Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Download 2015 - Day Three review

SOMETIMES you have a band in your life that you get, but not everyone else does - and that's just fine.

It gives you more of a connection with them and their songs and makes seeing them live - even at 11.50 in the morning - a really rewarding experience.

Brock in action - picture by Richard Johnson/Download 2015
That band for me is 36 Crazyfists, whose first album Bitterness The Star I picked up back in the early 2000s and never looked back. But this was the first time I had seen them perform in the flesh.

They kicked off with a new one - Vanish from Time And Trauma - in an eight-track set that included highlights from throughout their career and ended with their most memorable (and earliest) hit, Slit Wrist Theory.

For me, it was a fantastic performance and a delight to finally see them perform. And to top it off, I met frontman Brock Lindow for a brief chat and a picture backstage in the press area and he was a lovely guy. What an experience.

36CF weren't my first band of the day though, with Pop Evil having the unenviable task of opening the Main stage on "Hangover Sunday", but they did a good job of it and pulled in a decent crowd.

I also very much enjoyed Tremonti on the Main stage a little later as my Sunday began to get going.

But then I suffered another disappointment. I appreciate We Are Harlot are an arms waving, lighters-in-the-air sort of band but it just didn't do it for me on the day - even with their cover of Queen's Tie Your Mother Down.

I departed and caught a bit of Blackberry Smoke on the Main stage and The Darkness pulling in the biggest crowd the Maverick stage tent had seen all weekend. A triumphant return for them.

Billy Idol is also not really a boat floater for me, so after a bit of his set I popped up to see Eagles Of Death Metal on the Zippo Encore stage. Now this I did like. Jesse Hughes and his band of merry men seemed to enjoy their time and that rubbed off on the crowd. It was a lot of fun and a lot of dancing in the mud. Good stuff.

Myles & Slash - picture by Scott Salt/Download 2015
Now back in the groove, it was time for Slash (feat. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators) on the Main stage - and what a performance.

I was worried I didn't know enough Slash material to enjoy the set, but he's a guy who knows what the crowd wants and it was rammed full of Guns 'n' Roses classics too and one from his Velvet Revolver days.

For those tracks Myles Kennedy shows his skill as a vocalist and avoids the trap of slipping into an Axl Rose parody. As such, we get to enjoy Nightrain, You Could Be Mine, Sweet Child O' Mine and Paradise City. And, of course, Slash's axemanship is second to none.

In Flames - picture by Giles Smith/Download 2015
And as my festival looks to finish on a high, I take in In Flames on the Encore stage and they also hit the spot. Anders Friden leads the onslaught of hit after hit - including my favourites Where The Dead Ships Dwell and Deliver Us - before finishing on their biggest smash, Take This Life. Incredible.

I take in a little bit of Motley Crue as they say goodbye, but to be honest neither they or Kiss are my kind of thing, it's getting late and I have a three-hour journey ahead. 

My big regret is missing out on what has been reported as a stormer of a performance from Enter Shikari, but my Download Festival is over and what an amazing weekend of music it's been \m/

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