May 3, 2023

Ministry / Gary Numan / Front Line Assembly - The Fillmore

Category: Live Reviews



The Fillmore

Silver Spring, MD

MINISTRY Set List:  Alert Level, Good Trouble, Disinformation, Believe Me, Broken System, Goddamn White Trash, NWO, Just One Fix, The Missing, Deity, Burning Inside, Stigmata, ENCORE:  Ricky’s Hand

GARY NUMAN Set List: Intruder, Halo, Pure, Everything Comes Down To This, Metal, Here In The Black, Cars, Haunted, Love Hurt Bleed, The Chosen, My Name Is Ruin, A Prayer For The Unborn

FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY Set List:  IED, Killing Grounds, Plasticity, Rock Me Amadeus (Falco Cover), Deadened, Mindphaser, Millennium 

Founded in Chicago by Al Jourgensen in 1981, Ministry are the quintessential Industrial Metal band and have influenced artists like Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Fear Factory, and Static-X by creating a unique blend of live instruments played over machine like beats, loops, and samples.

Ministry are currently on the last leg of their “Moral Hygiene” tour and preparing to release “Hopium For The Masses” on August 4, 2023.

The current line up of Ministry is:  Al Jourgensen - Vocals/guitar; John Bechdel - keys, Cesar Soto & Monte Pittman - guitar; Paul D’Amour - bass, Roy Mayorga - drums.

Doors opened at 6 PM and Front Line Assembly took the stage at 7 PM.

Canadian Industrial icons Front Line Assembly opened the show and their guitarist for this tour was once again Mr. Tim Skold (Former Shotgun Messiah/Marilyn Manson) and Skold brought a true metal feel to the bands live show.

Front Line Assembly played a set that was short, to the point, and very intense.  Falco’s “Rock Me Amadeus” was performed  midway through the FLA set and during that song Skold sang lead vocals.

FLA performed an intense set which blended dance beats with heavy guitars and the crowd was very pleased with their show.  

Skold puts the name of every town on his guitar daily and for this show his guitar read “Silver Spring”.  On the side of his guitar was a sticker which read “Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself”.  

Front Line Assembly’s merch table was downstairs and featured vinyl, cd’s, and shirts.

Gary Numan took the stage at 8:00 PM.

80’s New wave Icon Gary Numan was direct support for Ministry and his set was heavy and moody.  Numan opening for Ministry was the perfect fit because Numan clearly influenced Ministry and Numan is an absolute electronic music pioneer.  

This was my first time seeing Numan live and his show was reminiscent of “Self Destruct” era Nine Inch Nails.  Numan had a full band onstage and while there were clearly elements of industrial music (samples and loops), there was also 100% live, organic instruments which created a very “metal” like vibe.

Large LED light stands adorned the stage and created a futuristic feel while Numan and his band rocked the stage dressed like post apocalyptic zombies searching for fresh blood.

Numan’s only 80’s moment was when he performed “Cars” which was the only non-heavy moment in the set.

At Numan’s merch table fans could buy autographed vinyl for $55, a signed laminate for $20, various t-shirt designs, and a 3 pack of guitar picks for $5.  Gary Numan impressed me with his energy, intensity, and amazing performance.  The crowd was clearly into Numan and he definitely brought his own fanbase to the show.

Ministry took the stage at 9:30 PM.

This version of Ministry is a tad laid back compared to previous incarnations of the band and what I mean by that is they are not trying to destroy themselves onstage to create a vibe; the musicians onstage are older, use their talents to create the energy, and don’t rely on self destruction of their bodies to entertain the crowd.

Ministry performed a new song from “Hopium For The Masses” titled “Goddamn White Trash” on this night and the song sounds like a standard Ministry song; the videos that played in the background were slightly controversial and fit the song perfectly.

Al joked that he was probably killing the crowd by performing a set that featured mostly newer songs and when they finally went into older tracks like “NWO” and “Just One Fix” the crowd lost their collective minds.  

The Fillmore was packed with fans of dark wave, industrial, metal, goth, and hard rock; there was a cool vibe amongst everyone in attendance and Ministry delivered a lean 90 minutes of music.

At the Ministry merch table there was a nice assortment of vintage reproduction t-shirts and most were $40.  Pittman’s solo CD was signed and came with a guitar pick for $40, Mayorga sold stage played, autographed drumsticks for $30 each, and hand signed drum heads which were signed by all members of Ministry were sold for $250 - $300 depending upon the size of the drum head.

The entire evening was over before 11 PM.

Author: Bob Suehs