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Review: Ministry – 013 Tilburg (July 12 2012)

About 4 years ago Ministry had their farewell gig in 013 (you can see my photos from that gig here), that gig was a bit of a letdown because they hardly played any old songs. On July 12 Ministry was in 013 again for yet another farewell gig and once again it was a bit of a letdown. I realize that albums like The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste, Psalm 69 and Filth Pig are rather dated but i was secretly hoping they would play a lot more from those albums compared to the gig in 2008. Setlist.fm already warned me that that probably wouldn’t be the case but the fact that Ministry would also be recording a DVD during this gig got my hopes up high again.

We arrived right in time at the 013 venue to get ourselves a beer, a decent spot in the pretty crowded venue and put in our earplugs and while i was adjusting my plugs Ministry started already with the song Ghouldiggers from their latest effort Relapse. The song itself isn’t that bad but Al’s terrible ‘acting’ in the samples is rather annoying and basically ruining the song for me. After that they played songs from Rio Grande Blood (the title track, Señor Peligro, LiesLiesLies and Khyber Pass), Houses of the Molé (No W, Waiting and Worthless) their latest album Relapse (again the title track and the utter boring and annoying 99 Percenters), the Last Sucker (the title track once again, Watch Yourself and Life is Good). For me personally the setlist was a bit of a hit and miss as nice songs (No W, Waiting, Khyber Pass and Lieslieslies) were followed up by songs that are basically mediocre metal songs. But the part that annoyed me the most was the fact that this was basically the same setlist as 4 years ago. Just mixed around a little. The sound quality was decent, as usual it was loud, and at the start the sound seemed to have way too much bass. Luckily that changed slowly during the gig and after about 4 or 5 songs the sound seemed normal. Or we got used to it.

Al was in a good mood, he was dancing from side to side, sipping his wine from time to time, connecting with the audience, he even went to shake hands with the front rows and overall he seemed rather happy to be performing. His performance as usual was good, his announcements were rather short, although i think the ‘miserable obnoxious junkie’ attitude he used to have when performing fits him better. But of course this is a much healthier image to keep up. The rest of the band was decent but didn’t really stand out. Of course Casey Orr, Sin Quirin ( i think it was him anyway ), Aaron Rossi and John Bechdel are good musicians but they still seem like hired forces, just playing their parts and that’s that. The only one seemingly enjoying himself is Mike Scaccia, but then again he’s been with Ministry forever.

The audience seemed to appreciate it but overall they had a bit of a modest reaction to the songs. There was some movement in the crowd at parts but often they were just standing and watching. Something which Al also adressed (‘Hmm.. Tilburg seems to want some old songs..so let’s play some new ones!’).
After Khyber Pass finished the band left the stage. After a few minutes the band came back for their encore. During the encore the gig finally seemed to start off as they played Psalm 69, Just One Fix and N.W.O (from the Psalm 69 album) and two of my favourite songs, Thieves and So What (both from the The Mind if a Terrible Thing to Taste album) in a row. The crowd went wild(er) and even the old farts on the 013 stairs seemed to finally be loosening up and started throwing the hair (where available) around. After those songs i had hoped for another classic, for instance Jesus Built My Hotrod or Stigmata maybe, but they finished the show with the S.O.D. cover United Forces (from their latest album). An alright song but i must say it was a bit of a letdown to finish with a cover song while Ministry has so many great songs in their repertoire. Something they also did 4 years ago (that time with Wonderful World).

Ministry – Psalm 69 @ 013 Tilburg. from armandb on Vimeo.

As said before, a letdown was the overall feeling after this gig again, the same happened 4 years ago as the set was basically the same. I realize i sound like one of those typical ‘everything used to be better in the old days..rrraaaaah!’ type of people and maybe i’m complaining too much but when i go to see Ministry i want to hear old stuff. The (even in these days) still original, more exciting songs and not the average metal songs they have put out in recent years.

If they ever decide to come back for yet another farewell gig i will have to think twice about going again. Which to be honest is a bit of a sad conclusion as i considered myself a hardcore Ministry fan having seen them about 10 times since 1995.

Oh well, all good things must end i guess.


edit: Forgot to add that they also played Just One Fix


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