PITTSBURGH — The green-lit cross turned white and the chain-link fence finally fell, as Ministry began their encore Friday at AE Stadium.
“Sorry kids, we needed a smoke break,” Ministry singer Al Jourgensen joked before his industrial metal band got back to giving around 700 Pittsburgh fans music to bounce to and launch their body.
The encore, finally, featured tracks from Ministry’s scorching new album, “Moral Hygiene,” beginning with “Alert Level,” a rallying call against deceptive rulers. Sporting an unbuttoned black waistcoat with a matching front outfit keeping his dreadlocks up to his chest from his eyes, Jourgensen quietly and in a slightly exaggerated manner said “How worried are you?” pre-recorded vocal effect, gauging the audience’s concerns with worldly affairs.
Next comes another new battle cry, “Good Trouble”, calling for opposition to fascism with the lyrics “You feel defeated/You feel oppressed/Maybe it’s necessary/To start the Troubles”. As the large video screen depicted scenes of police violence, many viewers seemed a little unsure how to react. But Jourgensen’s shout, “We want our country back,” at the end of the song, earned ample cheers and a collective fist bump.
Political statements aside, Ministry concluded with a cover of Iggy Pop/The Stooges’ “Search and Destroy,” giving the street protagonist the iconic garage-punk song cheetah (with a heart full of napalm) an industrial swagger, courtesy of band members Cesar Soto and Monte Pittman (guitars), Paul D’Amour (bass), Roy Mayorga (drums) and John Bechdel (keyboards).
On the second night of the tour, fans and Ministry members alike seemed equally comfortable with the entire pre-recall taking place behind the chain fence which gave Jourgensen plenty of opportunities to seize in a fashionable way. spectacular galvanized steel with its mittens.
As Jourgensen promised in his late February interview with The Times, the performance focused on Ministry’s acclaimed 1989 album “The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste”, including the launch of “Breathe”. and tracks like “Thieves”, “Burning Inside” and an incendiary “So What” with both Jourgensen’s vocal growl and Mayorga’s beastly drumming in full glory.
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Percussion stood out, like on Mayorga’s jackhammer beats that fueled “Stigmata.”
A sort of three-guitar attack appeared towards the end of the slash-and-burn “NWO,” when Jourgensen added a few windmill hits to the strings of the ax he hoisted.
The green-lit cross on a podium-shaped prop added a splash of color.
Although the real visual treat came from watching the mosh pit that reached its peak of excitement during “Man Should Surrender.”
A good, muddy cover of Black Sabbath’s “Supernaut,” taken from a Jourgensen side project from 1990, turned heads.
Black Sabbath certainly influenced the concert’s two veteran opening acts, Corrosion of Conformity (CoC) and Melvins.
CoC brought stoner-rock boogie to the party, with Pepper Keenan an instantly likeable frontman.
“Deep or different? He quizzed the crowd, asking if they wanted a deep cut album or whatever.
“Deep!” came the clear majority response, setting up CoC to perform “Born Again For The Last Time”.
Closing in on 40 years as a band, Melvins blasted through a loud, intense sludge-metal set, with vocalist-guitarist Buzz Osborne scowling and chaotically flipping his wild hair. He wasted no time joking around, letting his heavy riffs do all the work.
In speed and weight, Dale Crover brought drumming excellence. As the Melvins were almost done, he lifted his drumsticks for what felt like one last time, letting them slip and fall from his fingers as if he was too exhausted to continue. No, it was an act, as he grabbed a new pair and hit another furious drum round.
Scott Tady is the local entertainment reporter for the Beaver County Times and Ellwood City Ledger. He is easy to reach at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @scotttady