Ministry played an all-’80s/’90s set in Brooklyn to celebrate Wax Trax! (pics, video, setlist)
“That was actually kinda fun,” Ministry frontman Al Jourgensen told the crowd at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Monday night after playing “Jesus Built My Hotrod,” a single they hadn’t played live before this week since 2006. Their set was full of dusted off nuggets that haven’t been played in decades, as their set entirely pulled from the late ’80s and early ’90s, part of a short tour celebrating new documentary Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax!. Ministry only released a few singles on Wax Trax!, spending most of their time on major labels, but Jorgensen has long been associated with the Chicago label that released lots of records by his other groups (Revolting Cocks, Pailhead, 1000 Homo DJs, etc). He made some excuses, joking about the “remember when” nature of the show, but you could tell he and the current lineup of Ministry were having a blast playing a whole set of genuine classics, including “Stigmata,” “Thieves,” “Burning Inside” (also dusted off for this tour), “The Land of Rape and Honey,” “Just One Fix” and more.
Making the night (and this tour) more special was former Ministry member Chris Connelly who joined the band for “Burning Inside,” a dubbed-out take on “So What,” and a great encore version of Revolting Cocks’ “No Devotion,” which Al couldn’t help but ad-lib a Notre Dame reference into. The encore featured a couple of other rarities, including a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Supernaut” (which was a 1990 single for 1000 Homo DJs) and, finally, an acoustic (!) version of Ministry’s classic 1988 Wax Trax! single and outsider anthem “(Everyday is) Halloween.” Setlist and fan-shot video of the whole MHOW show are below.
The tour also features Cold Cave, a band clearly influenced by Wax Trax!’s golden era, and Wes Eisold and the rest of the current lineup sounded great too for their short set that included terrific current single “Promised Land.” With constant smoke machines, strobes and projections, the whole night was a very gothy industrial good time.
Before the bands, there was a screening of Industrial Accident, followed by a Q&A moderated by Andy Wombell, who worked for Wax Trax!, and included director Julia Nash (who is daughter of Wax Trax! founder Jim Nash), Chris Connelly, Jeanne Payne (ex-wife of Jim and mother to Julia), and Frankie Nardiello (aka Groovie Mann of My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult).
This tour is presented by Vans, who had free tour totes, t-shirts and patches for anyone who wanted it, and Record Store Day (you had to go to independent record stores on RSD to get tickets which were free). There were also Blu-ray/DVD copies of the documentary and classic Wax Trax! logo t-shirts for sale at the merch booth.
Having hit Chicago on Saturday and Brooklyn on Monday, the tour still has a few dates to go, hitting Toronto on Wednesday (4/17), Austin on Friday (4/19), San Francisco on 4/22 and L.A. on 4/23.
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SETLIST: Ministry @ Music Hall of Williamsburg 4/15/2019
Jesus Built My Hotrod
Just One Fix
Burning Inside (with Chris Connelly)
So What (with Chris Connelly)
No Devotion (Revolting Cocks)
Supernaut (Black Sabbath / 1000 Homo DJs)
The Land of Rape and Honey
(Everyday Is) Halloween (acoustic)
photos by Ellen Qbertplaya