Ministry shows Vancouver audience ‘AmeriKKKant’ gets it right

Ministry at the Vogue Theatre, 3/29/18

Photo by Ryan Johnson

There was no mistaking that the industrial metal band Ministry was in Vancouver Thursday night (Mar. 29) on their sixth stop of the Spring 2018 five-week tour promoting new album AmeriKKKant.

En-route to the venue via public transit, a guy was overhead chanting over and over, “Thieves, Liars, Thieves, Liars,” which is from the Ministry song “Thieves” off their classic record The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste. He was listening on his headphones and loudly pumping himself up for the upcoming show. Thursday’s nearly sold-out concert at the Vogue did not disappoint those in attendance.

The stage consisted of two giant inflatable Trump Chickens with the No-Nazi insignia across their bellies on each side of the stage, illuminated tv sets scattered through the stage and a large video screen in the back.

Ministry @ The Vogue Theatre in Vancouver B.C. / Mar.29 / 2018
Photo by Ryan Johnson

The show provided mostly songs from the new AmeriKKKant with audience favourites mingled in-between.

The opening song “ Twilight Zone” was directly followed by “Victims of a Clown. Al Jourgensen’s signature vocal attack was complimented with tour guest, Fear Factory singer Burton C. Bell, joining him on-stage. The audience sang along in-sync with the video showing the words “Wake up, take it in, exhale, repeat, fire up, freak out, let it go”.

The current lineup is Jourgensen (lead vocals), John Bechdel (keyboard), Sin Quirin (guitar), Cesar Soto (guitar), Tony Campos (bass) and Derek Abrams (drums). For the most part, each band member kept to their side of the stage and only ventured to the other side once or twice throughout the night.

The audience was there to see the formidable industrial metal band they knew so well. It was an all ages gig, and it was great to see the variance of ages just getting into the show with fists raised in-sync to the heavy rhythm that the band provided. And yes there was the proverbial crowd surfing throughout the show.

Ministry @ The Vogue Theatre in Vancouver B.C. / Mar.29 / 2018
Photo by Ryan Johnson

The AmeriKKKant assault continued with “TV5/4 Chan,” a slower-paced mash-up of sound-bytes that Al Jourgensen is noted for. There was a familiarity with the faster and enjoyable performance of “Punch in the Face”.

It continued with the more familiar, and ever so energized tempo of “Senor Peligro.” The crowd was feeling it.

During the performance of “Lies, lies, lies” Jourgensen tried to knock down the big Trump chicken by kicking it. He didn’t succeed.

A GW Bush sound-byte came on, and then began “Rio Grande Blood” which was hard and fast-paced with a heavy musical and visual assault. The crowd was having it.

Ministry @ The Vogue Theatre in Vancouver B.C. / Mar.29 / 2018
Photo by Ryan Johnson

The audio assault of speed songs continued with “We’re Tired of It” from AmeriKKKant. The audience was singing, “Hope is lost.” Everyone came for the intensity and they got it. With Ministry, you get the sound-bytes, pulsing guitar rhythm and of course Al’s gritty vocals. “Wargasm,” again a new song from AmeriKKKant did not disappoint.

During “Antifa,” two flag bearers came out looking like WTO protesters, adding to the visuals and Jourgensen tried again to knock down the giant inflatable Trump chicken to no avail. Guess he does like big chickens.

Ministry is what a concert should be. The audience and band feeding off each other’s energy, all there for one end result: music.

Ministry @ The Vogue Theatre in Vancouver B.C. / Mar.29 / 2018
Photo by Ryan Johnson