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:
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