With a near sold-out capacity waiting in anticipation for the distorted, nebulous chimes of Chelsea Wolfe, Dublin’s Tivoli Theatre capacity stands side by side amidst a muggy, almost claustrophobic atmosphere brought on by the soaring temperature currently roasting the city as well as the majestic intensity of Chelsea Wolfe.
Tonight, a shroud of red and amber misty lights bathe the stage as the Sacramento native stands like an eerie shadow before her adoring fans. Dressed in black, Wolfe proceeds to transcend the boundaries of metal, darkwave, neo-folk and at times, black metal, with a mesmerising performance.
Hypnotic shifting tone and delicate sonic accents is the true beating heart of Chelsea Wolfe’s live experience and with tracks such as opener ‘Carrion Flowers’, the pulsing momentum of ‘Demons‘ through to the infectious ‘Feral Love‘ and uber-sinister, ‘Scrape‘, the capacity of the venue sits comfortably in the palm of her hands, all the while captivated by her unique and persuasive invitation into a dark and deeply personal world. 4/5
And so, on to the main attraction. With the venues, capacity now huddled into a sweaty mass of flushed-faced bodies, roars of encouragement come from all corners when the now infamous ‘Trump Chickens’ are inflated and placed at either side of the stage.
Not long after, the stage lights go down and the PA unleashes opening video intro ‘I Know Words’ followed by album intro track, ‘Twilight Zone‘. Guitarist Sin Quirin takes residence on the left side of the stage as the rest of the band crank up the atmosphere all the while wearing masks or bandanas.
A roar from the crowd bursts through the deafening intro of ‘Twilight Zone‘ as ‘Uncle Al’ struts on stage with a white faux fur sleeveless rug, his trademark ‘sun-boy’ glasses and a look of pure mischief in his eyes.
With a six-piece band behind him, Ministry sounds immense and deliver a concrete blast of new material from ‘AmeriKKKant‘, accompanied by a montage of graphics/footage of Donald Trump, who predominantly features throughout the show, albeit not directly referenced by Jourgensen.
The more recent material such as ‘Victims of a Clown, ‘Wargasam‘ and ‘Antifa‘ are slow-burners, however, land with a positive reaction from the pulsing venue and fit perfectly alongside the likes of ‘Rio Grande Blood‘, ‘FixFixFix‘ and ‘Thieves‘, which turns the venue on it’s head, much to the delight of Jourgensen, who kicks, punches and offers the ‘Trump Chicken’ into the sweat-drenched pit for sacrifice.
The reaction to Ministry’s older material brings out the inner beast in the chaotic pit, with bodies floating about like bobbing boats on a rough sea and half consumed plastic glasses of beer being launched into the air like rockets and it’s fucking glorious!
Feeling right at home on stage, Jourgensen, goats the crowd as he drags on a cigarette under the intense heat of the stage lights. Al’s in a good mood tonight and as the levels of chaos increase, the smile on his face get’s wider and wider.
We get a second visit to 1989’s ‘The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste‘ with ‘So What‘ causing a flurry of crowd surfers and pit action on both sides of the venue before they bid their farewell and retreat to the wings of the stage under a thunderous chant for more!
Tonight’s encore is a furious rendition of ‘Psalm 69‘, followed by ‘Bad Blood‘ (the only track from ‘Dark Side of the Spoon’ in tonights set), to which the venue absorb with the enthusiasm similar to a shark feeding frenzy and it’s fucking magnificent! 4.5/5
Ministry’s new album ‘AmeriKKKant’ is out now via Nuclear Blast. Please visit this link to purchase your copy.
Overdrive spoke to Al earlier this year about the album, get the full feature here.
Ministry/Chelsea Wolfe Tivoli Theatre, Dublin 24/07/18. All images by Down The Barrel Photography, exclusively for Overdrive © 2018. All Rights Reserved.
Photo – Down The Barrel Photography, exclusively for Overdrive.ie © 2018. All Rights Reserved.