Concerts

Ministry Flushes the Weak-Minded on the Industrial Strength Tour

Uncle Al pleads with the crowd to "Breathe".
Uncle Al pleads with the crowd to "Breathe". Photo by Jack Gorman
Finally the wait for Ministry’s return to Houston paid off for fans that kept to the course. Close to three years of delays and multiple dates rescheduled, Al Jourgensen strolled into town with The Melvins and Corrosion of Conformity for the Industrial Strength Tour. The event at House of Blues intended to celebrate the 30-year anniversary of The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste, and was highlighted with music from other Jourgensen’s projects over the years, specifically 1000 Homo DJs and Pailhead.
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Al Jourgensen and Ministry had to be caged.
Photo by Jack Gorman
Ninety minutes of intense strobes, guttural chants, distorted choruses and mind-etching samples from Hellraiser, Apocalypse Now a a former president's New World Order (N.W.O.) speech filled the sold out theater. Jourgensen stalked the stage and shook the chainlink fence as he preached from his pulpit. Uncle Al was woke when being woke wasn’t cool. “If you want your message to shine, don’t stand in line,” is just a smidgen of what he was shouting back in the late '80s.

Before the encore, as the fence was being moved from the stage, a video played featuring all of the album covers and interview clips spanning from Ministry’s inception played that included a memoriam for former members that passed away. The final three songs consisted of two tracks from the latest album, Moral Hygiene and closed the night out with “Search and Destroy” the beloved Iggy and the Stooges cover.
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Ministry shines through the strobe lights at House of Blues.
Photo by Jack Gorman
So how were the openers?
Corrosion of Conformity plowed through their southern sludge rock as the line for the box office was longer than that for the security check. Even as the band has aged like everyone else in the world, their sound hasn’t changed and Pepper Keenan’s voice still has the fire. The tracks played from Deliverance were fan favorites and the band expressed their gratitude to be back on the road.
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King Buzzo wails on the guitar during The Melvins set.
Photo by Jack Gorman
The Ministry fans in attendance have a deep appreciation and love for The Melvins. Roars and hollers adorned the masked and puffy haired King Buzzo as he walked out to set up place his guitar rig and test the mic. The heavy hitting sludge metal band got more adulation once the house lights dropped and they took the stage and shook the crowd throughout the tight 45-minute set. These two openers could have had a successful stand alone tour on their own.
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The Melvins got lots of Houston love.
Photo by Jack Gorman
How was the crowd?
#’s lite. The sold out group consisted mostly of Numbers regulars supplemented with more people wearing black. This was a crowd that Houston should be proud of. The amount of people shouting to have a conversation was seemingly nonexistent. Kudos to you all.

Overheard in the Crowd: While the roadies were securing the chainlink fence with a zip tie a woman said to her friends along the rail, “That’s high tech right there. It’s not even a fat zip tie like you get arrested in. It’s a skinny zip tie.”

Set List
Breathe
The Missing
Deity
Stigmata
Supernaut - Black Sabbath cover
Don’t Stand in Line
Man Should Surrender
Burning Inside
N.W.O.
Just One Fix
Thieves
So What

Encore
Alert Level
Good Trouble
Search and Destroy - Iggy and the Stooges cover
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Jackson is a freelance photographer and writer covering a variety of music and sporting events in the Houston area. He has contributed to the Houston Press since 2013.
Contact: Jack Gorman