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Come All Ye Faithful; Ministry, Gary Numan, and Front Line Assembly

WOW. There must have been something really special in the water in 1958, the year that spawned both electronic music pioneer Gary Numan and industrial metal trailblazer Al Jourgenson. The only other thing that may be equivalent would be the water in 1685 that blessed us both Bach and Handel (that might be a little too much, but I’m going to let it fly.)

Ministry by Nolan Fisher

On March 24th, 2024 industrial metal band Ministry headlined a sold-out show at Jannus Live, a venue in Downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, supported by opening acts Front Line Assembly and Gary Numan. The impatient hungry fans packed the GA floor awaiting what would be a psychedelic paradise basked in strobe light rays of an ear-curdling and chest throbbing show. 

Front Line Assembly by Nolan Fisher

At 7:00 pm with kick drum hits so hard you could feel it in every ounce of your soul, Canadian electro-industrial band Front Line Assembly (FLA) started off the night strong. Fronted by Bill Leeb, drummer Jon Siren, synth/keyboardist Rhys Fulber, and guitarist Matthew Setzer. The band, like nothing I have ever seen before- eccentric, distinct, enticing- it was great! The EDM (electronic dance music) metal morph, while strikingly weird, was intoxicating.

Next up, the celestial Gary Numan, English Synth-pop musician, singer, songwriter, and electronic music pioneer, began his set with thrashy, sludgy, techno beats. Numanoid’s (Numan’s fans of which there were many) high expectations and pre-show whispers of anticipation were not let down. The superb combination of guitarist Steve Harris, bassist Tim Slade, drummer Jimmy Lucido, and keyboardist David Brooks made for a transcendental experience. Gary Numan’s stage presence is unmatched, easily understand why he is a fan favorite. His movement was so sharp, cunning, and dripping with passion that he threw his body creating different shapes and sizes coordinating with the rise and fall of sounds and lights This ethereal performance was the epitome of higher energy, if an angel could come down to earth and perform it would take shape as Gary Numan. As an audience member, I was transported into a world where the only things that exist are a moshpit and Gary Numan’s music, exactly how I like my concerts to feel.

Gary Numan by Nolan Fisher

At the crack of 9:30 pm Al Jourgenson of Ministry took center stage accompanied by a giant gold-plated cross. Carving the way for every other Industrial Metal band, Ministry has been touring on and off for over 40 years. Supported by band members Cesar Soto and Monte Pittman (guitarists), Paul D’Amour (bass), Roy Mayorga (drums), and John Bechdel (keyboardist)  the lineup was gripping. Starting the set off from their brand new 16th studio album HOPIUMFORTHEMASSES, the badass song “B.D.E.” A song about toxic masculinity that states “Horny little boys full of hormones and hate. Waging war on women ‘cause they can’t get a date.” Ministry is a very political band, they have always had multiple statements to make and they make them hard. My focus could not leave Ministry even though I was being thrown back and forth in the pit in a very overstimulating, over-exciting atmosphere. I could understand the calling of the faithful. Continuing through a setlist of fury and greatest hits including songs such as N.W.O, Broken System, Just One Fix, Deity, Thieves, etc. The crowd was ablaze. The bombardment of visuals on the projection screen underscored the lyrics, interwoven truth, and meaning of the songs, accentuating Jourgenson’s vocal growls. Ending their set with the #1 hit Jesus Built My Hotrod off the 1992 album KE*A*H** (Psalm 69) Ministry put on a show I would pity a fool to miss. 

Each of these bands individually would be a great show, having them all together “I discovered this rock thing was true” (Jesus Built My Hotrod).

***DISCLAIMER and TRIGGER WARNING. Photos may contain sensitive visuals that represent subjects such as racism, drugs, social injustices, etc. Any imagery presented on stage that was photographed is intended to aid the outrage and showcase problems within America and around the world today.***

All photos of Ministry, Gary Numan, and Front Line Assembly by Nolan Fisher.

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