Pigface performed at Baltimore Soundstage in Baltimore, Maryland on November 20, 2019 — and I, Andy Jillson, was there rocking out and taking pictures. This was about my eight or ninth time seeing Pigface live, but undoubtedly the most memorable. I was invited onstage by Martin Atkins to play the drums on his kit for the encore song, “Suck.” Mind-blowing. Surreal. Magical. Continue reading below for full concert review. All images copyright and courtesy of Andy Jillson.
Pigface was originally formed by drummers Martin Atkins and William Rieflin during Ministry’s The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste tour in 1990. The band is basically an “industrial supergroup” with a revolving and interchangeable line-up. Pigface has featured several influential musicians and released some of the best collaborative/experimental music of the 90’s. Rieflin later played drums for Revolting Cocks, LARD, KMFDM, Swans, Nine Inch Nails, R.E.M., and he currently a member of King Crimson.
This show was high-energy, loud as hell, and cathartic. I was fortunate enough to obtain a photo pass and VIP pass for this performance. I had no idea I was going to be invited onstage to actually play drums on Martin Atkins’ drum kit. Fucking amazing. Thankfully I knew the song well and have played drums a little in the past. I actually think I killed — could just be my fanboy perception though.
The Pigface lineup for this tour was one of the best I’ve seen. Randy Blythe (Lamb of God), En Esch (KMFDM), Charles Levi (My Life w/ the Thrill Kill Kult), Danny Carey (Tool), David Yow (The Jesus Lizard), Chris Connelly (Ministry & Revolting Cocks), Andrew Weiss (Butthole Surfers & Ween), Mary Byker, Curse Mackey, Lesley Rankine, Dirk Flannigan, Fallon Bowman, Bobdog Caitlin, Bradley Bills, Greta Brinkman, Gaelynn Lea, and Orville Kline. Not every one of these musicians were at Baltimore Soundstage, but they were all made an appearance on the tour at some point.
Pigface concerts have been widely characterized by high-energy performances and their show at Baltimore Soundstage was no exception. This was my first time Pigface outside of Chicago. There were between 10-12 musicians onstage during the show (I’ve seen them with upwards of 14; including three full drum kits). In addition, fellow photographer and Hazy Eye Music Media contributor Brad Price was also invited onstage during the bands encore. It was fucking nuts! Brad was able to snap a shot of me playing the drums and I was able to snap a couple shots behind the kit. Pretty cool.
Pigface had not toured in over 14 years. They played like they never left though. The tour is over now and everyone if home recovering. I’m eternally grateful to have had this experience. Be sure to check out the Official Martin Atkins Website for Pigface news and other info about Atkins’ projects.
Here are some more photos of Pigface performing at Baltimore Soundstage in Baltimore, Maryland on November 20, 2019. All images copyright and courtesy of Andy Jillson/Hazy Eye Music Media.
Stream these Pigface albums on Spotify: