Ministry

Review by Travis Baumann

Live on April 4th, 2008

House of Blues in Hollywood, CA

Having first discovered Ministry in my last few years of high school, I have been a fan of theirs for twenty years. "The Land of Rape and Honey" changed my view of music.

I have seen Ministry live a number of times over the years, the last time being at this same venue for the "Animositisomina" album tour several years back.

I was very excited to see them this time around because they have put out three albums since then, and this is the supposed last tour of Ministry.

This tour, Al spoke a lot more between songs than ever before. In fact he was quite a comedian. His two primary topics were the President and how we are "not all on the guest list".

He said over and over, how usually Los Angeles sucks because everyone is on the guest list and "all quiet and shit". This night however , the audience was extremely loud and roaring its approval with song after song. "Wow, this is awesome, you actually paid to get in".

The first hour and a half of the set was devoted to songs off of the last three albums. I unfortunately did not get "The Last Sucker" before the show but now that I have it, I think they at least did "Let's Go" and the "Dick Song".

A large amount of the songs came from "Rio Grande Blood" including the title track with all the cool samples restructuring George W. Bush's words to a more truthful statement of the President's intentions and beliefs.

They also did "Senior Peligro" and he announced "Khyber Pass" when they played it. I personally love that song and thought it was great live with backing video showing the location on maps and other related images.

They did "Lies Lies Lies" which was awesome live. I especially love the chorus on that one "Don't listen to me, Listen to your head!"

I am pretty sure they did "The Great Satan" as well but lost track as I kept moving around the entire venue trying to get different angles. It was hard to get shots of anyone through the chain link fence which was first seen on "The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste" tour many years ago.

Al announced, "No W" with, "Here is another one about our President". After a few more songs , I think they did "Worthless" and "Waiting" as well as "The Last Sucker", they left the stage for their first break.

After a few moments they came back out and Al announced they were going to do some "old shit". Burton Bell from Fear Factory came out to do vocals which was awesome.  I am a fan of his as well and it was cool to see him with Al up on stage.

The old material was pretty much all off of "The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste" album and included master pieces "So What" and "Thieves", two of my all time favorites. They also did "Just One Fix" off of "Psalm 69". This part of the concert could not have lasted long enough for me and was finished way too quickly.

They left the stage again for a short time and were finally chanted to come back out. Al came out and said, "ok now it is time for Ministry karaoke." and they proceeded to do a number of cover songs from their "Cover Up" album that was just released.

The covers included "Roadhouse Blues" by the Doors, "Just got Paid" by ZZ Top, and "Under My Thumb" by the Rolling Stones.

I really am not familiar with any of the musicians on this tour but they all did a great job. There were several guitarists with Al himself picking up a guitar every now and then for certain songs. They had a keyboardist, only one drummer this tour and a bassist as well.

Al sipped red wine and went through a hell of a lot of cigarettes during the set. He initially came out with sunglasses but quickly took them off, showing his eyes, something he used to not do back in the old days. His microphone stand was encrusted in bones mostly from animals but hard to tell and obscured him quite a bit, as did the chain link fence.

This show was a total blast and ended way too soon for me. I would not have minded if they had done their earlier albums in their entirety but unfortunately, they hit a point where they called it a night and we all filed out of the club back to the Sunset Strip.

Personally I felt a sense of elation and euphoria as it had been a great show and I had my share of beer despite the insane prices for libations. Since this is their last outing as Minsitry I highly recommend any fans of theirs, past or present get out to one of these last tour dates. Al did say there will be one final Rev Co album and tour so not all is lost.

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