Let’s just start by saying the doors were meant to open at 7:00 PM but that’s when Ministry‘s tour bus arrived. I witnessed the whole crew frantically getting all the gear into the venue in record time and emptying two trailers being towed by the tour bus in minutes. The doors officially opened at about 7:20 PM but fans were ushered upstairs to the other bar and smaller venue whilst Ministry set up and did sound checks. The late arrival was due to flight problems as far as I’m aware.
Ministry with their 30 years of touring and recording experience are still packing venues out. The SWX Bristol, where they performed last Wednesday night (July 25th, 2018), holds 1050 people and was 99% full. To still be pulling crowds of that size at this point in their long career is something to be proud of.
When the lights dimmed the “Min – is – try” chants rang out and the giant video screen was playing a short clip with quotes from Donald Trump. They also had two giant chickens on either side of the stage with Trump-style haircuts and eyebrows, and anti-Nazi stickers on them. Then, lead vocalist/frontman Al Jourgensen and company stormed onto the stage to an almighty roar of bass guitar rumbling and DJ Swamp’s decks kicked in for the intro to “Twilight Zone.” Jourgensen did a harmonica solo in the middle whilst using his own unique mic stand with skulls and three different mics. They smashed straight into “Victims of a Clown” along with many new and old tracks, including “Punch in the Face,” “Wargasm, “Thieves” and “Bad Blood.” The crowd, who were a mix of old and young ages, were singing along to every track. Jourgensen also used his giant Ministry megaphone on a couple of tracks.
A friend of mine tried getting me into Ministry’s music back in 1991 but it took me until 2000 to realize how good they actually are. Ministry have had many lineup changes over the years. Even Tommy Victor of Prong did a stint with the band so that just proves how good these guys are. They played a set of 15 songs and the fact that it didn’t feel that long is always proof it was an awesome show. I can’t wait for Ministry to tour near me again as I will be there – and that’s a fact!