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Download Festival 2003: SATURDAY Main Stage

03 June 2003

Forget all this rock rubbish for one second and look around. You see the rolling greens of sun-kissed Donington Park; overlooked by the castle with the glistening tarmac of the racecourse below and you feel that maybe all festivals should be held here.

Please click on a photo to enlarge it...

As if a frightening tease for the lightening set to take hold on Sunday night, the site is purveyed by light aircraft roaring overhead every twenty minutes. Immersing ourselves in Ministry, one gets the feeling that a burning plane falling onto a thirty-thousand crowd of leather-clad metallers would probably sound the same. That's most definitely a good thing. Straddling his dragon-serpent entwined mic stand as if riding a Harley, the rock colossus that is Al Jourgenson doesn't disappoint.

Everything about Ministry seems twice as large. Twisted and distorted beats from the dual drummers underpin howling guitars with the mangled voice of Al Jourgenson perfectly rounding out the feeling of beautiful aural torture. Al sports two beards and two pairs of shades whilst the band contains two drummers and another two guitarists. He growls unforgettable lines such as "Fills you up with the devil's cock and comes like the Lord" during 'Psalm 69'.

Finally, after classics such as 'Just One Fix' and 'New World Order', he flings his microphone into the crowd and stomps off stage, oblivious to any appreciation. It sounds out of place in such strong daylight, but then Ministry have never bothered to follow rules too closely. There's no sign of their biggest single, 'Jesus Built my Hotrod', still, it's a minor moan in what is a welcome return for the veteran industrialists.

As the old Ministry fans drift away, the crowd seems to drop in height by about a foot and increase substantially in populous as 'the kids' gather for Deftones. Slowly building up a dedicated fanbase has clearly paid off for Chino Moreno and his bandmates, and their high-octane brutality is the order of the day, with flawless execution.

What sets them aside from similar bands is their truly innovative flair. As the circle pits reach peaks of excessive violence, the band allow some sort of respite in the form of atmospheric, more arty, punk.  But just as the kids get restless, there's another burst of aggression such as 'Push It' or new single 'Minerva'. As they leave, an ecstatic crowd cry out for more.  This could be the breakthrough the critically successful, but commercially less so, band have been waiting for.  Next year they won't be content with third on the bill to anyone.



- Click here to discuss this on the Festival Forums!
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Article by: Andrew Future, Roy Mussell, Oli Pritchard

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