Ministry at the hard rock live in orlando, fl – national rock review

A Thursday night has crept into the Hard Rock Live Orlando, and bringing with it a unique, post-mortem ambiance that has a twinge of cult likeness to it. Droves of metalheads clad in dark blackness, with many sporting industrial facial piercings have begun to line the halls of the HRL this evening. From combat boots and leather jackets to dreadlocks, tattoos and Goth style face paintings; people watchers are not disappointed by the arrival of Ministry’s cult-like, “metal in your face” fan base.

The Hard Rock Live stage sits approximately five feet, eight inches high, and has been adorned with implements that seem to fuse steampunk to a political campaign crime scene.


Bathed in an eerie purple glow and boasting two mammoth “Trump-like” snowmen (endowed with an easily recognizable hair-do and a “no Nazi” symbol blazoned onto their belles,) appear stage right and stage left, frames this macabre scene. 9:30pm, the massive monitor hanging above center stage sparkles to life as politically charged images begin to illuminate the venue. Shadows of a drummer, keyboardist and D.J. can be seen taking their perspective places on stage. The sound system comes to life as the drummer and D.J. simultaneously engage the first beat of the evening’s performance. Three masked assailants arm with stringed instruments take to the dimly lit stage and prepare to assault the evening’s concert goers. The crowd roars to life with riot-like cohesiveness as forefather and founding member Al Jourgensen emerges from the darkness to assume his leadership duties. With a “cat that ate the canary” grin and his iconic metal spikes protruding from his face, Jourgensen leads his crew into the mysterious melody “Twilight Zone.” Minutes into the performance, he produces a mouth harp, and pipes it through the center stage microphone, creating a uniquely distorted whaling that is oh-so Ministry.

The current lineup, featuring a team of six veteran musicians make a spot on and focused contribution to the long-standing Ministry brand. Seasoned drummer Derek Abrams and Bass “Jedi” Tony Campos fire out a rock solid rhythm section with D.J. Swamp and keyboardist John Bechdel filling in the cracks and creating that “wall of sound” Ministry is known for. The band proceeds to transition to “Victims of a Clown,” and is joined by Fear Factory lead singer Burton C. Bell. Bell makes several appearances throughout the evening, lending his vocal talents thus allowing Jourgensen to provide some memorable guitar appearances (with some tasty slide guitar chops.) The band presses on through a catalog celebrating thirty-five years of industrial uniqueness and doing an impressive job at covering much of the band’s most iconic and historical moments throughout the decades. A whopping set list of nearly ninety minutes was an unexpected concert-goers treat. Fan favorites like “Punch in the Face,” “Senior Peligro,” and “Thieves,” all celebrated stinging moments of lead guitars and crunchy rhythms. Guitarist Caeser Soto and Sin Quirin gave more than a satisfying serving of metal mayhem as the two could frequently be seen sharing center stage moments.

With the last notes of “So What” burning through the purple haze of dimming house lights, fans had thought their evening was coming to a close. The lights return, speakers ignite and Jourgensen, followed by team Ministry return to the stage to close the night with the legendary track “Bad Blood.” With the final note struck, the stage goes dark, and mesmerized metal heads move from the venue, leaving with them a forever memory: a moment with Ministry, the metal show that NEVER disappoints.