Ministry & Revolting Cocks Live In Vancouver: May 30, 2006

June 13th, 2006
by Lord of the Wasteland

Ministry/Revolting Cocks
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
The Commodore Ballroom
Vancouver, BC  Canada

***Review and Live Photos by Lord of The Wasteland


At nearly 50 years old, Al Jourgensen shows no signs of slowing down and as long as there is a Bush family member in the White House, it appears he will not rest.  His disdain for anything the Bush family does is perfect fodder for Ministry’s music, spawning the landmark PSALM 69 back in 1992 under the tenure of George Bush Sr. and 2004’s HOUSES OF THE MOLE and 2006’s RIO GRANDE BLOOD with George W. Bush in office.  The Ministry albums released between PSALM 69 and HOUSES OF THE MOLE were uninspired at best, partially fuelled by Jourgensen’s own heroin addiction, but some credence must be given to the fact those were The Bill Clinton Years.  Coincidence…or not?

Ministry last roared through Vancouver on the “Evil-Doer Tour” in 2004 (read gig review here) but this time, the “MasterbaTour” saw Jourgensen pulling double-duty with his crack team of misfits, Revolting Cocks, and ANTICHRIST SUPERSTAR-era Marilyn Manson wannabes, Pitbull Daycare, opening the show.  The usual mix of Goths, metalheads and armchair pundits were on hand for the first of two Vancouver shows.

I missed Pitbull Daycare altogether due to the late arrival of press passes but after checking out some songs on their MySpace page, I didn’t miss much.  On the other hand, Revolting Cocks just released their first album in thirteen years entitled COCKED & LOADED, so the sideshow of sexual proclivities the band calls a live act had plenty of time to make up.  To say a RevCo live performance is chaotic is an understatement.  With eight members filling up the stage, bedlam quickly ensued.  The catalyst for this was vocalist Luc Van Acker who showed up so drunk he could barely stand.  Van Acker was out of control, plain and simple, and set about destroying the monitors, mike stands and generally making a complete ass of himself.  He tripped several times and lay in a heap on the stage floor.  He fondled himself on stage, go-go danced atop the drum riser and leapt into the crowd while bound by a duct tape straightjacket (twice) administered by the roadies.  Local boy Josh Bradford (Stayte) channelled Adolf Hitler’s look but was plagued by endless audio problems, no doubt compounded by Van Acker’s rambunctious behavior.  Phildo Owen and Bradford performed the majority of their vocals through a megaphone and Owen’s stage attire of aviator goggles, police hat and pants with rubber insects all over them was…unique.  Former Drain STH bassist Anna Kjellberg looked positively lovely amidst this band of miscreants and weirdos.  Musically, the band’s infamous covers of Olivia Newton-John’s “(Let’s Get) Physical” and “Rod Stewart’s “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” (complete with about twenty women from the crowd dubbed “The Revolting Cunts” brought up to dance on stage) were played along with two tracks—“Fire Engine” and “Caliente”—both covers of Iggy Pop and Bauhaus material, respectively, from COCKED AND LOADED but the focus was strangely on 1990’s BEERS, STEERS AND QUEERS album.  “Stainless Steel Providers” is a decent tune but Revolting Cocks’ music is mostly forgettable and the only thing remotely interesting was the over-the-top stage presentation.  How can you go wrong when the Hitler doppelganger comes out for an encore wearing a slinky black evening gown and long gloves? 

REVOLTING COCKS SETLIST
Hello There
Beers, Steers & Queers
Attack Ships On Fire
Something Wonderful
Stainless Steel Providers
Caliente
Fire Engine
(Let’s Get) Physical
Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?
~ENCORE~
Purple Head

Once the madness of Revolting Cocks ended, Ministry’s onslaught of industrial metal mayhem reared its ugly head.  Al Jourgensen has assembled an “all-star band” of sorts with Tommy Victor (Prong; ex-Danzig) and Mike Scaccia (ex-Rigor Mortis) on guitar, Paul Raven (Killing Joke; ex-Prong) on bass, John Bechdel (ex-Fear Factory; Killing Joke) on keys and Joey Jordison (Slipknot) on drums.  Needless to say, the musicianship was top-notch this time around and certainly more focused than on the last tour.  Where the Evil-Doer show had Jello Biafra performing Lard songs and some guy in a George W. Bush mask getting pummelled by Jourgensen, the tomfoolery was left with The Revolting Cocks leaving Ministry to focus on the music, although a video screen behind Jordison projected a battery of political images to corroborate with the songs.  The light show was stellar, as always, however the liberal use of strobes made photographing the band extremely difficult (Strobes looks cool live but as far as capturing a clear still shot, well, let’s just say it separates the men from the boys, so appreciate the fact that what is laid out here photographically is the pick of the litter).  The band’s tweaked anarchy sign “M” logo was plastered everywhere and the anti-Bush sentiment hung heavy in the air with all but three of the show’s sixteen tracks coming from the Bush-skewering PSALM 69, HOUSES OF THE MOLE albums and the brand-new RIO GRANDE BLOOD release.  The new material, most notably “Fear (Is Big Business),” “Señor Pelligro,” “LiesLiesLies” and the title track, are sure to be long-standing inclusions in the band’s live set.  With ripping guitar riffs and the cold edge to Jourgensen’s distorted vocals, the songs seethe with rancor.  “No W” and “Worthless” are just as stellar live and possess catchy choruses that many in the crowd were singing along to.  The old-school industrial vibe of “Thieves” from 1989’s THE MIND IS A TERRIBLE THING TO TASTE brings back incredible memories as does “Stigmata,” absent from the last tour’s show, “N.W.O.” and “Just One Fix.”  “Jesus Built My Hotrod” was a surprising omission but the lack of any FILTH PIG or DARK SIDE OF THE SPOON material seems to have become the norm, not that anyone can honestly say they miss it.

MINISTRY SETLIST
Fear (Is Big Business)
Señor Pelligro
No W
Rio Grande Blood
The Great Satan
Waiting
LiesLiesLies
Worthless
Wrong
N.W.O.
Just One Fix
Thieves
Khyber Pass

~ENCORE #1~
So What?
Stigmata

~ENCORE #2~
Psalm 69

Al Jourgensen recently admitted that he has only one more album of Ministry material left in him before hanging up his custom-made longhorn skulls mike stand to focus on production work, so for anyone second-guessing whether or not to catch Ministry on tour this time around, buy a ticket.  Jourgensen has assembled an incredible band here and he is riding a second-wave of popularity and creativity, so Ministry is certainly at the top of its game musically.  Just make sure to get there early enough to catch the head-shakingly bad, but visually engaging, Revolting Cocks.    


 

***Thanks to Jenny at House of Blues for the press pass.

Ministry—official site
Revolting Cocks—official site

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