Ever since I started this website in 1994, I could have never imagined a weekend such as this past one. It was the Wax Trax! Records Retrospectacle: 33 1/3 Year Anniversary event and included performances from Front 242, My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult and former members of KMFDM and Revolting Cocks. Not only were the musical performances spectacular (LA Weekly hailing the performance of Revco tunes as "what may very well have been the greatest shows of the band's history."), but the atmosphere was incredible. The actual show, in front of a sold out crowd during all three nights, was simply superb. The sound and visual effects were extremely powerful.
After years of reading their posts, I met many people from the Prongs message board including Bisquitodoom, who helps manage this site. There were many that have been frequenting this site for over a decade that I finally have met, such as John Crawford and Jim Ballard (both of whom have contributed pictures of the event in recent days).
It was an absolute pleasure to meet Doug Freel, the creator of the FIX movie, and his wife, both of whom are very upstanding characters with many interesting stories, as well as Paul Barker, Chris Connelly, Luc Van Acker, and Duane Buford (the backstage roster of bands performing listed "The Real Revco"). Members also performing Revolting Cocks tunes who had not before, both Jaime Duffy and Dan Brill, were also outstanding people. Without their hard work, the performance would not have been as smooth as it was. It was about 10 years since I last met Richard 23 (Front 242) and his energy levels and humor is still on par with what they were back then. He performed No Devotion on the last night with Barker & co.. The families of band members were in attendance, including Paul Barker's wife, who stopped by to say hi to Prongers prior to the shows.
There were many highlights during the weekend but definitely one that stood out was Paul Barker playing bass on stage with The Blue Ribbon Glee Club (Chicago's Premier Punk Rock Choir). Together, they performed Pailhead's "I Will Refuse" and Ministry's "Everyday is Halloween".
Another highlight was during the Ministry FIX movie premiere which took place at the Music Box on April 16th 2011. Not only was the movie brilliant and received superb reception (their room was over capacity), but Dave Frey (Al Jourgensen's manager from Silent Partner Management), was reportedly caught capturing / streaming the world premier of FIX on his cell-phone, and therefore, ejected from the theater.
A euphoric atmosphere amongst all existed throughout the weekend, particularly from the bands, not only from meeting each other again after a long time, but also because they would be performing together. Backstage, prior to the event starting, as I was sitting with Connelly, Luc Van Acker came over and expressed his excitement on having to perform with Connelly again after all these years - that was when the sheer excitement and happiness amongst all really hit me.
A huge thank you is in order to Julia Nash who put all this together. Everyone involved with the weekend festivities were very appreciative of her efforts and how awesome she was to work with. Thank you Julia. As with any production of this size, there are many people not directly seen and who must also be thanked for their time and efforts. This will definitely be a weekend which will be talked about for a very long time; I certainly think that it could not have been any better.
This site has a new page, Wax Trax Chicago: Retrospectacle Live, which has more information on the weekend with links to the following picture galleries:
I have also created a thread on the message board which shows posts linked to various media samples from the weekend. If you have any more pictures, videos or information which you would like to share, please email us.
I was fortunate enough to recently watch, FIX, the long awaited Ministry documentary. I felt that the documentary was very well put together and extremely entertaining. One is constantly kept interested by the interview snippets from Biafra, Buzz, Maynard, Reznor and Davis to name just a few. What I liked most about the documentary was that the message was not entirely about Ministry, in that it showed a lot of the backstage antics that one is always curious about: how the crew and the band relate to one another, how band members relate to one another even getting annoyed (Korn's Davis having a bus of his own on tour), how they lure women in backstage, and even the stalker stories were fascinating. In addition, it was surreal to witness how drug induced Al was for a lot of the documentary. Very surreal. We have all heard the stories, however, through the camera, we can watch all this firsthand. The documentary makers never held back as all was shown.
Al's sense of humor was shown particularly in the scene where he described his encounter with Johnny Depp at one of the shows. Though perhaps not humorous, the very obvious display of paranoia from Al's drug use was intriguing, and it shown in great detail in the scenes where he is showing off the bullet proof vest. Another scene has Al discussing how he will wear a top hat so a sniper will not know where the top of his head exactly is.
There is ample exciting concert footage, interview snippets and backstage antics packed into this film and there honestly is never a dull moment while watching this.
I recommend FIX, but not as someone who has followed Ministry over many years, but as someone who is fascinated by the music industry, the world of musicians and how they relate to their surroundings.