Ministry Took Their Fans To Church
At The Paramount in Huntington, NY
For some fans, music is their religion and putting their favorite band on is like going to a virtual sermon, but attending a concert is going to church. Over the last three and a half decades Ministry has developed a devoted cult following and they came out in masses on April 19, lined up down the street at The Paramount in Huntington, NY, dressed in their church going best, hardcore and mostly in black.
That fact that it was cool, damp, and rainy had no affect on them, as they were very eager to gain that covenant spot right up close to the band. And to no surprise the age group covered pre-teen to senior, my own mother introduced me to this band in the late 1980’s at a time when I was hooked on Judas Priest.
Al Jourgensen has led Ministry, and ministered the industrial music scene, since 1981. With a total of fourteen albums that were released from 1983’s With Sympathy to this year’s AmeriKKKant, you can hear the history that has grown their fan base and inspired a countless amount of other musicians.
They have also caught the attention of the mainstream and have been nominated for Grammy’s in 1993, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2010. Jourgensen is the only original member and the band has had many lineup changes over the years, but the concept and feel have always remained consistent.
With three acts on the bill the show started promptly with the opening act, an industrial punk metal trio, The God Bombs. Hailing not far from their home base of Brooklyn, NY, Justin Symbol (vocals), Edrick Subervi (percussion), and Jabbath Roa (synthesizer) had quite a few fans there to greet them as they took the stage.
With a lot of emotion and energy they played all the tunes from their 2018 debut EP, Hex, “Breed”, “Hexxx”, “Low Lights”, “Socio Path” and the song that really got the crowd going, “Castrate Me”. Then they closed out their set with a cover of The Cure’s song, “Killing an Arab”.
Up next was the haunting Chelsea Wolfe. With extremely dim lighting to set the tone, Bryan Tulao (guitar), Ben Chisholm (keys, bass, electronics), and Jess Gowrie (drums) started playing “Carrion Flowers” and as soon as Wolfe joined them to sing and play guitar, a man yelled from the audience. “I love you Chelsea!”
Standing very stoic, she immediately immersed herself in the song. With a recently released album in September 2017, they performed “Spun”, “Vex”, “16 Psyche”, and “Scrape” from said album. They also played “Demons”, “After the Fall”, “Dragged Out,” and “Feral Love.”
At the end of their set, Wolfe’s following let her know how much they enjoyed the performance as they were cheering as she said the only words she spoke to them all night, “Thank you so much.”
During the final intermission of the night there was no curtain drawn to hide the stage. The crowd was able to watch the descent of stagehands doing their thing as they set up the equipment and various props, including inflating two chickens with no-swastika signs painted on them at both sides of the stage.
Quite a few people cheered as they brought out Al Jourgensen’s elaborate microphone stand, and you could feel the energy of the excitement building in the room. As soon as the house lights dropped the place went wild. Getting the show started, Sin Quirin (guitars), Cesar Soto (guitars), Tony Campos (bass), John Bechdel (keyboards), Joey Jordison (drums), and DJ Swamp (turntables) took to their instruments and got the groove going with “I Know Words” and before long Al Jourgensen (vocals, guitars) joined the band and took it to the next level.
Jourgensen introduced Burton C. Bell (vocals) for the next song “Victims of a Clown”, and the crowd was clearly digging the addition of Bell on this tour. He also joined them for a couple of other songs that were played during the course of the show, “We’re Tired of It” and “Wargasm.”
Ministry performed songs off of their new album and their vast catalogue of music including, “Twilight Zone,” “Punch in the Face,” “Señor Peligro,” “LiesLiesLies,” “Rio Grande Blood,” “Antifa,” “Just One Fix,” “N.W.O.,” “Thieves,” “So What” and did one an encore with “Bad Blood.” The whole night Jourgensen never let up, his power and energy drove the amazingly talented musicians that accompanied him. He frequently engaged with the audience and each song was powerfully driven by the videos, that were at times politically themed, a colorful light show and stage props that all complimented each song; it was an amazing show.
With the brand new album out now, Ministry set out first to tour North America earlier in March of this year. The tour is rounding down at the end of this month, and then they will be spending the summer overseas. With a politically driven theme, fitting for the times, AmeriKKKant has everything fans of Ministry have been drawn to all these years, so even though you may not be able to catch them live at this time, you can still get the album and enjoy their energy. And why not keep an eye out in hopes of them posting more tour dates soon.