By Scott Raymer
American Industrial Band Ministry performed at the Vinyl Music Hall in Pensacola, Florida on November 1st. This was the first stop on their fall tour. Current band members include Al Jourgensen – vocals, Sin Quirin – guitar, Paul D'Amour – bass, Cesar Soto – guitar, John Bechdel – keyboards and Derek Abrams – drums.
One look at the band’s tour poster provided a glimpse of things to come later in the night. It displayed a graphic of people standing in front of the Kremlin, holding signs protesting against the agenda of the current conservative US administration. Verbiage on the signs included “Real News vs Fake News”, “No Putin, “Trump Lies”, “No NRA”, “No Wall”, and “You’re Fired”.
The band put on a socially and politically charged performance. The first song of the night was “Twilight Zone” from the band’s 2018 album, AmeriKKKant. It opened with a slowed down, warped video of Donald Trump, speaking his signature line “We will make America Great Again”, projected on a large screen behind the band. I wasn’t sure how this would play out in Pensacola, which is a conservative city with a large military presence. However, when I looked backward from the photo pit into the crowd, I could see the audience was eating it up.
The remainder of the first half of the show was a continuation of songs from AmeriKKKant. This album was Jorgensen’s response to conservatism in America and Donald Trump’s election win in 2016. Songs included “Victims of a Clown”, “TV 5/4 Cha”, “We’re Tired of It”, “Wargasm”, “Antifa”, “Game Over”, and “AmericKKKa”. The video screen continued displaying a barrage of imagery depicting scenes of political protest and social injustice. It felt like being at Woodstock listening to an Anti-Vietnam war performance by Country Joe and the Fish or Creedance Clearwater Revival.
The second half of the show saw the band play the songs “The Missing”, “Deity”, “Stigmata”, “Jesus Built My Hotrod”, “Just One Fix”, “N.W. O.”, “Burning Inside”, and “Thieves” from their albums The Land of Rape and Honey, Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs, and The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste.
There was a capacity crowd in attendance at the Vinyl Music Hall on this night with the lower and upper levels filled. The crowd ranged from a six year old dancing with her father to teenagers to white bearded adult males. If you are a “Never Trumper”, then you will definitely want to catch an upcoming show; otherwise you may want to catch a different act. The band will be joining Primus in November as opening acts for Slayer’s The Final Campaign tour, which commences on November 3rd in Raleigh, North Carolina and ends on November 30th in Los Angeles, California.