CONCERT REVIEW: Ministry – Gary Numan – Front Line Assembly Live at Terminal 5

How concerned are you that you missed one of the best tours of 2023?  Ministry, Gary Numan, and Front Line Assembly took their spectacle on the road and blew away audiences everywhere they went.  The three like-minded bands have become fast friends and the mutual respect they have for each other is evident in social media posts and comes out in stellar performances night after night. How do you top that kind of success? Do it again.

This time, they came to Terminal 5 in New York City and rattled the walls.  It’s a good thing that Terminal 5 is located in the Hell’s Kitchen section of Manhattan, and an underpopulated section at that. It is mostly commercial buildings. Any neighbors would have been miserable with the equivalent of a small earthquake next door.  

Incredibly friendly staff put you through a polite but thorough search, scan your tickets, and point the way. In a city with a reputation for being curt if not outright rude, everyone working here was amazing. Enter through a narrow hall past a merch booth into a large ballroom with bars scattered throughout.  This is a strange space that is common to New York venues and there are small rooms, hallways, and a balcony if you find the correct set of stairs. One unique feature is a rooftop patio / smoking area that is open most nights weather permitting. Wandering around here pays dividends as there is a lot to discover inside. Multiple bars are set everywhere but be warned, not all of them take cash. Usually, there is a sign if this is the case and it isn’t much of a problem in this day of mobile pay options. There wasn’t any food evident but this is Manhattan and there are 20 good restaurants within a couple blocks. Just pick a direction. 

We have seen this bill before and if you caught the shows last time around, you know how amazing it can be but this is not a money grab to see how long they can ride this train. It has been revamped,  tweaked and improved at every turn.  The set lists have been changed but the needed standards are still there. The production has improved and a few lineup changes take the show to eleven. 

Any one of these three bands could headline their own tour but Front Line Assembly is in the position of being the opening act.  Beyond punctual, they started at seven sharp and launched into ‘I.E.D.’ with pounding almost tribal drums. Synths join in and the recent addition of Matthew Setzer (formerly of Skinny Puppy) is readily apparent in the more guitar-forward performance. These guys almost keep up a dance beat albeit an angry one and have more energy than any one band should be allowed. Songs in the set included the more techno “Plasticity” and a wonderfully heavy “Millennium.” If you haven’t seen Front Line Assembly live you are missing out. 

Gary Numan has been performing and producing music since the mid-70s and hasn’t slowed down a bit. Over the years he has developed a loyal following and it is easy to see why in his live performances. He covers a range of styles from the new wave classic “Cars” to the almost orchestral “A Prayer For The Unborn.” He moves around the stage bathed in light and creates a holistic experience with his movements, the music, and lights combining to produce a whole greater than the sum of the parts. 

The performance opened with red lights and light towers that looked like one would imagine the apocalypse looks like. Numan, wearing dark makeup almost obscuring his eyes, has the moves of a dancer as he sings songs spanning a prolific career. Tonight’s version of “Cars” is a fairly faithful reproduction of the original and wows the crowd. Also from his debut solo album, The Pleasure Principle (Beggars Banquet Records), is an electrifying version of “Metal.” “My Name Is Ruin” with a Persian vibe is stunning live and shows just how he has managed such longevity in the music business. This man is not the one-hit wonder many think him to be. Those people are doing themselves a great disservice by missing out on a masterful performer.

Loud. If there is any word that defines the performance by Ministry, this is it. Standing on the balcony provides a free foot massage as the floor vibrates to the bass drums. The whole building shook and there is an outside chance that some of the audience was genetically altered by the pounding sound. That is not to say it was uncontrolled or loud for the sake of being loud. Volume was used as part of the overall effect and created an incredible experience.

Let the revival meeting begin! A Lighted Cross sits center stage and the first five songs were from the most recent album Hopiumforthemasses (Nuclear Blast Records, read our review here), followed by two more from the 2021 album Moral Hygiene (Nuclear Blast). Here the band took their first break and lead singer, Al Jourgensen, now without his long dreadlocks and piercings, thanked the audience for indulging him as he played newer material. He then promised to play classics and provide what he referred to as dog treats and maybe if everyone was good, a treat with a squeaker. From here, they proved that Ministry hasn’t lost a step over the years and they picked up the pace. Closing the set with “Jesus Built My Hotrod” at a blistering pace. How drummer Roy Mayorga didn’t burst into flames is a question with no clear answer. After catching their breath and a couple of classics for encores, Al Jourgensen made good on his promise of a squeaker and closed the show with a cover of the Fad Gadget song “Ricky’s Hand” with Gary Numan joining them onstage for a spectacular end to a great evening. 

Al Jourgensen made it a point to thank the audience for a great evening and it was apparent that this was a genuine sentiment and not just him being polite. He has a reputation for being one of the nicest people in music and this was just another example if we needed confirmation.

What was one of the best tours last year is bound to be one of the best this year. If you saw them before you know that it would be worth the effort to go again. If you didn’t see them do not miss the chance this time around. Plenty of dates are still to come.



Just Stop Oil

Goddamn White Trash

Aryan Embarrassment

New Religion

Alert Level

Broken System


Just One Fix



Jesus Built My Hotrod ((Redline/Whiteline Version))


Burning Inside

So What

Encore 2:

Ricky’s Hand (Fad Gadget cover) (with Gary Numan)