Get ready to prey and obey to the gospel of PIG. I’ve only been to the Crescent Ballroom on a few occasions. Though navigating the venue can have its challenges, it’s nice to find myself back again. The staff are great and helpful while having no fear of joking around a bit. All which made for a mind-shattering night of visual marvels with a dash of nostalgia.
I joined the show a little late after having a pleasant chat with PIG. Waiting for me was plenty of room against the stage for Ghostfeeder. As two guys with a guitar and synth, they are amazing to behold. With a well-placed light setup and fog machines, the duo fills the space without crowding each other or leaving gaps of draining void. No matter where you look, there is something going on with a heavy yet whimsical synthrock sound. The two things that caught my eye the most was the reflective guitar that played so well with the light and the Nintendo 64 controller mapped to the synth. I spent some time talking to the band after the show about the look and feel of their performance, the instruments, and the struggle of being a duo one stage. Needless to say, it’s a struggle Ghostfeeder is managing just fine. PIG had mentioned they were an amazing show worth seeing and I was not disappointed. I’ll be looking for Ghostfeeder to return to Arizona.
With a quick turnaround, Julien-K took the stage. Admittedly, I had never heard of Julien-K before but I have friends and family who absolutely love them. My first impression was that their sound was too calm for my taste. When Amir Derakh (Lead Guitar/Synth) put his guitar down and played synth a few songs in, it broke any tension I felt. Throughout the next few songs, Amir kept signaling to lower the sound of his synth which was almost deafening. He took it all in stride though, smirking and shaking his head as he signaled to lower the volume again. Ryan Schuck (Vocals/Rhythm Guitar) worked the audience and roamed the stage, occasionally facing off with Amir as they both played. Near the end, I found myself connecting with the songs and wanting to dance along. The real treat was hearing “Blue Monday” live. It’s been a decade or more since I heard that song and it’s drastically better live. It was a pleasure to meet Ryan later in the night and I’ll be listening to Julien-K’s music more closely.
Finally, the mighty swine, PIG. I first heard of KMFDM in high school and found PIG from there. This was my first time seeing PIG live and it was completely worth it. Preaching as the Lord of Lard, Raymond Watts (Vocals) commands the crowd with passion and intense force. The harsh industrial sound wills you to move or give way to its majesty like a furious war-drum. I caught sight of a decent sized mosh pit behind me as the show went on. On stage, PIG was bathed in red light that only fueled the seductive experience. Raymond easily traversed the stage, leaving no fan unnoticed. My two favorite moments of their set was having my hair tussled by Raymond and PIG performing “Juke Joint Jezebel” to which I screamed along with. Be sure to check out the new video for “Prey & Obey”, released July 18th, 2017, and buy the new EP, available online.
Overall, it was an amazing night at the Crescent Ballroom with friends, new and old. Meeting the bands after a show is always a real pleasure and the horde that is my music library grows ever larger. Many thanks to PIG for inviting us out to see such an amazing performance that will not be forgotten. Ghostfeeder, Julien-K, and PIG will be touring together in North America until August 13th, 2017. You can find show dates and purchase tickets here.
All photos are taken by Pardo Photography.
Written in tandem with Soundwave Brigade.