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Download Festival 2011.
  • 5/5
  • Venue:
  • Gig:
  • Gig date: 30th November 1999
  • Posted on 1st August 2011 by Leahs Ears

Download Festival 2011.

✯ = Poor and Disappointing.

✯✯ = Average.

✯✯✯ = Good – worth going to see.

✯✯✯✯ = Excellent, The shiz.

✯✯✯✯✯ = Face–Melting, Mind–Blowing, Outstanding, Classic!

 

For those who haven’t already been to a Download Festival – go!

I arrived at Download on the Thursday. It had been a long day travelling there and with it being my first festival and first camping experience I had no idea what to expect.

As we traipsed towards the campsites struggling with the weight of our bags; it became clear who the regular festival goers were as they whizzed past us with their loading trolleys. It was a long journey and it took us even longer to find a place to pitch our tents. But despite this the morale was still very high - for we had entered a community! Free hugs were being issued to us by every Tom, Dick and Harry. And every now and then somebody would give me the rock sign and scream, ‘We’re at fucking Download!’ On my quest to find a tent I also passed a lady who was sat cross legged, in a circle of lighted tea candles yelling ‘Butt scratcher’ at everybody who passed by. So despite the weight on my shoulders, I couldn’t help but smile.

When Friday arrived the atmosphere alone was enough to fuel our adrenaline; which was just as well considering the first bands we saw were quite, well, flat. Puddle of Mudd (✯✯) and Duff McKagan’s Loaded (✯✯) were not what I expected; and for me, it wasn’t until Thin Lizzy (✯✯✯) took the stage that Download Festival really heated up. Following this was a passionate performance from Alter Bridge, (✯✯✯✯) a thrashing feature from Children of Bodom, (✯✯✯) a world domineering show from Bring Me The Horizon (✯✯✯✯✯) and a classic comeback from The Darkness (✯✯✯✯). We then made our way to the Pepsi Max stage to see Times of Grace, (✯✯✯✯✯) who were mind-blowing! In recent reviews that I have read on Times of Grace; it has been said that too much attention has been drawn to Jesse Leach hindering the band as a whole. But I can honestly say that it didn’t feel that way at Download. Times of Grace are no more hindered with Jesse Leach, then Stone Sour are with Corey Taylor. Adam Dutkiewicz was outstanding, and each member of the band had so much energy and zeal that if there is such a thing as metal-swagger, they’ve got it! The last band we saw was Korn (✯✯✯). They didn’t put on as good a show as I thought they would, but none the less the place was packed and people were going crazy, which is what it’s all about at Download.

Saturday had much more in store for us, starting with All That Remains, (✯✯✯) Escape The Fate, (✯✯✯) and Rise to Remain (✯✯✯✯). But if anybody worked the crowd it was Benji Webbe’s Skindred, (✯✯✯✯✯) who initiated mass robotic movements. They put on a show so invigorating that it left, American rap rock band Hollywood Undead, (✯✯✯) looking plain and uninteresting. Next on the bill was Down (✯✯✯✯) who had bollocks full of attitude, and all of this made me wonder why Skunk Anansie (✯) were even let through the Download gates. But despite Skunk Anansie’s limp performance, Avenged Sevenfold (✯✯✯✯✯) managed to bring the crowd back to frenzy with fury, flames and mosh pit wars. I then ran up to the second stage to catch the opening of Alice Cooper, (✯✯✯✯) before heading back to main stage for the almighty and powerful comeback of System of a Down (✯✯✯✯✯). They may be bonkers but they are astonishing musicians, and it makes one wonder how we ever managed five years without them. Truly classic!

Waking up to Sunday was rather anti-climax considering the ever falling rain, blistering wind and slushy mud – but fellow Downloaders acquired their wellington boots and rain coats and battled it out in the name of Rock! The rain took a short break for the duration of Bowling for Soup, (✯✯✯✯✯) which front man Jaret Reddick reasoned was due to Bowling for Soup being ‘God’s favourite band’. Jaret might not be far off the truth there; because when Chris Burney began drilling a large inflatable penis into a large inflatable sheep, it did make me wonder how anybody could not simply love Bowling for Soup. And when the sheep had had its thrills we went to visit the second stage to see Kvelertak (✯✯✯) who were beefy, powerful and rather insane – in a good way of course. I quite regretted making my way back to the main stage to catch some of The Pretty Reckless’ (✯) set, and hastily made my way back to the second stage to see Gwar (✯✯✯). This band stole the trophy for insanity ten times over when they bought out a monster of Queen Elizabeth and cut off her boobs resulting in spurts of blood. They are not what you would call gifted musicians, they are more so gifted performers and they put on more of a show then a gig, but they are still worth seeing live. The Turisas (✯✯) didn’t really tickle my pickle – it sounded like there was something wrong with their mic, but many others had good things to say about their performance so I wouldn’t write them off that easily. During their set the group I was with decided we should go back to the tent to warm up and prepare for the headliners in the evening. I joined them, but I turned out to be the only one who actually waded through the mud back to the arena. I had missed Disturbed by then but I still managed to catch The Cult, (✯✯) Bullet for my Valentine, (✯✯✯✯) Rob Zombie, (✯✯✯✯✯) and Linkin Park (✯✯✯✯✯). Bullet  were amazing and they had a brilliant set which finished with a bang and a cloud of smoke, that invaded the whole of the main stage arena as fireworks rode into the sky. Rob Zombie may not have had fireworks, but he sure knew how to put on a show, so much so that I feel it may have been a bit too much of a show. There was so much going on on the stage that I found it rather difficult to focus on Rob Zombie himself – but none the less, it was brilliant. Linkin Park was then to be the last band of the weekend and they really were worth the wait, and the mud, and the cold and the rain. I couldn’t see one person in the audience that wasn’t dancing or singing along – Linkin Park really know how to work a crowd and they served as a fantastic band to end the weekend.

Download 2011 (✯✯✯✯✯).

 

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