Review by Nathan Daniel
BLITZ KIDS opened the Zippo Encore Stage on Sunday morning at a frighteningly early time of 11am. Those that have made it up in time to catch their short set are looking a little groggy, and like myself, probably have very sore heads from the antics of the night before. In spite of that, BLITZ KIDS prove to be very bright prospects for the future of rock, showcasing an impressive little set and putting smiles on the faces of the few thousand that did make it out in time. A good start to the day.
If BLITZ KIDS on the Second Stage or UFO on the Main Stage didn’t wake anybody up, CANCER BATS’ set on the main stage was sure to blow the cobwebs from even the groggiest mosher’s head. Liam Cormier announces the band as “THE MOTHERFUCKING CANCER BATS” before some of the weekend’s biggest circle pits ensue, to classics like “Hail Destroyer” and the BATS’ impressive take on THE BEASTIE BOYS’ “Sabotage.” A sterling performance from the consistent Canadian Hardcore Punks, who I would expect nothing less from.
On from some early Sunday afternoon hardcore on the main stage, to some more early Sunday afternoon hardcore on the second stage, in the shape of THE GHOST INSIDE The band bring the day into full swing with some impressive crowd participation and, indeed, an impressive set.
Sunday’s music proves to be relentlessly heavy as FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH take to the main stage. Last time they were at Download in 2010, they found themselves with their set being cut short, as they were held responsible for inciting a ‘riot’. Their set today isn’t too far from that, but in comparison, is much more civilized. Having said that, the band do not go without Ivan Moody threatening the security a few times and pushing a couple of the poor chaps about. The big tough man does show his soft side, though, as he brings a group of kids on stage for a couple of songs when the crowd gets a little too rowdy for them. Ivan’s huge roar echoes across the main stage crowd for a good 40 minutes, and the band’s performance as a whole is nothing short of huge either.
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH
Download Festival 2013
Australian Metalcore giants PARKWAY DRIVE also bring the noise midway through the day and leave the main stage in pieces. They are quite possibly the heaviest band of the weekend, but their melodies bring some powerful backing vocals from the crowd. The whole band are able-bodied today, unlike their last festival performance in 2011 when their guitarist was incapacitated, performing in a wheelchair. The guitars throughout sound absolutely huge, slaying the main stage with huge Metalcore riffs. If the guitars sound huge, though, Winston’s vocals sound absolutely colossal. PARKWAY finish with the huge anthem, “Carrion,” bringing their set to a huge close.
Following PARKWAY DRIVE on the Jim Marshall stage are Corey Taylor and Jim Root’s other band, STONE SOUR. Corey may have headlined the festival on Friday night and signed the stuff of 1,200 diehard fans the day prior, but if you didn’t know, there is no way you could tell, looking at his energy throughout the band’s set. STONE SOUR’s massive hits play out across the biggest crowd of the day so far for the best part of an hour, and do not fail to please. Emotion-filled “Bother” unifies the fans as they drown out Corey’s voice with their immense volume, singing right back at him. A brilliant performance nonetheless, it has to be said that Corey does overshadow the band somewhat, with regular chants of his own name, rather than the band’s.
The GASLIGHT ANTHEM may not be typical of the kind of bands that grace Download’s main stage, but their Folk-Punk anthems are extremely fitting for a sunny Sunday afternoon as the fans’ energy supplies are beginning to run low. So too, it seems are that of the band, as they are a little shy and struggle to communicate with the crowd. GASLIGHT do, though, sound record-perfect and are a perfect festival band to chill out to towards the end of a weekend.
Second last band on the Main Stage are film star Jared Leto’s little side-project, 30 Seconds To Mars. They are introduced by Mr. Download himself, Andy Copping and enter to the huge, cinematic “Birth,” before flowing into crowd-favourite “Closer To The Edge.” It seems that, for their performance, the teenage fan-girls have come out in full force and have overrun the metalheads that by this stage of the weekend, are probably hiding away and nursing a monstrous hangover, recuperating for RAMMSTEIN.
MARS themselves, sound cinematic and generally, absolutely huge. They look like real life rockstars, too, with Jared sporting a well-groomed mane of hair, set of shades to shield his identity and a long coat. They may not be headlining tonight, but watching them, it would be difficult to tell. Their music brings a kind of euphoria to the crowd as huge colourful beach balls are launched into the crowd, who are still basking in the sunshine. They hold the excitement of the fans throughout the set, announcing their tour onstage and blasting through fan favourites that result in mass sing-alongs.
After being crushed against the barrier for their set, I had to swiftly make my way to the second stage to see LIMP BIZKIT. The excitement that had been building up before their set just exploded as the band came on to huge, huge, huge Nu-metal anthem “Rollin’.” Their set is packed full of classics, and fortunately, misses any material from their latest album out, possibly because the band have realized that the fans hate it. In short, though, the set is a nostalgia-tinged, nu-metal riot. An explosive performance from BIZKIT, and easily one of the best of the weekend.
Download Festival 2013
Even bigger than LIMP BIZKIT are RAMMSTEIN, the world’s best live band. They close the festival in a fashion like no other, with one of the world’s best stage shows. Pyro, lights, a treadmill, a huge ‘foam’ shooting penis and even a gimp, RAMMSTEIN had it all. Till Lindemann was short in speaking to the crowd in what is to him, a foreign language, but the songs more than made up for it. Anthems like “Ich Will” and “Sonne” sounded absolutely stratospheric, and there could not be a bigger and better band to close download than these German superstars. Download never fails to impress.