When a Friday night in Salt Lake City starts out normal, but begins to mirror an episode of the
“Twilight Zone,” the only logical answer is that Ministry is in town. From another dimension,
Ministry arrived with Gary Numan, and Front Line Assembly on Friday April 21, 2023 at the
Union Events Center in Salt Lake City.
Uncle Al, and Ministry are no strangers to Salt Lake City. The Moral Hygiene Tour made its
second stop here giving fans an amazing show that started with Front Line Assembly. Led by
former Skinny Puppy founder Bill Leeb, Front Line Assembly powered through a techno heavy
set that included Agriff, Plasticity, and Millennium; just to name a few. It also included a killer
cover of Falco’s “Rock Me Amadeus.”
The show then was handed off to industrial/techno founding father, Gary Numan. To judge
Gary by his bigger notable hits like “Cars”, or “Films” would leave one only scratching the
surface of this legend’s impact to the genre. Seeing Gary live substantiates the groundwork laid
for artists like Nine Inch Nails and Ministry. His 12-song set started with “Intruder”, then
quickly and seamlessly to “Halo.” With a quick thank you he continued the set with “Pure.”
The hour-long set included “Cars,” but it was shadowed by one of my favorite Gary Numan
songs which was played towards the end of the set, “My Name is Ruin.” The song encapsulates
so much musically with the use of guitar intertwined with keyboards and Gary’s low passionate
Gary’s set came to an end but his impact would carry on for the rest of the evening.
The stage was prepped for Ministry, including Al’s lit up crucifix that would act as his pulpit for
which he would spread his gospel. The first half of the set was devoted to Moral Hygiene, the
latest Ministry release. “Alert Level” started the show as the band took the stage. Next was
the song “Good Trouble,” a song inspired by the activism of the late congressman John Lewis.
“Disinformation” was next with its politically inspired subject matter. The remake of “Search
and Destroy”, originally recorded by Iggy and the Stooges, blasted the venue as the crowd
began to loosen up and move. One of my personal favorite songs from Moral Hygiene was
next, “Believe Me.” It was followed by “Broken System.” Next being played for only the second
time, the crowd was treated to “Goddamn White Trash.” The song will appear on the upcoming
album Opium for the Masses to be released on August 14, 2023.
At this point it was time to move back in the catalog to 1992 and Psalm 69. “ N.W.O.” and “Just
one Fix” caused a mosh pit to erupt briefly while heads banged throughout the venue. Then it
was back to 1989 and The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste album, and “Burning Inside.”
Continuing the move backwards to 1988 and the album The Land of Rape and Honey, was an
amazing live version of “Stigmata.” “Thieves” finished off the set, and after a short break the
encore was “So What.”
The set was a perfect journey. With a great mix of the current as well as the future, Ministry did
not leave behind the songs of the past that brought us to this point. The journey into the
twilight zone was amazing and should not be missed. Ministry will continue touring throughout
the spring on the “Moral Hygiene” tour.