Author & Photographer: Alison Bauer
Ministry released their newest [9 track] album 'AmeriKKKant' on March 09, 2018; we caught their hometown Chicago show at the Riviera Theatre on Saturday, April 07 on tour with Chelsea Wolfe and The God Bombs. Read the archives linked here to watch Ministry's latest music videos, or watch our exclusive live-concert coverage in the video recap below!
Opening the night with their first single, "Twilight Zone," the music video blasted on the projection screen. Guitarist Cesar Soto entered the stage behind an Anonymous mask while on the opposite end, Sin Quirin was covert behind a face-mask: a bandana. John Bechdel on the keyboard joined Derek Abrams on the drums sans-mask while live scratcher DJ Swamp used LED glasses for stage presence.
After the song's warped Trump slur, "Make Amerikkka Great Again" vocalist and instrumentalist Al Jourgensen presented himself to the microphone, which, by the way, was decorated with a skull and metal skull wings. Two giant inflatable male chickens draped with orange toupées pillared each side of the stage, bolstering giant anti-fascism symbols.
Earlier this year, Metal Injection published an article reporting on "the best metal band in every [U.S.] state according to Kerrang" and Ministry won Illinois. After watching them perform live, I couldn't agree more to this legacy.
Ministry seamlessly strolled into the next song on the album, "Victims of a Clown" together with frequent Ministry collaborator Burton C. Bell, vocalist from Fear Factory.
DJ Swamp samples political sound bytes throughout the entire album of 'Amerikkkant' but the "Victims of a Clown" song especially live emulates goosebumps; the phrases echoing, "let us all unite - you the people have the power - in the name of democracy, let us use the power."
FX | "Antifa" via YouTube
The 'AmeriKKKant' set-list included: "TV5/4Chan" (0:49seconds), "I Know Words," "Punch in the Face," "We're Tired of It (ft. Chris Connelly)," "Wargasm," and "Antifa."
Only two songs were excluded on this night: "Game Over" and "AmeriKKKa."
Al connected with his motherland audience exclaiming, "There is no place like home" while also joking, "I have survived 35 winters here." But the most important take-away from his ad-lib with the crowd was phrases like, "Have you registered to vote? Tonight would be a great night to register to vote." Before Ministry's set, the team projected announcements onto the stage screen from the non-profit HeadCount (which, is curated by Warped's founder Kevin Lyman.)
Gif | Ministry Live @ Riviera, Chicago, IL
After performing "Antifa," Al exclaimed, "Ya'll have been patient with our obvious political agenda, and we're happy you took the time to listen, so we're [playing] a bunch of old sh*t." Without further ado, the loyal fans, from balcony to front row, cheered while those in the pit encouraged each other.
Ministry performed classics such as "N.W.O," "Just One Fix," "Señor Peligro," "Thieves," "So What," and completed their set with (2) encores: "Bad Blood" and "Psalm 69." Ministry has attained a predominant audience since 1981; each one of these throwback songs resonates throughout a different political era, and so different generations of activists alike were united at the Riviera Theatre!
Incredible - the performance of 'AmeriKKKant' is a must-see-live contribution to the industry and society; an album that will hold its reputation inspiring audiences worldwide to challenge authority. As a participant at the show, the concert was a safe space where freedom of speech and democracy was represented and encouraged; in the same realm that metal shreds cosmic vibrations.
In addition to political adrenaline, Ministry live is a stunning collaboration: harmonica, violin, glitch samples and keyboard / drum / bass / guitar solos!
Gif | Ministry Live @ Riviera, Chicago, IL
Ministry Upcoming U.S. Tours:
10 | Cincinnati, OH; 11 | Grand Rapids, MI
12 | Indianapolis, IN; 14 | Toronto, ON, Canada
15 | Montreal, QC, Canada; 17 | Boston, MA
18 | Portland, ME; 19 | Huntington, NY
21 | Monclair, NJ; 22 | Buffalo, NY
23 | Baltimore, MD; 25 | Atlanta, GA
26 | Orlando, FLY; 28 | Austin, TX
July & August:
Our Last Night came home to New England with I The Mighty, Don Broco and Jule Vera at the Worcester Palladium
Author and Photographer: Ian Urquhart
There is always something special about a homecoming show. Family comes to visit. Old and new friends spread the word throughout their communities. Memories begin to accumulate of shows from the past. It could be assumed that this is what Our Last Night was going through before their show at the Worcester Palladium on March 24th, 2018. But before we get to the final act, there were some impressive performances put on beforehand.
First Up: Jule Vera
Although this group may not fit in with the rest of the Rock community, their presence in the Alternative music world is well known. Backed by a blissful piano, Ansley Newman (lead vocalist) displayed her wide vocal range while the rest of her bandmates followed suit. Songs like “Scarlet Letter” off of Friendly Enemies (2015) and “Bad Company” off of Waiting On The Sun (2017) were soft enough to set the mood to “chill”. On the other hand, they were also upbeat enough to get the floor jumping in harmony. Overall, Jule Vera was a wonderful band to listen to as well as a great opening act to initiate the evening’s festivities.
Second Up: Don Broco
Like many European artists and bands, when traveling abroad and performing in different counties, you probably never know what you’re going to see or expect. That being the case, bringing nothing but 100% to the stage is almost required. Which is exactly what Don Broco did. A Bedford, North London party was brought across the pond to the Worcester, Massachusetts. A Don Broco performance is a mixture of cowbells and poppy riffs while also throwing a wall of death in the mix. Rob Damiani (lead vocalist) had everyone in the crowd take of their shirts and swing them around their heads in a “European” fashion during the performance of “T-Shirt Song” off of Technology (2018). This set was a wild and unexpected experience if you have not seen Don Broco perform live before. Also, kudos to Simon Delaney (lead guitarist) for practically swinging his legs up and over his head while rocking out – which did NOT look easy.
Third Up: I The Mighty
If only Jule Vera and I The Mighty went on tour together, they would be a match made in heaven. The progressive/indie/alternative vibe that was being projected from the stage was strongly apparent. Simply put, the most popular songs played by the San Francisco natives were “Speak to Me” off of Satori (2013) and “Where the Mind Wants to Go” off of Where the Mind Wants to Go/ Where You Let it Go (2017). Something special about I the Mighty was that their songs were easily relatable. The lyrics behind each track passionately resonated to those listening in some way. Which was the feel that many fans were receiving during their set. Some attendees were getting emotional while singing alongside their concert neighbor. This is a talented group with the ability to do big things with their creative, collective minds.
Last but not least: Our Last Night
Appropriately timed, Our Last Night waited until ACDC’s “Back in Black” finished playing over the PA before taking the stage. According to Trevor Wentworth (lead vocalist), this performance was the largest of their career. What a feeling that must have been. To be playing at the same venue they spent so much time at as kids watching other bands live out their dream. Originating from southern New Hampshire, families of the band and crew huddled on the stage to watch their loved ones be embraced by their home crowd.
What a show. Our Last Night took a concert and turned it into an evening full of surprises and cooperation. How might this be the case? By having the pit attendees carry Woody Woodrow (bassist) from the stage all the way to the bar and back. During which, Woody took a shot of Jägermeister and brought back five Miller Lights for the rest of the fellas on stage. Which was executed perfectly. However, one thing for sure is that Our Last Night provided a wide variety of tempos, breakdowns, singalongs and melodies during their set. Heavier riffs were heard during “Ivory Tower” off of Selective Hearing (2017) while cell phones lit the venue during the ever popular “Sunrise” off of Oak Island (2013). Another aspect of Our Last Night that has been received overwhelming well is their ability to cover pop songs and turn them into their own metal renditions. Example of this was seen during their performance of Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You.” So far, almost every show has been sold out for Our Last Night on their Selective Hearing Tour.
Seeing bands return home to where they started is always a heartwarming experience to witness. To see their hard work payoff right in front of their eyes. And quite honestly, not too many New Hampshire bands can say they sold out the Palladium.
Overall, incredibly satisfying and exciting evening filled with passionate musicians.
Until next time,
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