MINISTRY OF ROCK     III day  -  07.07.2002

I DAY - II DAY part one - II DAY part two

review by dalia "gryphon_spirit"  di giacomo

photos © by Stefan W. Vogelaar

the public use of these photos  is strictly prohibited without written permission



Today is the third and last day of this Ministry Of Rock and it will provide on the mainstage Morris, then the Swiss "Contest" winner that is Wake, Subzonic, Dream Theater, Faithless and Simple Minds, + Wendigo on the Rockbeiz.  And though this   program  is really interesting, me thinks that Dream Theater are anyway the jewel of today's  Metal/Rock proposals. Guys!, James LaBrie, Mike Portnoy, John Petrucci, Jordan Rudess and John Myung... will play here this afternoon, and this is an emotion for sure! And if you think that we of Gryphonmetal will  also have the honour to interview one of them, you can easily understand that my personal  emotion is multiplied by itself!
And here we go: 15:15 h -  Finally, the weather  is nice again and a large crowd is gathering in the standing area in front of the main stage, though it's afternoon and not evening. 

We are all waiting, and on the stage, behind the curtains, works proceed quickly with the sound check, till a rather long intro is starting. Just a small quantity of smoke is announcing that the apparition of these "giants" of the music is impending. Et voilà: the black veil which is wrapping portnoy's drums is falling and keyboardist Jordan is on the stage offering at once a piano-like solo followed soon by the rest of the band which bursts in  among the general acclaiming. "About to crash", "Fatal Tragedy" and "Sorrounded" are the first tracks. James LaBrie doesn't seem to be actually the best good mooded person in the world today, but anyway the first impression the band gives is that one of a relaxed and inspired group. James LaBrie modulate very well his voice which can range from clear powerful tones till soft-like- velvet ones. Portnoy's drums are simply impressing , never seen a drum fitted out this way. 

On the contrary, Jordan seems to be in a good humour and from time to time, he turns his keyboard towards the audience and the photographers smiling in a nice way. Short- haired Petrucci and Portnoy are very confident and self-assured. The serious John Myung plays his six-strings (I repeat 6 strings!) bass guitar in such an effective way, with such an ability an exactness and an accuracy, that I cannot help to remain here astonished. . It's the turn of "Lines in the sand" ,  followed by the fantastic "Misunderstood", taken from their new album "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence". Then it comes "The spirit carries on". At last, "Solitary Shell" and "Learning to live" , with its sensational final bass loop, end an exquisite performance where the Music (that one written with capital M) has been the absolute protagonist. Many influences are to be heard in Dream Theater's music, and today it was a confirmation of all this, a confirmation enriched by cool live solos, at the face of everyone who is saying that rock is nothing but noise. Obviously during the gig, singer LaBrie has greeted the Swiss audience and anticipated that tomorrow they will be playing in Italy. What can i say more? These 5 artists are indeed 5 teachers who forge music under they finger, like they want. They have proved once again to be individually very talented, but also that they can present such a cohesion which makes possible the passing from solos to melodies to metallic passages, to Pink Floyd influences. And moreover methinks to understand that Dream Theater actually don't need that massive use of special effects in order to support their performances, cause their special effect is they way they are playing and the music they are able to put in the air. Frankly spoken there is in my opinion no better special effect than this: but attention, it's an effect that only the real giants of rock can carry out.

So, dear readers, friends and metalheads! It was great! This Ministry of Rock , successor of the already famous "Out in the Green" (which had as guests artists like Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Status Quo, Sting, Peter Gabriel and Rolling Stones, among many many others), has kicked ass! And now very shortly I tell why. First the organization has been impeccable. Second, the place was well structured , with a capacity of 50.000 persons, and has really offered every kind of comfort a metal/rock heart needs when visiting a festival. From markets , till food places and tents, where to have a good time and dance too, everything was at perfect disposal. Third: 2 good and well cared camping places. Fourth (and it's important too): it is  extremely easy to  reach the place , using any mean of transport, and the location (near to Germany, Austria and Italy)  is very strategic for many metalheads and rock lovers. Anyway the airport of Zürich is not very far , for all who decide to come from France, England, Sweden , Holland and more in general from any part of Europe or of the world . Fifth: the general atmosphere was great, everybody can be like he/she is, whether gothic or tribal, or more simply with jeans and t-shirt, everyone can feel free and is  welcome. This is my really  impression. 

And now please let's  mention the superb and imposant main stage, accompanied by a second one. The excellent sound quality and the brilliant line up. I would also add that the security was always supervising  but with total discretion, never being violent or arrogant. The staff has always been friendly and professional. Congrats to the organization team that was practically the same team who already was responsable for the "Out of Green" (Ermano Conti, project-director , Free & Virgin Agency GmbH as music programming, FCF André Rindlisbacher official supporter team, Hans Rudolf Jenny public relation and media. Experience, class and good taste are not water indeed! 



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