Franklin Music Hall is a Classic venue in the heart of Philly. It was formerly a General Electric Switchgear Plant and while it may not be a factory anymore, it is still just as electric. The spark for May 4th’s show came at the hands of Ministry, Gary Numan, and Front Line Assembly. A veteran lineup of industrial giants and genre definers filled with experience, rage, and refreshing sets.
The first band was the industrial pioneers Front Line Assembly. A band that’s sound still sounds fresh and invigorating just as it did 30 years ago. The setlist was a mixed bag of some of their classic cuts from albums such as "Live Wired and Millennium". The sound is a heart-pumping blend of goth-inspired electronic/dance hall beats with heavy industrial guitar riffs that push the song forward at a grinding pace and bass lines that chill you to the core.
Up next was the everlasting and nonaging Gary Numan. I never got to see Gary Numan in the 70s or 80s, but I cannot imagine it being much different than seeing him in 2023. Numan was leaping and sprinting around the stage like a wild animal, mixing interpretative dance with his spacey instrumental sections. With an ever-adapting musical style, Numan hits notes of goth, industrial, dance, and obviously, the style he helped to push into the mainstream, synthesizer. It was an amazing mix of new and old songs from all eras of his career, nothing drags or feels as though he is just simply playing new material to play it. 45 years on and still pushing the boundaries of sound, Numan is a true performer through and through.
Coming on last but certainly not least, the politically charged and musically heavy Ministry. Another set filled with new and old material that flows seamlessly, ministry are still just as fresh as ever. A punishing onslaught that hits all points of rock/metal. Elements of thrash, classic punk, and of course industrial, they proved why they are one of the most respected alternative rock/metal acts of this generation. Songs filled with voice clips and samples all over managed to keep a steady beat and a consistent message, which is very strong. With imagery of Confederate flags intermingled with Klan members, police, protesters, and American flags, it is obvious how frontman Al Jourgensen feels toward America. Songs titled “Disinformation” “Broken System” and the unreleased “Goddamn White Trash” all help to push this even further. Jourgensen is still on top of his game as a performer, still capable of creating circle pits and chaos within the crowd, Ministry keeps it real and keeps it classic.
The walls of the Franklin Music Hall were ringing after a heavy night of tech, industrial, and punk brought courtesy of Front Line Assembly, Gary Numan, and Ministry. Special thank you to Ministry, The Franklin Music Hall, and everyone else who helped make this possible.
By Nick Tovo
IG - @nrtimagery
May 06, 2023
Front Line Assembly