Jul 2017 06

Small’s Bar, Detroit, MI – 06/28/2017
Prey & Obey Tour 2017 #1 - Detroit, MI


In an old art deco building nestled in the heart of Hamtramck, a tiny city engulfed by the surrounding Detroit metro area, resides Small’s Bar. On this warm summer’s night, the sinners and dregs descended upon it to witness the Second Coming of the Lard and to relish in his word. On this Prey & Obey Tour, Ghostfeeder and Julien-K have joined the ranks of the faithful to prime the congregants for PIG.


Ghostfeeder, the electro/rock project of Derek Walborn and joined by Mark Hamer on guitar, took to the stage first. A menacing synth riff cuts through the air to bring everyone’s attention front and center as “Just Another Animal” kicks off the show. Walborn, surrounded by his setup of various synths and curious equipment, calmly and seamlessly managed his rig while singing with purpose and passion. There is a sweetness to his voice that adds to the storytelling nature of his lyrics. Meanwhile, Hamer’s guitar work adds a perfect layer of fuzz to the wall of electronic sound. A Nintendo-64 controller repurposed as an instrument proved unusual and highly entertaining during the up-tempo and anthemic “Martinfly.” By this time, the crowd was bobbing and dancing due to the undeniably poppy beat the pair brought, closing on “World Fameless,” an aggressive, stomping cut off the band’s latest album of the same name. Fueled by danceable beats, chaotic yet calculated synths, heavy rock guitars, and melodic vocals with a pop sensibility, Ghostfeeder was a welcome and exciting addition to the lineup.


Veteran act Julien-K graced the stage next with a signature brand of gritty L.A. glam and sex appeal. Ryan Shuck was every bit the rocker as he crooned, swayed, and wrapped the crowd around his little finger with ease. At the same time, Amir Derakh exudes a laidback and commanding energy, shredding on his guitar while Bidi Cobra – standing in for Anthony “Fu” Valcic – adds luscious vocal harmony while multitasking on bass and synth duty. Galen Waling, one of the most sought-after drummers in the electro/industrial world, mans the drums with percussive precision. Fans went wild for the dark electro dance number “Deep Beat Overground” from the 2015 first chapter of California Noir, and got a little rowdy with a spiced up, heavy punk infused version of “Death to Analog.” Other highlights include the sensual and retro tinged “Kick the Bass” and the fuzzy fever dream that is “Flashpoint Riot.” At one point during the set, Shuck joked, “It’s our first show (of this tour), we don’t know what we’re doing yet,” but that did not appear the case in the least as Julien-K certainly brought the charisma and swagger that sufficiently amped the crowd, preparing them for the pulpit of PIG.


At last, the time has come for the cursed congregation to receive salvation through sanctification. With the stage shrouded in dim, ominous lighting, the disciples of PIG entered the stage donning frightening pig masks as an atmospheric intro plays. Suddenly, the band exploded into “Prey & Obey,” the raucous title track that seems to examine the chaotic current climate of the world. As the weird and wonderful En Esch seethed and screamed for the crowd to “prey/pray” and “obey,” the Lord of the Lard himself, Raymond Watts appeared wearing a gleefully gaudy silver coat replete with fringe on the sleeves. A video screen rife with images and words added an interesting backdrop and mood throughout the whole of the set.


A funky version of “The Fountain of Miracles” took the audience by surprise, making them go mad with fervor and indicating a set list containing an array of tunes throughout the span of Watts’ catalog that surely pleased all attendees. No one can deny the joy of hearing the porcine KMFDM classics like “Disobedience” (complete with bullhorn), the darkly demented “Flesh,” and the ultimate crowd pleaser, “Juke Joint Jezebel,” with Günter Schulz continuously nailing the guitar riffs and making his playing look effortless. Newer classics from 2016’s The Gospel like the hauntingly beautiful and confessional “Saturated” and “Fly Upon the Pin” gave the audience a moment to rest, reflect, repent, and gave keyboardist Z. Marr his time to shine. The slower, more introspective songs contrasted nicely with the brand new “The Revelation,” which provided more angst, heft, and classic PIG orchestral elements. Galen Waling (pulling double drum duty like only he can) continued to keep the beat robust and on rhythm, while Watts’ raspy baritone vocals and salacious croon sounded as strong as ever to make the crowd swoon.

Photo Credit: Maura Morgan

The merciless mass draws to a close with everyone’s favorite campfire singalong song, “Find It, Fuck It, Forget It.” As Watts playfully interacts with his bandmates, a rare onstage miracle occurs – the doubters out there may not believe this tale, and even the Pork Prophet himself was astonished: Günter Schulz smiled!!! A big, lovely, happy smile. Watts exclaimed with delight, “He’s smiling. Günter actually smiled!” And when they saw this magnificent sign, the enraptured crowd of dancing dervishes was glad and honored the word of the Lard.


Article by Sarah Heiber (SHeiber)


Photography by Maura Morgan


Website, Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, YouTube
Website, Facebook, Twitter, ReverbNation, SoundCloud, YouTube
Website, Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, YouTube


Leave a Comment

ReGen Magazine