Industrial metal titan, Al Jourgensen of Ministry brought the Industrial Strength Tour 2022 to downtown Buffalo’s River Works. Ministry, is on tour for their brand-new album, Moral Hygiene and is also celebrating the 30th Anniversary of their album, The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste, which had such hit singles as “Breathe” and “Thieves.” Joining them for their celebration was Corrosion of Conformity and The Melvins.
Starting off the evening was Corrosion of Conformity. I’m no stranger to seeing Corrosion of Conformity live, so like most fans this evening, I was excited to see what they would play. Right out of the gate, Pepper Keenan and his bandmates ripped right into a track I have not heard live in a long time, “Paranoid Opioid” off their 2005 album In the Arms of God. Between songs, Pepper and bandmates expressed their collective heartfelt thanks for everyone coming out to live shows again. You could tell the band is truly grateful for all the fans’ support and dedication over the years and that they don’t take it for granted.
COC packed in some heavy tracks in a short time, including some of my personal favorites, “Vote with A Bullet,” “Albatross,” and closing with “Clean My Wounds.” My only disappointment was that I wanted to hear them play more, but as the opener, that was not in the cards.
Next up was arguably one of the best sludge rock bands out there, the Melvins. Over the years I have seen the Melvins quite a few times and they do not disappoint. From the moment Buzz Osbourne (guitar, vocals), Dale Crover (drums, backing vocals), and Steve McDonald (bass) hit the stage, they barrage your senses both visually and sonically. Normally, Buzz engages the audience but with a shorter time slot he wasted no time and relentlessly cranked out heavy-hitting songs like “It’s Shoved,” and “Civilized Worm.” The band also performed a new song named “Never Say You’re Sorry” which the fans were excited about. After a powerful twelve-song set, the band wrapped up with “Hooch,” “Honey Bucket,” and “The Bit.” I was left wanting more but again will have to wait.
After a brief set change, a chain-link cage was being built onstage and you could sense the anticipation building in the venue as the crowd waited for Ministry to take the stage. The stage went dark, and some images started displaying in the background while an eerie intro was pumped through the PA system. It wasn’t long before Jourgensen and company hit the stage wasting no time, kicking things off with “Breathe.”
The band performed from behind a chain-link cage which encompassed the entire stage. You could clearly see that the band was happy to be back on stage celebrating the 30th anniversary of their 1989 album The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste with their fans who had waited over two years due to pandemic-related tour delays.
Not only did the band play an incredible selection from The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste album, but they treated the crowd to two tracks “Don’t Stand in Line” and “Man Should Surrender” from the short-lived Pailhead project Jourgensen did with Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat, Fugazi).
It goes without saying that I was extremely excited to hear these tracks live. After an incredible high-energy set, the cage came down and the band’s encore featured a couple of songs from their current album Morale Hygiene and an amazing cover of Iggy and the Stooges’ “Search and Destroy.” It was an awesome ending to an incredible night of music, not to mention well worth the two-year wait.
Overall, a really good night of music. You still have time to see this show which is on tour through April 18 at the Showbox in Seattle.