The two-headed monster that is the Ministry and Death Grips co-headlining tour shambled into the Warfield this past Sunday, November 5th.
The legendary industrial metal project Ministry softened up the crowd with some heavy, guitar-driven thrash metal tracks from newer releases, before diving into the biggest hits from their hearty back catalog of industrial classics, including ‘Just One Fix’, ‘Thieves’, and the still politically relevant ‘N.W.O’. And speaking of politics, frontman Al Jourgenson (whom much of the scene affectionately refers to as ‘Uncle Al’) made his stance towards the current Trump administration very clear by bookending the stage with giant inflatable “Trump Chickens” adorned with crossed-out swastikas, and performed tracks like ‘[We Are] ANTIFA’ while tour crew marched across the stage waving flags. Unexpected touches included a live DJ that scratched to several tracks and performed a hardcore techno DJ set at the end of the show.
Experimental Hip Hop group Death Grips pumped the audience up well before they even hit the stage, with a brief supplementary soundcheck of intense drumming and electronic chaos bleeding out into the crowd 45 minutes before their actual set. When they finally hit the stage, the bottom-most section of the floor swirled into a massive mosh pit, with an interestingly mixed crowd of both younger and older fans. The trio hit the stage in complete darkness, save for green lasers projecting from the fingers of each band member’s hand, and pummeled the audience with walls of noise for an hour.
Guerilla performance / rap / hardcore band Vantana Row’s van made several stops in front of the Warfield before doors opened, treating the lined up patrons to 1-minute performances screamed and drummed with just as much aggression as the formally booked acts at the show. Vocalist Volly screamed, “YOU GUYS LIKE DEATH GRIPS!?” before shouting lyrics to a Vantana Row track while Jamey drummed live inside of their van with video clips playing through a van window, and Volly then flinging CDs at the crowd, all of it fairly well received.