Apr 23, 2018

Ministry / Chelsea Wolfe - Rams Head Live

By Bob Suehs

 

MINISTRY / CHELSEA WOLFE

4/23/18

Rams Head Live

Baltimore, MD

 Ministry Set List:  Twilight Zone, Victims of a Clown, TV4/Chan, Punch In Face, Señor Peligro, Lies, Rio (Possible), We’re Tired of It, Wargasm, Antifa, Just One Fix, NWO, Theives, So What, ENCORE: Bad Blood

 Al Jourgensen - his thin build, long dreads, face tattoos, and abundant facial piercings make him both cartoonish and iconic.  Creating a genre of music that influenced rock, dance, and pop, Al and company brought their current 2018 tour to Baltimore, Maryland on a warm April evening.  The venue has an upstairs and downstairs;  the upstairs was shut down due to lower than expected ticket sales.

 Ministry are currently touring in support of their latest release, “AmeriKKKant” which is a politically charged essay on the state of the world in 2018.

 Chelsea Wolfe was an interesting opener because the music created onstage was equal parts creepy emotion and overt samples.  The band performed in a deep red and blue lighting which made the tone of the show dark and gothic. 

 At times the Chelsea Wolfe set came off a tad too brooding but offered an interesting contrast to what Ministry were about to bring when they took the stage.

 Ministry had an interesting stage set up that featured a “Trump Chicken” on each side of the stage while various fake tv sets were layered behind the band.

 Ministry Lead Guitarist Sin drew a Gene Simmons face on his Trump Chicken and members all of the members of Ministry autographed it as well.   At the merch table autographed vinyl copies of the latest Ministry record were also available for purchase.

When Ministry took the stage all band members minus Al sported a mask or bandana which covered their faces while a video of Trump speaking played in the background.  

 The show sounded excellent, the live sound mix was perfect and the samples were not overbearing which is often an issue with live Ministry performances.

 Al performed behind an interesting assortment of mic stands which made Al look like a mad scientist behind a barrage of skulls and metal.

 Former Static-X bassist Tony C. adds a thickness to the live sound while Cesar and Sin bring the treble soaked guitar and lead tones to each song.  Burton from Fear Factory joined the band for several songs and what’s interesting about this current version of Ministry is how tight they perform as a band.  Each members delivers a strong performance and acts as a “unit” onstage.  Past Ministry line-ups lacked the cohesiveness that this version of Ministry has.

 Ministry finished their set just around 10:50 PM with an encore that consisted of “Bad Blood” which was not necessarily a crowd favorite BUT an ideal way to end their set because it closed with a blistering track that left the crowd wanting more.