Despite being a big metal/rock fan last year was my first Download and what an experience it was. It was cold, wet and incredibly muddy for the majority of the weekend, but that didn’t stop the thousands of festival goers from having a good time and this year I’m going back for more. I’ve broken down the days to give you my current must see bands over the entire weekend (beware of clashes).
Counting Days | Heck | The Amity Affliction | Twin Atlantic | All Time Low | Babymetal | Korn | Rammstein
So from smallest stage to the biggest, to kick off the first day of music we have Counting Days and Heck. I photographed Counting Days during one of their performances in Exeter, which was actually when they announced they would be playing Download. They put on a great show and the crowd were loving it. Heck is also another band I’ve seen, they played in my home town and I was told I had to check them out. Their performance is off the chain and they know how to throw a party. The energy they throw into their shows is incredible and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it. To be honest I don’t think I was really listening to the music as I was distracted by everything going on around me, but if you’re one that likes a good stage performance these guys are for you.
Moving on up to the encore stage we have The Amity Affliction. My excitement to see these guys again is unreal. They are definitely one of my favourite bands of all time, and seeing them last year with Being As An Ocean was amazing. This band basically sold me on going for the whole weekend. If you haven’t checked them out and you’re a metalcore fan then who even are you? but seriously you must. To conclude the encore stage we have Twin Atlantic and All Time Low. What appears to be a quieter evening for Download with a bit of alternative rock and pop punk, however if you’re in for a sing along and all round good, festival vibes then head to this stage for sure. I saw Twin Atlantic on the second stage at Reading Festival before and the atmosphere was incredible with everyone singing along trying their best to imitate that Scottish accent.
What, Babymetal? Yep, that’s right. Babymetal have recently been added to this years Download and my not so guilty pleasure is very happy about it. They opened Reading when I went for a day last year and I’m glad I didn’t miss it as it was very entertaining. And finally to conclude the Friday we have Korn and Rammstein. I’m not either bands biggest fan, but if I feel like checking out some new, must see bands I think I’ll defer from the encore stage for a bit and have a look. Although, I’m pretty sure that the friends I’m going with won’t let me miss Rammstein as they keep telling me how amazing their stage performance is, and everyone loves fire on stage right?
Palisades | Slaves (US) | Neck Deep | Bury Tomorrow | Architects | Skindred | Beartooth | Black Sabbath
So two days after Download I will be seeing Palisades and Slaves in Bristol as a band I help out and am close friends with are supporting. I’ve been checking out Palisades since they were announced and although they’re not what I’d usually listen to, their a good upbeat change from the usual. I’m already a fan of the US Slaves but I think it will be interesting to see what they’re like with new members. Also on Saturday, Neck Deep will be playing. I am not a huge Neck Deep fan, but they did a good job of supporting Bring Me The Horizon last year. I’m not sure that I will definitely go and watch them, but if they don’t clash with anyone I may wonder over.
However, the next two bands are absolutely ones to not be missed. Bury Tomorrow and Architects are more of the bands that sold the weekend for me. Bury Tomorrow are my favourite band and Architects have joined that list too. I am so excited to see them both again and I think they’ll make the Saturday my favourite day. Playing after them is Skindred, again I’m not a massive fan but they have good energy and get the crowd going when they play. I saw them in Bristol and they were quite entertaining to watch especially with the Newport Helicopter.
The main stage favourite for me is actually one of the first to play on the Saturday which is Beartooth. Once again, they’re up there with Bury Tomorrow, Architects and The Amity Affliction for me. Last year they played the second stage and their sound is so good live. Another one to get the crowd throwing themselves into the music and having a good time. Listening to them now always gives me festival vibes and I can’t wait to see them for the third time. And finally we have headliners Black Sabbath. This is the headliner that sold it for me. When they were announcing them I was convinced that Ozzy or Black Sabbath would be added and I was ecstatic to see it happen. I’ve always wanted to see them live and hoped that I would get the chance and now I have I won’t be missing it for any other band.
Ashestoangels | Attila | Breaking Benjamin | Don Broco | Halestorm | Shinedown | Nightwish | Iron Maiden
So admittedly Sunday, isn’t a ‘must see’ day for me. It’s my least favourite day of the lineup, and like last year will probably just be a chilled, hungover day checking out some bands I don’t normally listen to. Last year I didn’t leave the campsite until about 4PM after enjoying some BBQ bacon sandwiches but I like to think that there’s more to a festival than just the line up and I still enjoyed my Sunday, like I plan to this year. Here I have selected some bands that I have checked out or been recommended before by friends including Ashestoangels, Don Broco, Shinedown and Nightwish.
I listened to Breaking Benjamin as I have heard their name a lot before and I do actually recognize quite a few of their songs and like their sound so that may be one to check out on the Sunday for me. I also want to check out Attila. I still can’t decide if I love them or hate them, and they probably wouldn’t be a good one to take youngsters to but I feel like they’ll put on a good show, at least I hope.
Halestorm is one of the bands I am most keen to see on the Sunday, and one of the only bands I have listened to quite a lot prior to the festival. This will be one to drag me away from the campsite and not miss on the day, and it’ll be good to hear some female vocals (except for Babymetal and Nightwish). And finally bringing the festival to a close, we have Iron Maiden. I’m not a huge fan of classic, heavy metal. I do like it, but it’s not what I listen to regularly. However, it will be good to see one of the biggest metal bands around. My friends that regularly go to Download have told me many times how good Rammstein and Iron Maiden are at Download so I look forward to it.
I’m also looking forward to having some drinks and generally just a good, fun weekend with like-minded people. We are going in a big group again this year, with new people that I don’t know so I look forward to making new friends, as I made some really good ones last year. I hope you enjoyed reading some of my thoughts on this years Download line up and who I plan on seeing, and I’d like to know your thoughts (if going or not). April