by Jeevin Johal
The Vogue Theatre
March 29th 2018
VANCOUVER – This week saw the reboot of hit nineties sitcom Roseanne crush television ratings and receive praise for its seemingly accurate depiction of American working class families, split by political beliefs in the Trumpian era. But perhaps the camera should swing the way of Ministry leader Al Jourgensen, whose devout anti-Trump platform gives voice to a more extremist way of emotionally dealing with our current political state, that can’t be resolved in 22 minutes of jokes. Rather, Ministry’s aggressive stance elevates the angry underground, who are less represented in the media, and aren’t simply looking for a debate, but immediate change by any means necessary.
Projected above an arsenal of drums, glowing television sets, and two massive chicken balloons with trump haircuts and strikethrough swastika symbols on their plump tummies, images of POTUS as a shrill dictator flashed across the screen, mashed up with some of his most ridiculous, and unfortunately real, quotes. Seconds before Reverend Al walked on stage, the Vogue audience already knew it was in for a politically charged, Industrial punch in the face.
Jourgensen has always been very vocal about his philosophies on American politics. Years before Trump came into power, and before Ministry’s quieter, Obama era years, the band released a number of albums calling out little Georgie boy Bush jr.’s lack of decision making abilities. Tracks like “Rio Grande Bloode,” and “Senor Peligro,” rattled the Vogue, shifting focus from the subject of one villain to another. Bangers from their latest album AmeriKKKant were also sprinkled throughout Jourgensen’s Political Science lecture, featuring Burton C. Bell of Fear Factory on songs “Victims of a Clown,” and “We’re Tired of It,” as the lyrics flashed across the screen. These songs may lack a poetic element, but their war time chants succeed in getting their point across and firing up a circle pit.
Beer cans and sweat lubricated the Vogue floors, but things got even more greasy when Ministry started banging out the classics towards the end of their set. The opening riff of Psalm 69 track “NWO” shattered the walls of the modest room, hitting the building like a nuclear missile, getting more and more violent as they rolled through “Thieves,” “So What,” and their final encore closer “Bad Blood.” The only thing missing from the evening was fan favourite and Easter anthem “Jesus Built my Hot Rod,” but perhaps Jourgensen has outgrown the song, choosing to celebrate the resurrection of Christ in a more sombre fashion.