Cuttlefish of Cthulhu make Oderus the unchallenged greatest dresser in music – and a great Halloween costume.