Two days at Download Festival and to be fair compared to the swimming pool (or mud bath) last year the weather was pretty good – a sunny Friday as kick off put everyone in a good mood and the cloudy Saturday only brought a bit of drizzle but was still surprisingly hot.
So following the weather review let’s have a sneak peek at the Festival itself. Some may agree some may not but I think this years line up was pretty decent and offered a good choice of bands for pop punkers as well as for the metal heads.
After spending the first hour walking and queuing to get into the arena I started my Friday with Motionless in White on the main stage. I didn’t listen to any of their songs before but have been surprised by their set in a positive way and really enjoyed it. On my way to the Avalanche stage I passed the WWE Nxt tent and had a glimpse at the wrestling that was going on. Even though it is personally not my thing, considering the amount of festival goer who gathered around the tent to watch it despite of having a seat shows that it was a good choice to add it to the Festival. At the Avalanche I saw a bit of The Devil Wears Prada an Ohio based band and former Vans Warped tour headliner.
On the Zippo Stage I got to see a great set from Machine Gun Kelly who got close with the fans and performed a great cover of Oasis‘ Wonderwall. My schedule for the evening of the first day of Download Festival was filled with some fantastic pop punk bands. Starting off with State Champs on Kerrang’s Avalanche stage before catching Download’s newbie Good Charlotte. After a good 20 years the band was more than excited to finally play the legendary Festival and had a massive crowd surrounding the stage. The band performed their classic anthems from Bloody Valentine to I just wanna live and also added track Life changes from their new album.
Ziggo stage headliner is also a Download Festival first timer and exist just as long as Good Charlotte. With a lot of cheering Sum 41 hit the stage with a powerful performance of their most popular tracks featuring Motivation, Pieces, Still Waiting, Into Deep and a finale with Fat Lip. The band also inlcuded a drum solo, guitar solo and a cover of We Will Rock You by Queen.
To finish the first day, I caught the last minutes of headliner System of a Down playing Chop Suey! and Lonely Day.
First band of my Saturday schedule was Trash Boat. A UK band I’ve previously seen in Kingston supporting Sum 41. As it is played the same stage and have also been a support act for Sum 41 as well as Sleeping with Sirens. The band made themself quite a name within the last year and put on a decent show. After their stage time I joined the queue for the Simple Plan signing at the BBC Radio 1 signing tent that was set up next to the main stage so I was able to convieniently see Pierce The Veil while waiting. They arranged to get 4 bands each day to do signings for half an hour over the afternoon.
Next up on the show list was Afi on the main stage with a simple but great show. Setlist of course included hits Girl’s not Grey, Love like Winter and Miss Murder. Back to the Avalanche where The story so far was due to hit the stage. A powerful band that toured the world and has also been part of the Vans Warped roster.
This stage headliner of the night was Simple Plan. The band is currently on tour for their 15th Anniversary of No Pads, No Helmets… Just Balls album but played a different setlist for the Festival stage. Classic songs of the band had the crowd jumping and singing along before they released a bunch of big beach balls while playing Summer Paradise. Then singer Pierre and drummer Chuck decided to swap places and Chuck took this chance to go crowdsurfing. The set finished with Shut up and Perfect. I headed back to the main stage to see the remaining half set from Saturdays Headliner Biffy Clyro. The band finished the second festival day with an amazing set and fireworks going up while they finished their final track. The performance included Mountains, Bubbles, Many of Horror and The Captain.
Download Festival offers a great band mix with a lot of big names spread across the stages promising a fun weekend with great music.