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Review & Photos: Industrial powerhouse icons Ministry crush Cleveland with Gary Numan, Front Line Assembly

MAY 5, 2023
By Neil Shumate, OOTB Publications
Ministry cranked it to 11, delivering a deafening set of industrial metal to a packed venue; rattling the building’s foundation and vibrating the appendages and internal organs of attendees. A phenomenal performance by the trailblazers fronted and led by genre pioneer Al Jourgensen.

The dark underground musical appeal and image of Ministry itself, as well as longevity since the early 80s, has garnered them independent mainstream success; thus, paving the way for industrial rock music spin offs with subgenre titles such as ‘Evil Disco’ and ‘Undercore.’ 

The only thing absent Friday that could have completed the show was The Jim Rose Circus Show and live suspension performers, but in all reality the backing large screen with erratic images and logos, smoke bursts, an overall hazy stage and Uncle Al’s bulbed cross pulpit centerpiece were plenty.

Songs performed included the pounding, oh so great, in-your-face classics: “Just One Fix,” “N.W.O.,” “Deity,” “Stigmata,” and “Burning Inside” along with a special encore cover of Fad Gadget’s “Ricky’s Hand,” during which Jourgensen—who confidently prowled the stage with a serious visage and used different mics for effects throughout the set—was joined onstage by Gary Numan.

Ministry debuted new thrashy track “God Damn White Trash” from upcoming album Hopium For The Masses, set for release early August. Never biting his tongue when it comes to politics and controversial topics, the blunt shouting chorus of the song is the same as the song’s title; using the term just as blatantly as Manson did in “Cake And Sodomy.” During the new cut, the screen displayed a Confederate Flag fading into the American Flag, a marching white hooded group and an AR-15.

The six-time Best Metal Performance Grammy-nominated artist also performed tracks from their most recent release Morale Hygiene, including “Disinformation,” “Broken System,” and “Alert Level.” 

Ministry’s current lineup is: ex-Tool bassist Paul D’Amour, guitarists Cesar Soto (former Pissing Razors) and Monte Pittman (Prong, Madonna), drummer Ray Mayorga (Stone Sour, Hellyeah), and long time Ministry keyboardist John Bechdel (former Fear Factory, Killing Joke). 

For this tour, Ministry was joined by supporting performances from Gary Numan and Front Line Assembly; two renowned stand alone headliners that brought remarkable electrifying performances—filling the venue with dark new wave industrial and blistering Electronic Body Movement tracks.

MINISTRY (click photos to enlarge) 

GARY NUMAN (click photos to enlarge)

(click on photos to enlarge)