In Case You Didn’t Feel Like Showing Up- Ministry

Release Year: 1990

Rating: 9/10

This is the first live video/album Ministry released and it’s probably the best one so far. It shows a young Ministry on their Rollarball tour for The Mind is a Terrible thing to Taste. This not only shows the band at their best, but it also shows the effect they had on their fans. There’s so much energy and aggression in this performance it’ll have you trying to mosh into the TV. And while the live album is amazing too, nothing beats seeing the performance for yourself.

The show opens with an 8-minute rendition of “Breathe,” which isn’t featured on the live album for some reason. Before the actual song begins, a duel drum jam featuring Matt Atkins and Bill Rieflin opens the show. Not only will you be floored by the drum duel, you’ll be awed by Ministry’s stage set up, which includes a chain-link fence separating the band from the crowd and a projector screen, where several images and videos play out. It’s also cool to see how wild the crowd gets when they begin jumping and climbing on the fence.

There aren’t many songs featured on the video, but the ones that are here are “The Missing,” “Thieves,” “Stigmata” and “Burning Inside,” which features fire breathers and even a guy on fire hanging on the fence. One of the standout performances here is “So What.” Clocking in at eleven minutes, the song features Al Jourgensen jumping on the fence and shouting the lyrics to this abrasive song. There are also a lot of effects and images popping up during the song that makes it feel like you’re watching a Ministry video.

These effects and distorted images show up throughout the whole tape, but what’s cool is you’re not just watching them on the screen behind the band. Often times, you’ll be watching a performance when a clip of a Nazi rally pops up. They’ll often be presented in negative film or distorted, so you can never really make out what you’re watching and it lets your imagination run wild. It makes the concert more interesting to watch because you won’t get bored watching the band (which would be impossible anyway) and it feels like you’re watching one of their music videos.

Before the end of the show, Jello Biafra from the Dead Kennedys, comes out to perform a unique version of the Pledge of Allegiance, which features commentary on topical issues, such as race, welfare and class. It’s actually a really powerful performance and a cryptic take on the pledge. The show closes with “The Land of Rape and Honey,” which is again not on the album itself. Here Jello stays on stage doing some sort of interpretive dance where he switches between sucking his thumb and giving the Nazi salute. This is another impressive performance, which even features Jourgensen dancing on stage like a monkey.

The live album basically features the same songs as the video with the exception of the opening and closing track. It’s a great album due to it’s energy, aggression, and frustration featured in every song. The band also sounds great. They sound so good you’ll be convinced that you’re listening to the actual album, rather than a live recording. This might be the best live album the band has put out. The only complaint for both the record and video is they are too short. There are other great songs by the band that would’ve been awesome to see and hear in a live setting. I don’t understand why they both had to be so short, but regardless it’s still a great video.

Overall, the video gets 9/10. This performance is awesome. And with the fire breathers, the fence, and the rowdy crowd, it shows you don’t fuck with Ministry. They sound great, every song they perform is one you don’t want to miss and there’s never a point in the concert where you want to go get snacks. It may be short, the concert is still worth watching. It blew me away just like when I first heard The Land of Rape and Honey. The album itself is worth picking up too if you ever run across. The video is only available on VHS, so do what you can to get a copy because it’s totally worth it. Buy them both now!

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