Tuesday, 17 June 2014

LIVE: Satuday @ Download

When it was announced a few months ago that Linkin Park would be headlining Saturday night at Download - playing their debut album, 'Hybrid Theory', in full - I vowed to get a ticket the moment they were released. Obviously a festival consists of more than a single band by its very nature, and alongside LP Saturday's mainstage consisted of Fall Out Boy, Killswitch Engage, Bowling For Soup, even Chris Jericho's Fozzy. There were also the slightly less desirable Bring Me The Horizon, but you can't have everything. If only Defeater hadn't had to pull out due to Derek's surgery, or Arcane Roots hadn't clashed perfectly with Killswitch then the day would've been even better.

The day began with the aforementioned Fozzy, and straight away you can tell that Y2J is used to pandering to a crowd - maybe too much for just before twelve in front of a largely hungover audience that weren't fully aware of the band's back catalogue. I was also incredibly saddened by the lack of light-up coat, even if said coat would be completely useless at midday. I'm not sure if it's just my bias toward them but there seemed to be a great many Fozzy t-shirts around!

Southampton's Bury Tomorrow, to my mind, were the first 'typically Download' band of the afternoon, combining melodic metalcore with Dallas Green vocals. Apparently bands at Download this year aren't allowed to mention pits, and have to encourage responsible dancing - something which the unpopular Oli Sykes decided to totally ignore later on in the day. I'm not sure what the organisers thought would happen but lots of references to their 'favourite shape' the circle seemed to do the trick.

I've been wanting to check out While She Sleeps for a while. They seem to have blown up since winning the Kerrang! Best Newcomer award, and I may have slightly overestimated them. They're a quickly forgettable wall of noise, especially on a festival mainstage. Almost the polar opposite of fellow Yorkshirians Marmozets, blow away the crowd with a fierce thirty minutes in the Pepsi Max Tent. Another band that I've been meaning to check out ever since they started winning numerous awards last year, but this time I was incredible impressed. I'm not entirely sure what I expected from Punktastic's favourite band, but they exceeded whatever those expectations were.

We managed to get back over to the mainstage just in time to hear Bowling For Soup launch into the Phineas and Ferb theme, which I was completely unaware they'd written. It's well known that BFS live shows are as much comedy as music, and they fulfilled their reputation. Sacrificing a nine foot inflatable sheep with a fully clad night, pausing in the middle of 'Punk Rock 101' in order to give the crowd their 'unique Bowling For Soup photo opportunity' where they strolled down the catwalk and posed for photos, and the the general banter coming from the stage. Sure, maybe not the ideal band for many at Download, but actually a lot of fun.

Killswitch Engage do exactly what they say on the tin, despite some technical difficulties with Adam Dutkiewicz's [from here on known simply as Adam] guitar. There aren't many stranger duos than Adam and Jesse Leach, but they play off one another expertly - sometimes you need some light relief, even if you have just been through a BFS set. More responsible dancing was encouraged, and running with the wrestling theme of the day there were a significant number of CM Punk shirts dotted around (obviously Punk used This Fire [Burns] before he 'left' WWE the first time).

Thankfully Bring Me The Horizon gave a chance to get food, so we watched from up the hill. Later on in the night Oli Sykes name would receive boos when mentioned by Mike Shinoda during Park's set; For their own slot they got a much better reaction. Sykes, as mentioned, completely ignored any rules set out by the festival - interesting when you take into account his past. It seems like an awful lot of the Bring Me live experience is based on peer pressure, obviously not completely isolated to the Sheffield quintet but after Bury Tomorrow's insistence that nobody should take themselves too seriously it seemed like a parody.

Sub-headliners Fall Out Boy were absolutely flawless with the sun setting over Donington. A touching speech from Pete Wentz was included about how the band used to watch tapes of Metallica headlining the same(ish) stage, and that if they could do it anyone could. A running theme throughout the day, but the thought of Patrick Stump being into Metallica does seem a strange one to me. Stump was spot on, and they're a well polished live band - of that there's no doubt. Probably my favourite band of the day, and left me, once again, ruing the decision to not get tickets for the UK Tour.

Finally 'Papercut' kicked in, and so did Linkin Park. Honestly, I hadn't listened to the album since I was about 13. I obviously meant to, but what with exams and Paris I found that Download snuck up on me before I got a chance to, but it was still a pretty special experience to be a part of. A lot of it came flooding back, my brother - whose only experience of the songs in five years was to listen to them in the car up - somehow managed to remember every word which is fairly impressive whichever way you spin it.

After Hybrid Theory was up they trialed a few new songs, and the show took a dip in form. That said, when you've still got 'Numb', a cut down version of 'New Divide', 'What I've Done', and 'Bleed It Out' it's always going to pick back up. 'Bleed It Out' as a closer is phenomenal, complete with drum solo, and milking it for every chorus it has there's no better way to finish. It shows something that the band only left the stage after they'd manage to dispose of pretty much every piece of memorabilia into the crowd.

In conclusion: Saturday of Download was pretty great.

No comments:

Post a comment