Ministry delivers a rapturously received Sunday service at the Commodore in Vancouver

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      Sunday night at the Commodore. Front Line Assembly opened and the low tones really penetrated. Hometown boys do good! Keyboardist Rhys Fulber’s mom was even there to drink it all in. Then the inimitable Gary Numan brought Nu music mostly, and it was great to see how enthralled he still is about being creative. He’s slight in stature, but has a big presence. 

      Ministry brought the whole congregation together and got it bouncing. Al Jourgensen, not wearing any of his 16 face piercings (supposedly done in one sitting after losing a bet to his daughter) seemed to be having as good a time as everyone was visibly transfixed. Devout fans got their fix. “Goddamn White Trash” as a call and response was euphoric. Seriously good energy bounding about the place.

      The whole night was like brutal drums pulling you in and not letting go. Ministry’s timekeeper Roy Mayorga seemed to be working the hardest keeping that vicious pace.

      What some outsiders may consider angry sounding sure can bring in happy people. Every single person I spoke with was super friendly. Converts came from Oliver, Cumberland, and Nelson to worship at what looked like an H.R. Geiger designed alter. One couple drove 10 hours non-stop from Oregon for this (also honouring our local culture with a Skinny Puppy shirt). 

      Front Line Assembly.
      William Jans.

      At 10pm, Jourgensen said “You behaved well. No tossed beer cans. Putting up with all this new shit, you deserve some doggie treats. This is called ‘New World Order’.” Ministry promptly slammed into a collection of the older stuff that moved the masses. I wanted to think this was joyful nihilism, but this was far from negative, the band and iconoclastic crowd were boisterously reverent with tracks like “Stigmata”, “Just One Fix”, and “Jesus Built My Hotrod”.

      If you felt that the sound seemed particularly good, there was a reason. After 25 years, the Commodore’s PA system was just replaced over three days last week. This was the first big gig on it, and the band ran it up to 11. It sounded pretty clean, too.

      The last encore of Magazine’s “The light pours out of me” had a couple wrong notes, but by then the congregation was immersed and baptized sufficiently to absorb it all willingly.

      Really good time. Sunday is a perfect day for Ministry.

      Gary Numan.
      William Jans
      Al Jourgensen.
      William Jans
      Ministry fans (left to right) Erica, Nina, Candace.
      William Jans
      Savannah and James drove 10 hours non stop from Medford, Oregon to see Ministry.
      William Jans
      Part of the Ministry faithful, Raven (in rose-coloured glasses) made the journey to the show from Oliver
      William Jans
      William Jans