On December 2nd, 2018 Rebel Nightclub in Toronto was taken over by fans of all ages who were ready to go hard on a rainy Sunday evening. Making fans SCREAM that night were Alien Weaponry, Carpenter Brut and Ministry.
Checking in, I found out that Carpenter Brut had strict media policies that only allowed one photojournalist there to capture their set. I was a little disappointed about that, however there was also a little trouble with my name being listed for media too. Thankfully a representative of Carpenter Brut came to my rescue and listed me under them. So truthfully, even though I missed out on what I'm sure was a fantastic set, I have nothing but respect for those guys and totally appreciate the help that I was given that night thanks to their presence.
It was my first time shooting an event at Rebel and I was a little surprised to find out that there was no specific media waiting area and we were asked to wait outside. This wouldn't have been an issue in the summer, but in the winter, the sudden change in temperature for a camera lens produces a similar effect to glasses fogging up when coming inside and was a little tricky to deal with. Aside from that, the night ran very smooth and the Live Nation representative was extremely kind, patient and helpful. The size of the venue, the design, the lighting and stage were all impressive; there was a lot of room to move around in the photo pit as well. Rebel makes for a great concert venue, that's for sure.
Alien Weaponry started the night out with a powerful bang. Travelling all the way from New Zealand, it was their first Canadian show ever and they set that stage on fire. I had already known of these guys prior to seeing them thanks to my younger brother who followed their YouTube channel from their start. So to have the opportunity to see them live and cover it was one heck of an experience.
The guys in Alien Weaponry may be young, but they have the skill of bands who have been playing for 20+ years and their energy is extremely contagious. The enthusiasm from each of the three band members was through-the-roof and it was easy to see that they were enjoying their time up on stage. What impressed me the most was their overall sound though. For real, these guys sound the same live as they do in their professional recorded content and official youtube videos. They were INSANE and you can watch a few little clips from their set here! Born to thrash, Alien Weaponry put on a brutal set that definitely gained them a bunch of Toronto fans that night. They are paving the way for the next generation of Metal and I can't wait until they come back!
Ministry headlined the night and my fan-girl heart may have exploded a little the moment the stage lighting changed. I grew up listening to the band and their music opened my eyes to so many other styles young. I was very happy to have the opportunity to photograph their set. It was mind-blowing from the start. The stage had changed drastically in the time that I had been waiting and the place was just packed with people. Small televisions scattered the stage, lit up in different colours with three large screens playing various slides behind them. The most impressive feature was the mic stand; a cross lit up with nails coming from each side and a bunch of microphones all around the top. It was one of the coolest stages I've seen and the venue just shook with roaring applause the moment the band appeared.
It was obvious to see why Ministry has been successful in the industry for so many years, their set was more than just music - it was a theatrical experience. Just as the first band had talent beyond their years, these guys had the energy of teenagers. It was actually a little hard to focus on just one thing because there was so much going on at once. Band members changed up placing, covering every inch of the stage or they switched up their appearances by removing masks or glasses. The large screens behind were changing images, the quick lighting flashed various colours and the fans who were going super hard all made for a wonderfully chaotic time.
Ministry is one of those bands who you really just have to get out and see on your own to truly understand how incredible they are because if you weren't a fan before seeing them, you absolutely will be after. They put on one of the best sets I have ever had the chance of seeing and I hope that they find themselves back in Toronto again soon. Overall this night was fantastic. Despite the little setbacks initially and the cold waiting time between sets, Rebel may just be my new favourite venue to shoot at and you find more images of Alien Weaponry and Ministry HERE, plus their social media links below.
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