Silver Spring, Maryland
Ministry Set List: Twilight Zone, Victims of a Clown, TV5/4Chan, We’re Tired of It, Wargasm, Antifa, Game Over, AmeriKKKa, Intermission (Smoke Break), The Land of Rape and Honey, The Missing, Deity, Stigmata, Just One Fix, N.W.O., Thieves, So What
The 2018 touring version of Ministry features:
Al Jourgensen - Vocals/Guitar
Sin Quirin & Cesar Soto - Guitar
Tony Campos - Bass
John Bechdel - Keys
Derek Abrams - Drums
Carpenter Brut opened the show and this 3 man band is the brainchild of French Synthwave artist Franck Hueso. The musicians onstage performed an interesting mix of industrial horror/porno/shock rock with live drums and guitar playing over tracks. The videos playing behind them featured scantily clad women, men being beheaded, and mock heavy metal videos. At times it was reminiscent of an instrumental version of “Turbo Lover” by Judas Priest.
Al's podium/mic stand featured a huge light up cross with random slabs of welded metal; It was a true industrial/heavy metal mic stand in every way possible!
Ministry had faux tv sets scattered across the stage and a mock “Ministry” tv channel played as crew set up the stage. “Twilight Zone” was a slow build and the perfect opening number because it allowed Al to make a grand entrance.
Al’s face is heavily pierced and his chin and forehead feature unique tattoos which make him look other-worldly. The twin guitar attack of Soto/Quirin is what makes this band distinctly “metal” and their tone is razor sharp while their timing is deliciously aggressive.
Former Static-X bassist Tony Campos is the perfect fit for Ministry and his presence is not only seen but heard.
Drummer Derek Abrams is a newcomer to the metal world and his drumming was spot on. Despite being hidden in the back he was impossible to miss.
Keyboardist John Bechdel is clearly visible on stage while his performance is subtle and at times hidden behind videos which keep him hidden. He is an important part of the show but his presence is easily missed due to various distractions onstage.
The first 8 songs in the set were new-ish and the crowd reacted well to “Antifa” and “Wargasm”. Following “AmeriKKKa” the band left the stage for a few minutes and Al came back to inform the crowd that he needed a smoke break.
Al told the crowd that “The Land of Rape and Honey” turned 30 years old recently and to celebrate that milestone he would perform songs off that record. During the title track Sin, Cesar, and Tony left the stage and did not return until “The Missing” started.
“Stigmata” sounded amazing and that led into “Just One Fix” which featured Al’s signature model Schecter guitar.
“N.W.O.” featured George Bush Jr. soundclips and it was surprising that Al did not address the recent passing of former President George Bush Sr.
“Thieves” was intense and the last song of the night was “So What” which featured an extended jam that gave the band a few extra moments to riff out while Al walked offstage for a minute.
Ministry performed a strong 90 minute set and at the end of the night you could buy an Al Jourgensen autographed cd for $10 at the merch table.