Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Download Festival - Review

Download Festival 09' - What an absolute blinder of a w'end!! EBTM were down in full force with our guys "The Whispering Eye" and "Murr Man", covering as many angles for you as possible. You were there right? So what were the highlights of your weekend, any bands blow you away, or fail to rise to the occassion? Did you see EBTM throwing out free T-Shirts? Add your comments to the bottom of this blog & let us know about your Download experience! x

Day 1 - Whispering Eye:
The sun is blistering hot when we arrive on the download site, which is nice as we were told it was going to rain all weekend.
First up is a trip to the Red Bull stage to see our friends in Young Guns, who put in a great performance to a busy tent. The sound was a bit hit or miss, but singer Gus doesn't let that deter him as he throws himself into a crowd to get people moving.
Next up we head to the mainstage to catch Billy Talent. Having seen them last week at the Underworld, it's great to see them playing just as an exciting set on the massive stage.

We catch two or three songs of Killswitch as we head over to see Bring Me The Horizon. Killswitch are on great form - their songs are massive and they always entertain.

Bring Me The Horizon are equally as exciting. The crowd love it as Sam from Architects joins them for a song. Horizons last album saw them silence a lot of the haters and their set today further enforces this. Top stuff.

We head to the Red Bull stage to catch new UK band Don Broco next. They put in a great performance, sounding similar to a more yobby Enter Shikari. Ones to watch!
So, next is the much anticipated return of Limp Bizkit. I was expecting it to either be terrible or amazing, but actually found it to be neither, just pretty average. There are some forms of music you can't play as you get older and watching a 40 year old Fred Durst bounce round the stage like a 16 year old poser, suggests that Nu Metal is one such genre.

We forgo half of Faith No More's reunion set to catch Blackhole and it's a damn good thing we did. Massive riffs and singer Rick's incredible voice and awesome stage presence makes then Band of the day in our eyes. We catch the second half of Faith No More's set on our way back to the guest bar and it is awesome. The entire stage is draped in red curtains and it looks amazing, but the band sound even better playing a set of hits alongside fan favourites, it really is a joy to watch. Perfect way to end day 1.

Day 2: Murr Man -
Arriving a day later after watching You Love Her Cos Shes Dead play Bristol the night before, (see previous blog, check this band out!!) I was instantly hit by the atmosphere of the place, the crowds still buzzing off Friday's sets and the parties across the campsites. I take time out to wander around the festival, the place is buzzing pure happiness & the vibe is great, even the queues for the beer tents this year were kind to us!
Down take to the main stage and tear the place up. Great set & the mosh pits feed off of Phil Anselmo's every word. I head over to the 2nd stage to witness Thunder, a fairly tepid set reduces the spirits a little after Down, but these guys are legendary so we can forgive them, can't we?

We arise hot and tired on Saturday. The sun is already beating down hard as we head to the Red Bull stage to see Exeter boys The Computers set. We miss the beginning where apparently there were some technical issues. By the time we get there however, they are firing on all cylinders and stomp their way through a set of Bronx-esque angry punk rock ditties.
Our next port of call is our pals in Fightstar. They pile through a huge set that sees them lean slightly towards their heavier material. They go down an absolute storm and have a crowd bigger than any other we see at the second stage the whole weekend. It would appear that the band have finally earned their spurs from the metal crowd as not a bottle is thrown and some of the biggest circle pits of the day are opened.

You Me At Six are also a band predicted for a hard time this festival, but as the band bound on stage, it appears that they are not going to let these worries affect them. The worries turn out to be unfounded after all as they put on a great show . Highlights include latest single Finders Keepers and an inspired cover of Lady GaGa'sPoker Face. (I have to agree here, the Lady GaGa tune was inspired, but busting out a Rage Against The Machine cover was ill advised!)

Pendulum are sounding massive as we make our way in front of the mainstage. After a bite to eat, it's time to check out Architects. The Brighton metallers are one of the most anticipated bands of the festival, and they don't disappoint, unleashing a tirelessly heavy tirade of riffs. Brilliant stuff!
The Blackout who are filling in for a sadly missing The Ghost Of A Thousand on the Red Bull stage. As much as I am gutted that TGOAT pulled out. The Blackout pull out all the stops. Banter is great and the songs are even better. They sound massive as they drown out the unrelenting barrage of Slipknot. We manage to catch the last 5 or 6 songs of Slipknot and they are massive. Revolving drum risers, getting the whole crowd to crouch down and jump up at the same time through to closing song "Spit It Out", they really are unstoppable. Absolutely awe-inspiring!

There's no doubting Pendulum's abilities, great set & the sound is huge but it just doesn't compete with past masters The Prodigy, so, after a few tunes I head to the second stage to see Liam, Keith & the unstoppable Maxim bring the house down.

Ripping into Komanchi, a gabba beat laden tune before launching into the classics of Firestarter & Smack My Bitch Up I can't bring myself to stop dancing and as the crowds carry the party on into the night & the echoes of Maxim's MC'ing ring through my ears there's only one place left for us to go, the Jager tent backstage :)

Day 3:
First up today is the brutal onslaught of Suicide Silence. I am picky of my extreme metal, but these guys are definitely on my list of loves. They are brilliant and as the sun bakes down once more, I am simply left wishing I had long hair so I could windmill it. New album is going to be a belter! Jett Black are the next band for us. These High Wycombe boys are always entertaining, and it's a crime that songs such as "When It Comes To Loving, I Have No Friends" have not seen them grow in stature more than they have. Still, if todays rammed tent and the bands ultra tight set are anything to go by- good times are ahead!

Taking to the stage at 11am on the 3rd day is never ideal, but brighton band Brides get things off to a great start in the Tuborg tent, expect big things from these boys. Constant between song banter with the crowd goes down well and they hit us with the tune Frank West before we say goodbye & wander back across the fields to take in the rest of the day. Despite all the weather warnings we're truly blessed with the sun this w'end.

Journey sound awesome -

(Epic set, easily the highlight of my w'end. No denying the crowd love Journey and in turn Journey love each and every one of us. Not a dull moment in this set, thanks guys!) as we make our way over to see stoner rocklegends Clutch. In a weekend with so many strong bands and incredible sets, it is testament to the might of Clutch that they seem to effortlessly drop one of the sets of the festival! New songs sound great and old faves are dropped with a heavy groove that no other band can come close to matching. If you do not know this band, go buy their albums. They are incredible!

Brief glimpses of Whitesnake (awesome, despite Radio 2 esque between song banter)

and Therapy? (sadly marred by terrible sound and also not quite pulling enough from the old albums for my liking!) lead us up to the Red Bull Stage where we catch the last 4 songs of Flood Of Red's set. The Scottish guys put in a great performance, and it would appear that the rumours of a massive leap forward on their imminent debut album is true. It does sound incredibly like Circa Survive however, which is a little bit worrying, but time will tell as to whether they can carve their own niche. Our lift home sadly calls two songs into We Are The Ocean's set which is sad as we were genuinely excited to watch the band close the RedBull stage. Still a promising start and a busy tent suggest they will have no trouble closing the weekend on a high.
We watch Def Leppard play one of the most boring and insipid sets on our way to meet our lift home. Shame it wasn't Slipknot closing as Def Leppard leave the weekend ending on a bit of a geriatric bum note!

Oh well, everything else has been incredible!

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed your review and have to say my favourite bands were:

    Slipknot, Korn, Killswitch, Hollywood Undead, Five Finger Death Punch, Trivium, the Prodigy, BMTH, A Day To Remember, The 69 Eyes, Flood of Red, The Blackout and Enter Shikari.

    Next up for me is Sonisphere Festival at Knebworth :]

    Emo Scene Community