Ministry’s C U LaTour, purported to be the band’s farewell, wound up a three-night stand on the Sunset Strip with a powerful set of their industrial-infused metal. Founding member Al Jorgensen was backed by guitarists Tommy Victor and Sin Quirin, keyboardist John Bechdel, bassist Tony Campos, and drummer Jimmy DeGrasso.
The band was separated from the audience by sections of chain link fence, reminiscent of The Blues Brothers playing at Bob’s Country Bunker. Was it to keep the Ministry away the audience or vice versa? Jorgensen’s trademark antler-encrusted microphone stand got a hand when a roadie brought it out.
The main set covered Ministry’s anti-Bush album trilogy, which became such a big project because, as Jorgensen told Phoenix New Times, “I didn't think I was going to have to do three albums about this idiot, but we kept re-electing him, so I had to keep waving my fists in the air and shouting that this guy's got to be impeached or beheaded.” They opened with five songs from The Last Sucker, the band’s last album, then played four songs from the first album in the series Houses of the Mole, and concluded with four tracks from Rio Grande Blood.
The 13 songs lasted 75 minutes and the crowd was driven wild by the music’s intensity and the flashing visuals on the video screen. The mosh pit opened a wild area on what had been a packed floor. It got pretty intense and security had to bum-rush through the throng a number of times to escort people out of the club who crossed the line of passive-aggressive mosher into aggressive assaulter. Someone flashed Jorgensen a “Ministry Built My Hot Rod” t-shirt, but he stated that they weren’t going to play the song it referenced since Gibby (Haynes who sang lead on the number) wasn’t there.
The first encore found Ministry joined by Wayne Static of Static-X. They played “So What” from The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste. Static held the lyrics in the palm of his hand. Special Featured Artist Burton C. Bell of Fear Factory/Ascension of The Watchers was on stage for the remainder of the show. They played “N.W.O.” and “Just One Fix” off Ministry’s most successful album Psalm 69, as evidenced by the crowd reaction, and then concluded the first encore with “Thieves” from The Mind…
The final encore showed the playful side of Jourgensen as the night concluded with three tracks from his recent Cover Up album. The Ministry treatment was given to The Doors’ “Roadhouse Blues,” ZZ Top’s “Just Got Paid,” and The Rolling Stones’ “Under My Thumb,” the last of which saw black-and-white balloons drop from the ceiling to add to the festivities.
As Ministry rides into the sunset, I would recommend seeing them when they come to a town near you. It’s not often you get to see such an influential band say goodbye, so take advantage of the opportunity.