Live Show Reviews
(in the order recieved)
Various reviews from people who have attended some Ministry concert on their Dark Side tour...
Sent by Robert for the July 19th 1999 show at Vic Theatre in Chicago:
Opening act Acumen Nation was musicaly listenable but the vocalist was god-awful. We were glad when they left the stage. Their last song was a pretty good RAMSTIEN cover. Ministry could have recorded another album in the time it took them to get on stage, I didn't know if there were EMTs backstage trying to revive him (Al) or what. I was standing right in front of the stage where they were taping the song list and lyric sheets to the stage. I was in disbelief! Al came out and they tore the place down. They didn't play more than three songs off of Dark Side and nothing before The Mind. I've seen some of the other set lists from this tour and was kinda mad cause here they didnt crack an hour playing. They came out for an encore started into Jesus built my hotrod and got halfway through it before storming off stage because the sound system was failing, pretty bad. I was mad because on the set list sheet in front of me I could see clearly their last song was to be Lay Lady Lay wich they never got too.... A friend of mine was at the show and said they played horribly, but I don't agree. She was up in the seats and i was right up front watching Al oogle a hot young blonde in a short skirt. I never saw them play live before, and wonder if I will ever see them again! Ministry is the heavyweight champion of the world!
Sent by Chad Tevebaugh for the show on August 8th:
Ministry Murat Egyptian Room Indianapolis, IN August 7, 1999 I last saw Ministry on April 3, 1996 (also in the Murat Egyptian Room) and have been waiting to see them ever since. Almost three and a half years later my wait is finally over. Here is my review: We arrived at the venue at about 7:30 and not very many people were there yet. About 8:10 or so, Atari Teenage Riot took the stage. The show began with one of their singers making this gargantuan noise with a guitar for a couple minutes, then all the sudden the music kicked in. The funny thing is that there was all of this noise and music, but there were no visible musicians. Outside of the singer's voices (and the two minute guitar intro), EVERYTHING was either recorded or sampled. There was a DJ, but she didn't really seem to be doing very much. I found their show amusing for about 5 minutes. I don't go to concerts to hear pre-recorded music. One note: ATR were VERY, VERY loud. BRING EARPLUGS to the show and thank me later. One reviewer said that Ministry's show was one of the loudest they had ever heard.......I can say that ATR was the loudest I have ever heard. Enough about that, I am writing to review Ministry. Ministry came on the stage about 9:40 and approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes later, they were done. When they came on the stage, the first thing I noticed is that Al looked very frail and skinny (and the dreads are gone). It appeared to me that he has lost a lot of weight. Has nobody else noticed this? Al really seemed like he didn't feel very good as he leaned over the mic like he could hardly stand during most of the concert. He had on these arm-wrap things that certainly aroused my curiosity (maybe they were to absorb sweat). Outside of mumbled song introductions, I don't remember Al saying one word to the crowd during the show. They blasted through a setlist very similar to the setlists other reviewers have noted. The saxophonist played on a great deal of the songs and overall I felt he added a nice touch to the songs. I would have to say that my highlight of the night was hearing them play Supernaut, which closed the show. I really, really wished to hear Stigmata, but my wish was not granted. In fact there were no songs played from TLORAH, which seems for the most part to be the norm on this tour. Overall, I really enjoyed the show, but as other reviewers have said, it just seemed to be missing something overall. They (Al especially) really seemed to just be going through the motions to get through the show. Paul seemed to be in the best mood and he actually interacted with the crowd before the encore by asking what we wanted to hear. It seemed like there weren't as many people there as in 1996 and the crowd was not NEAR as violent as in 96'. Further it seemed that they played a shorter setlist and we only got one encore in Indy. Further the sound didn't seem to be as solid as in 96'. Songs like Lava and Crumbs seemed to come off with a lot more clarity in 96'. I'm not sure what's up with that. Maybe I'm just gong deaf. Sorry, if my review sounds like it is toward the negative side. Actually, I really enjoyed the show. Ministry has been one of the biggest musical influences in my life and to be in a crowd 10 feet away from them is just the greatest. Although I was a tad let down, I still had a great time. The rigors of the road have to be tough and I admire them for doing what they do. Here is the setlist as best as I can remember (probably not in order, but I'm pretty sure I've got all the songs down): Reload Crumbs Psalm 69 (shortened version) Filth Pig Lava So What Just One Fix Bad Blood New World Order Hero Thieves Encore: JBMHR Supernaut Now that I have seen them again, I am already waiting for the next show (hopefully I don't have to wait three and a half years again, but whenever will be fine).
Sent by hearse57
MINISTRY CHICAGO 8-6-99 Great show! Opening band DISTURBED sucked. They sounded like rehashed PANTERA and COAL CHAMBER. But they are new and 'local' so what can you expect. Then the main opening act ATARI TEENAGE RIOT was next. Their live show was thought of by many around me as monotonous at best and insulting at worst. This group had all their instruments dubbed onto tape so that 3 members could 'act' like lead vocalist. They came on stage jumping and dancing about, but completely lost energy half way through their set. HA,HA. Plus they relied solely on 12 large xenon strobe lights for special fx. These lights were flashed about 12 times per second directly at the audience. Very insulting and unprofessional. Anyway... on to MINISTRY. I started worrying when I saw the stagehands taping 14 lyric sheets of paper to the ground by the main microphone stand. Then they came onto the stage , Al last of course. The set list was basically the standard tour list. And their was the mysterious, 6" heel clad, pale, skinny, dominatrix looking female vocalist for Bad Blood. On DSOTS the credits refer to a Tycoon, probably her name. Overall it was a kick ass, no nonsense, error free show. Al also had a butterfly knife for stage theatrics, very cool. The show did not seem extremely loud as other people have said it would be. I feel it was a perfect sound level. This show was definitely worth the $30 ticketmaster price and my 3 hour drive to Chicago. I have begun to enjoy the new album to a greater extent after seeing them perform some of the songs live. The set list is as follows: Reload (Al on mandolin) Crumbs Psalm69 Filth Pig (Al on harmonica) Lava Hero Bad Blood (Tycoon on raspy backup vocals) So What Just One Fix N.W.O. Thieves ----first encore---- Nursing Home Supermaniac Soul ----second encore---- Jesus Built My Hotrod Supernaut
From Lou Fazio - August 2nd - NYC
MINISTRY, Roseland Ballroom, NYC, Fri 30-July-99. Al Jourgensen & Paul Barker brought their loud, pummeling, thrashy juggernaut of a roadshow to NY last Friday, in the recently rennovated (but still pretty skanky) Roseland. The band played a tight, powerful, punishing 85-min set. However (imho) something was sorely lacking, as expected from seeing recent setlists: too few songs from their most recent and excellent album, 'Dark Side of the Spoon'. If I had never seen them before I would have been completely awed & blown away big time, but this is the 4th time I've seen them live, & the old stuff is ..... pretty old by now. 'So What' is still a great song, & really fired up the audience (who seemed to love the fact that the set was mostly older songs), but it chews up 11-12 minutes of valuable set time! Bulk of the set was comprised of songs from '96's 'Filth Pig' and '92's platinum-selling 'Psalm 69'. Only ONE new song in the main set, but at least we got 2 in the first encore, including the very textural & unexpected 'Nursing Home'. The usually huge & sprawling live band line-up included 2 guitarists (Mike Scaccia & another guy I assume is long-time member Louis Svitek), the amazing Rey Washam on drums, a keys guy, Barker on bass (he loves those hollow-body Gibsons, & gets a great, fuzzy tone that is *felt* thru the legs, groin, & chest), & of course Al on occasional guitar + other instruments & lead vox. Al sang great, was very intense, seemed to be *relatively* sober, & looked like he was having fun all night. They were augmented by an unknown alto-sax player on almost every song, + a tall sexy female vocalist who did cool back-up vox on 'Bad Blood'. Biggest revelation this nite was Al's outstanding lead-slide guitar playing on 'Bad Blood', VERY COOL, as well as his babbling-redneck-on-speed-thru-a-fuzzbox impersonation of Gibby Haynes on their big hit single from '92, 'Jesus Built My Hotrod'. (They played the shorter, sample-less version). Light show was simple but good, lots of reds & whites & occasional BLINDING strobes. Setlist: 9:20-10:45pm Reload (Al: elec. mandolin) Crumbs ** Psalm 69 (minus the big intro, they just went into the main verse riff) Filth Pig (Al: harmonica, played very well!) Lava ** So What ** Bad Blood (Al: slide git) Just One Fix ** >> N.W.O. >> Hero >> Thieves (backing vox by the lead singer of openers Nothingface, who sucked) Encore 1: Supermanic Soul Nursing Home ** (no gits at all; Svitek played keys, Scaccia elec. banjo) Jesus Built My Hotrod (Al: slide git) Encore 2: Supernaut (Al: git. I love the stern, anti-drug & anti-rock sampling of the guy who says "they all sing the same refrain, it's fun to take a trip, put acid in your veins...") ** joined by alto-saxist
From praise tubbies - 30 July '99
Hey, Afra, I saw Ministry at the 9:30 club yesterday and I thought I'd review them. I noticed that most of the recent reviews aren't too favorable (I was discouraged before I went) but I'm sending this to set the record straight. Venue: The Nightclub 9:30, Washington D.C. 7/28/99 I came to see Ministry, expecting less than the best from one of the most seminal Aggro-Industrial bands ever, due to some discouraging reviews of recent, but was thoroughly impressed by the completely magnum display. There seemed to be some delay for the entire night. I don't know where the responsibility falls, but I'd guess that it was the nightclub's staff's fault. The line outside wasn't allowed in until going on 8:00 and the opening band didn't start until nearly 9:00. The opening band, Nothingface, completely lacked talent and appeal. The music was the same old, boring, faux thrash metal riffs and same old, boring, repetitive blast beats. The lead singer was the worst part of all: moaning and screeching while prancing around the stage, doing some idiotic booty-dance/pantomime thing, as if someone kept pulling an imaginary chair out from under him as he tried to sit down, all across the stage, back and forth. The crowd harassed and heckled them throughout their meager 30 minute set. Then came Ministry, at 10:15. Immediately after taking the stage they exploded with their full-on audio/visual hell-chamber party. Searchlights towered behind them, spotlights hung from above, casting their crooked shadows onto the walls of the club in red, green, purple. The backdrop, when not bathed in red or green lights, displayed a psychedelic food-coloring/oil kaleidoscope. Al bounded around the stage, drinking, smoking, dousing Mike with champagne, making mocking conducting motions and irreverent hand gestures to the beats, exchanging jokes with Paul while cackling to each other, offering the mike to the crowd to yell the chorus, throwing spare water bottles to the moshing crowd, wailing and howling at the end of So What, giving the crowd the champagne bottle, his guitar slide and pick, all the while with the thundering music and lights filling the building. And only once during the 90 minute set (with 2 encores) did I see Al checking the lyric sheet on the floor. Despite the pathetic opening act, this Ministry concert is probably the best concert I'll ever see and if you have the chance to see them I strongly recommend you take advantage of the opportunity. The Band: A. Jourgensen: Vox, Mandolin, Harmonica, Guitar P. Barker: Bass R. Washam: Drums M. Scaccia: Guitar, Banjo on Nursing Home L. Svitek: Guitar, Keyboard on Nursing Home D. Buford: Keyboard, Samples Unknown guy (Mars Williams?): Sax on almost every song Unknown tall goth lady: Vox, Interpretive Dance on Bad Blood, Interpretive Dance during the encores The Set List: Reload Crumbs Psalm 69 (without intro) Filth Pig Lava So What Bad Blood Just One Fix N.W.O. Hero Thieves (encore 1) Nursing Home "That was like the second time we played that song...This is like the first time we'll play the next one..." -Al Jesus Built My Hot Rod (encore 2) Supermanic Soul Supernaut
From E. Oscar Pearson: - 29 july '99
I have a close relationship to Ministry, so my review might be a little biased. Anyway, the band arrived early in the afternoon to do sound checks. Keep in mind that this mini-tour of the U.S. was a warm-up for the upcoming European tour. They hadn't been together on stage since 1996 and to top it off much of the equipment used was rather new. It takes a while to get things worked out, including the set list from the new album. It's much different presenting your music live than when you are working in a studio environment. I have it on good authority that the set lists were the old ones from 1996 with little new stuff because there hasn't been ample time to work out the live arrangements for the new albums material. It's easier to get back into the groove, as a band, when you start out with material you've already worn your fingers out on before, too. Considering that it took from 5 or 6 hours for Ministry to get the sound systems checked out and the samplers adjusted to some degree of proper adjustment, the show was great. The band did suffer from a little bit lower power than usual in Grand Rapids, but thought that would be worked out shortly. The bullet Mic used for JBMHR and Harp on Filth Pig was broken and had to be jury rigged to be able to use it at all. Given the great obstacles of getting back on the road, this early gig was well presented and came out well. The vocals were not as audible as they usually are do to equipment and house systems problems. Al was definitly displeased with this. But these guys are professionals and strive to do what's right for themselves and the fans. The show must go on! I can tell you when they come to Detroit on August 3rd, I'll be there. I will write a new review for the primed and ready to go group when they come. I look forward to hearing more Dark Side of the Spoon tunes at this show. The U.S. tour dates are packed together to tightly. I can't imagine that everyone will be rested and on top physically, but you never know. It's bound to be: some days better than others. I don't think people realize the pressure nightly playing and travelling from one city to another puts on a person. You have to have a lot of admiration for those that can do it, especially once you get over 40 as both Al and Paul are.
From Kai Siljander:
I saw Ministry last Saturday in Ruisrock and I just wonder how I'm still alive. I can't describe the feeling but it was one hour of total mayhem! They played so loud that many people put their fingers in their ears and asked the security guys for ear plugs. And the sounds were awesome. The guitar riffs were occasionally even heavier than on the albums and we were so stoked. It was definitely one of the best gigs I have ever seen! Here is the song list. It may be incomplete and the order is not correct (Reload, Filth Pig and Jesus Built... are in right order but the rest probably aren't) Anyway, I can get you the complete list if you want. This is the list I wrote afterwards: 1. Reload 2. Filth Pig 3. Crumbs 4.Thieves 5. Lava 6. So What 7. N.W.O. 8. Hero 9. Just One Fix 10. Psalm 69 11. Jesus Built My Hotrod They didn't play any songs from The Dark Side Of The spoon which was quite a surprise to me. But maybe they thought the album is too new for the Finns.
From Alan Esher - July 29th '99:
Just got back online since i saw the july 28th show of ministry at the 9:30 club in dc!!!!! IT WAS FUCKING AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the song list was (this may not be the right order) Reload Crumbs Psalm 69 Filth Pig Lava Hero Bad Blood So What Just One Fix N.W.O Thieves Nursing Home Jesus Built My Hotrod Supermanic Soul Supernaut They had 2 encores and completly deafened me and my friends with the arena strength equipment they brought into the club (hehe) Al Jourgensen was goin crazy and it looked like he had trouble standing up at the begining (to many drugs i guess :)) It also seemed that they were trying alot of stuff on the crowd (like nursing home and supermanic soul) to see how it would go over. all in all it all seemed to go over quite well i thought and the crowd was into it all. word of adivice though they are easily one of the loudest band i have ever seen (and ive seen alot!!). When Just one fix comes on your like "wow this is loud" then NWO starts and its like 3 times as loud!! then Thieves starts and by that time you cant hear anymore hehe great show one of the best.
From adam inverso - july 28th
great show. just wanted to drop a line on the set list. in no particular order: reload filth pig lava crumbs n.w.o heros just one fix psalm 69 jesus built my hotrod so what theives bad blood supermanic soul nursing home supernaught all in all it was a great show. al and the guys seemed to be having a whole lot of fun on stage
From Miha Rinne (the show was in Finland):
this was first time they played there, I wonder how they felt doing it in sunny beach in front of thousands who ALL were too drunk to figure out or even care whats happening.....Jourgensen was funny through the gig, he did kind of cheesy dancing around, tried to sodomize his guitarist(not barker), drank wine and finnish vodka (which he threw at audience) between songs. However I've heard theyve been somewhat wilder onstage in the past. I also noticed barker's hair was turned somewhat whiter (is he getting old? he he) When they played songs like "so what" and "NWO" audience at the front went totally bonkers, everybody was bouncing, jumping, punching, kicking and pushing each other..at some point jourgensen told audience: "you are fucking mad !" after watching the carnage on the front for some time. Disappointingly they plaid no new tunes at all, Al tried to introduce one of them, but every time he tried to say "..and the name of the song is..." people shouted really loud "JESUS!" then barker whispered something to him, Al grinned and they played "jesus built my hotrod" straight off - and went off the stage, no encore. So it was bit like 'no new songs for you buggers because you didnt wanna hear!' Sound was excellent,they plaid very tight and fast set, live drummer was very well up to his task! It was really a kick-ass performance compared to anything else I've seen. I waited 10 years to see ministry and that was worth it.
Nikolaj HTP sent me this one from his attendance of a Ministry concert at Roskilde Festival on the 1st of July
As I am a very very big fan of Ministry, I had been looking forward to this day for a very long time. I had seen them once before, in the same place in 1996, and it was the best concert I had ever been to. But as I walked away from this years concert, I could not help being a bit disapointed. First of all, they did not play any new songs, which to me seems stupid and strange. I would have gone totally mad when they played Supermanic Soul, and it would be so cool to hear tracks like Bad Blood, Nursing Home and Eurika Pile live, but it never happened. Also the Track list was far to much like the one in 96, the only difference was Lava and Jesus BMHR! The latter was played without energy, and I have never liked that song anyway. But still, they songs they played are killer tracks, and they should make a great concert anyway. But it didn't. Al Jourgensen was so pissed that he could hardly stand, and the drummer seemed not to be entirely played in with the rest of the band. This resulted in Al starting verses at strange places, and the drummer in missing brakes. But somehow Paul Barker mangaed to keep things together. It was obvioulsy him that was the leader on stage, and he was responsible for for the fact that sometimes the concert after all did go well. Tracks like Thieves and So what were the highlights of the concert, even though Al did far to many "WUHUHUHUHUHU" noises in So What. The opening track was Reload, and apart form the soundguy messing up al's Banjo solo, it did go well. It was the same thing with tracks like NWO and Crumbs, but still they lacked that "Kick ass" mentality that the same tracks had 4 years ago. Psalm 69 was played in a very strange way without the intro, and Lava was somewhat changed as well. They also played Hero, which to me is strange, coz IMO it is the worst track of Psalm 69. All in all I was disapointed. But then again, my expectations were huge, and it would have taken them a massive perfomance to live up to them. New fans may have been satisfied and become interested in buying more Ministry, but old fans must have been disapointed. And by old fans I don't mean the ones that only like stuff from before Psalm 69, coz personally I think that Filth Pig and Dark Side are among Ministrys best... Track list: Reload Lava Crumbs Psalm 69 Just One Fix NWO Hero Thieves So What Jesus Built My Hotrod Any commentaries to this review are welcome, just mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
From Johnathan Fritz, comes this humorous guide to Ministry concerts:
My "Ministry in a theatre" survival kit (compiled due to experience in failing to comply with all the listed items below and paying the price) 1. 2 sets of earplugs (always bring the backup) 2. 1 old pair of glasses (I can't see without em)(I did find 1 lense though) 3. 1 pair steel toe boots, to protect the feet (that fuckin hurts) 4. Leather pants to prevent ripping and unecessary chafing (guaranteed) 5. 1 cheapo camera with the string duct taped to the wrist 6. Keep camera in hand at all times 7. No chain necklaces, they either question letting you in sometimes or someone tries to choke you, or you lose it.(yeah real funny haha) 8. Keep hands up in front of your chest at all times , on the defensive (works everytime) 9. Bring the wallet attached to a chain but not an excessivly long one, do not bring credit cards and bring only needed i.d. 10. Put the wallet in the front pocket, (some people really suck at pick pocketing, but it has happened more than once, unsuccessfully mind you) 11. Drink more water than beer (Beer+dehydration=bad shit) 12. Don't move to the back or sides thinking the "pit" will not be there, satellites always occur 13. And don't eat right before the show as the decibel level they work on (i.e. "the fall" fuckin vibrates your innards. (weird feeling) 14. Mix move slam stir and enjoy. :)
Another one from Jakob Berg Hansen at the same concert as above:
Well, first of all the guys show up 15 min. late, i know this sounds petty but at Roskilde you only get one hour and then it's OUT unless the audience REALLY wants you back, which they didn't so only 45 min. Ministry. What was great though was that they played Reload, Crumbs, Bad Blood, So What, Just One Fix and Thieves, all songs that (as far as my memory goes) weren't played when they visited Roskilde in '96, too bad they were the first band on that stage because the volume were too fu#@%ng high, i know Ministry's supposed to be loud but they played their set so loud i could hear a ringing in my head for the next 2 days, something i haven't experienced the other 3 times i've been at this festival. Bottom line: good songs+bad timing+bad sound=lousy concert=fuck'em I hope you can use this, if only to tell people that Ministry sucked at Europes most prestigious festival.From the show at the Big Day Out, comes a review from Paul Heaton:
Ministry had a 45 minute slot on the big day out so they only had time for a mini-set. Everyone but Al came onstage at once and went straight into 'Reload'. Al came onstage at the last moment before the singing began doing a funny dance. (Al was playing what I presume was a Mandolin) He was wearing shades throughout the whole show, green shorts, a white hockey t-shirt with an indian on the front and the number 55 on the back. Paul was dressed all in black, a leather jacket on top. The band sounded great throughout but bizarrely didn't play anything off dark side of the spoon. The set list was set to pound the audience, all the heavy riffing songs which was good but including 'Lay Lady Lay' or 'Filth Pig' would have balanced the set a lot better. Nothing was said whilst onstage, the band no attention to the audience but seemed focused on the music. The endings of 'Lava' and 'Crumbs' were extended which wasn't particulary smart since their time was limited but hey, they can do what they want. The highlight for me was 'Just One Fix' which sounded killer and got the most people moshing wildly to. Ministry left to a big round of applause, Paul was last to leave the stage, shouting, which was hard to tell whether it was in anger or enthusiasm. Set list Reload Crumbs Psalm 69 Lava N.W.O Just One Fix Hero Thieves
A review from a concert at the Astoria, London, from Brad Martens.
What a show in the Astoria I took 4 beginners to Ministry and one guy who had never even seen a concert before and rocked their world the mixer needs some work but overall the show rocked Bad Blood Reload Filth Pig Lava Crumbs NWO Just One Fix Hero Jesus Built My Hotrod Psalm 69 Thieves So What The Missing/Diety Supernaut that was the set list that i remember the crowd went wild for supernaut at the end (really for the whole show) definitely has made my trip to england a worthwhile event will be interested to see if the big day out show will even compare
Ministry. June 19, 1999. Vic Theatre. Chicago, IL. I don't know if I remeber the whole setlist but they did play the following songs: (opening) Supermanic Soul. Reload. Crumbs. Psalm 69 (different version) Filth Pig. N.W.O.. So What. Thieves. Whip and Chain (guest vocals by some hot chick) (encore) Jesus Built My Hotrod. They didn't talk to the crowd at all. In fact, it looked like Al Jourgensen didn't even want to be there. For some of the songs, lyrics were taped to the stage for Al to refer to. Hmm. Nonetheless, they fucking rocked.
From Olivia Savannah Vondra:
I went to the Ministry concert on June 17th in Grand Rapids, MI. My experience was similar to that of the other reviews posted: short set, extremely loud, and few words were spoken to the audience. Most of the time Al read the lyrics posted on the floor in front of him, and he seemed to not care about putting any feeling into his songs (as in anger, etc.). Their set was too damn short: about 12 songs--much shorter than other concerts I've been to. I was disappointed because the band just seemed to have the attitude that they were just going through the motions, as though it was just another day in the work force. I wanted them to put the same feeling into their music that created it in the first place! But, despite all that, it was still the best concert I've ever been to, because Ministry is practically my religion...and they played "Filthpig", which topped it off!
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