Pigface offers a cornucopia of industrial-flavored madness with two shows Thanksgiving weekend | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Pigface offers a cornucopia of industrial-flavored madness with two shows Thanksgiving weekend 

click to enlarge Pigface


Courtesy the Artist

Pigface was born in 1990 as the supergroup brainchild of Ministry members Martin Atkins, also of Public Image Limited and Killing Joke, and William Rieflin, who has led a miraculously eclectic career—anyone who’s been a member of R.E.M., Swans, and King Crimson can probably play just about anything. By design, the group has had a revolving-door lineup, and the list of people who’ve been involved over the decades reads like a who’s who of industrial music, with a strong emphasis on artists who’ve recorded for the Wax Trax! label. Pigface’s sporadic recordings are raw, high-energy delights where every player indulges in forms of gritty silliness that might not fly in their main gigs—what might be ordinary shenanigans for Gwar (whose Beefcake the Mighty and Slymenstra Hymen have played in Pigface) might not fit the scope of more “serious” groups such as Godflesh (Justin Broadrick) or Tool (Danny Carey). When applied to a live show, this approach produces a wild, anything-is-possible energy. The many-headed beast woke up from a seven-year sleep in 2016, and it’s culminating its first U.S. tour in 14 years with a pair of shows at Thalia Hall (and in a public Facebook thread, Atkins reassured a disappointed fan who lives off this particular tour path that Pigface will be on the road again before long). The full cast of players for these shows is too long to include here, but along with Atkins, the lineup includes Mary Byker of PWEI and Gaye Bykers on Acid, En Esch of KMFDM, and members of Silverfish, Evil Mothers, My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult, and 77 Luscious Babes. On top of that, Lamb of God front man Randy Blythe has extended his stint from a handful of dates to the entire tour. This being a hometown gig, there will also be plenty of familiar faces, including locals Chris Connelly, Bruce Lamont (who has also collaborated with Atkins in Brain Tentacles), Leyla Royale, Add-2, and Orville Kline—and with any luck the stage might get even more crowded with surprise guests. Pigface has been recording throughout the tour, and the band is compiling tracks for a deluxe live album package that will be released in early 2020.   v

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