Photos and Review by Chris Besaw
This past Wednesday, industrial metal titan, Al Jourgensen, of Ministry brought the Industrial Strength Tour 2022 to downtown Buffalo’s River Works. Ministry, is out on tour for their brand
new album, Moral Hygiene and are 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 were 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 band mates 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 such 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, they had to save time for the other bands to play.
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 to see 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 (and myself) were waiting for Ministry to take the stage. The stage goes dark, and some images start displaying in the background while an eerie intro is being pumped through the PA system. It wasn’t long before Al 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 delays from the pandemic.
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 bands encore featured a couple 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 and you still have time to see this show which is on tour until its conclusion on April 18 at the Showbox in Seattle. Thank you, and please enjoy the photo highlights from the show.