The show was generally underwhelming. HOB can't seem to get a clear sound with two or more guitars going at once. The muddy sound and the sloppiness of the bands drew more attention to the rehearsed stage antics. This was not the same band I saw at Holiday Star Plaza in 1990.
Though it was, pound-for-pound, the biggest audience I've seen at a Ministry show, or any show in recent memory. I think a lot of these kids, many as old as or older than I am, believe they have to be loud and debaucherous, but couldn't tell you why. It's depressing to see so many people letting drugs to them, presumably an effort to maintain a rebellious reputation.
It's already ironic that a 48-year-old Jourgensen still plays Pied Piper to a lot of people who still live as though they're 16. But when the guys onstage, notorious for their over-indulgences and unhealthy lifestyles, are in far better shape than the audience members a third the age, it's comical. Luc Van Acker may have only inadvertently resembled the Big Boy, but his appearance was far less cartoonish than the innumberable "big eaters" in attendance - many stumbling and lumbering like department-store goth goons through the sold-out crowd.
The other thing that struck me about the show was the frequency with which George W. Bush appeared either in video or lyrics. It reminded me of that way boys and girls will pick on each other relentlessly, but really just because one has a crush on the other... as if Al secretly loves Bush, but can't admit it without alienating his buddies. Ministry doesn't have an act without Bush right now, frankly. Maybe Al's been in Texas too long.
Going to see Ministry and Revolting Cocks tonight. I used to live on this stuff, but I don't think they'll play as far back into the catalogue as I'd like. Jello is in town, however. so I'm hoping for a couple Lard songs.
I'd love it if it happens like the first time I saw them... a Ministry show, plus a showcase of side-projects including Lard (with Jello), Pailhead (with Ian) and Smothered Hope (with Ogre). That's my benchmark, anyway. I honestly think we'll be lucky if we get anything tonight that's pre-"Jesus Built My Hot Rod".