Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Download 2015 - Day Two review

WAKING up with a massive rumbling sound in you head is never nice and it takes me longer than it should to work out it's an aeroplane coming into land rather than my hangover.

The other noise I hear is rain. It started the night before and - as I will come to learn - it will not stop all day. At least I'm prepared now with a jacket and wellies rather than the hoodie and Converse that got ruined during last night's torrential downpours.

Faith No More - picture by Scott Salt/Download 2015
But enough of my moaning, today I am enticed into the arena by the harmonious vocals of festival favourites The Lounge Kittens whose pitch-perfect set includes covers of Marilyn Manson's The Beautiful People, Metallica's Sad But True, Slipknot's Duality and a Download megamix.

And now I'm ready to start the day. And first up on the agenda is Funeral For A Friend - a band I think should be bigger than they are. They've produced so many good songs over the years - and play them here. 

Maybe they're victims of "the next young things" knocking them down the ladder, I don't know. But upstarts Chunk! No Captain Chunk! steal some audience from them to the nearby Maverick stage - me, admittedly, for a bit - while Mallory Knox then come on the Main stage and get a much bigger reaction.

That's not to say Mallory Knox or the boys in Chunk don't deserve their plaudits. Each give energetic performances, as do Hands Like Houses, who could be the next pretenders to the radio-friendly alt-rock crown.

Next up came one of the disasters of the weekend. Hollywood Undead

Whereas Slipknot's masks can't hide the fact they're a top-class metal band, Hollywood Undead's masks can't hide the fact they're totally crap.

It's like the bastard mongrel offspring of bad Beastie Boys and Papa Roach tribute acts with lyrics by Sean Paul. It was just awful. They may have been saved if there was even the remotest hint that they knew this was all a bit silly and tongues were in cheeks, but I got the impression they think they're the best and coolest band in the world. They ain't.

And it rubs salt into my earlier wound of a band like Funeral For A Friend two spots below them on the Main stage bill.

But every cloud has a silver lining and that was making my way from the car crash of Hollywood Undead up the hill to Jake's stage where I found Crobot. Proper musicians, playing proper rock music.

A Day To Remember - picture by Justine Trickett/Download 2015
Their track Skull Of Geronimo was the highlight with Brandon Yeagley nailing the vocals.

A bit chirpier, I went back down the hill to some real heaviness with Upon A Burning Body in the Maverick tent and Parkway Drive on the Main.

Like yesterday's slight let down when Rob Halford failed to join Five Finger Death Punch for Lift Me Up, I was disappointed that Ice T didn't show for UABB's set-closing Turn Down For What despite his Bodycount playing later in the day.

His recorded vocals were played out though and the track still lifted the tent off the ground.

Rise Against were next for me on the Main stage and then Motionless In White on the Zippo Encore before A Day To Remember made it, well, you know. 

Their powerful and energetic performance began with the duda duda dudahs of The Downfall Of Us All and also included a cover of Oasis's Champagne Supernova. There were a few groans from the metal hardcore when they first began to play it, but they were soon singing along to all the words "...in the skaaaaayyy".

I saw a little bit of Bodycount, but not enough to report on. Then came the biggest let down of the weekend. Faith No More.

Angel Dust is one of my favourite albums and they have made so many other good songs over the years. Yet there was something missing from the performance. Decked out all in white and surrounded by flowers, they didn't look like us. Maybe that was it. Or the smuggish sneer on Mike Patton's face. I don't know. But the performance seemed too routine and the interaction with the crowd forced. 

Marilyn Manson
- picture by Danny North/Download 2015
By now, of course, we're at the business end of the day and I decide to split my "headline" time between two stages.

I start off with Marilyn Manson on the Encore stage and he had what Faith No More lacked. Magnetism. You just have to watch him. He's an enigma. And he's got a hell of a voice too.

He started with new track Deep Six, then hit us with an old favourites Disposable Teens and mOBSCENE. His covers of Sweet Dreams and Personal Jesus were also included and he finished with the superb Beautiful People.

Muse, meanwhile, were showing just why they are one of the world's biggest rock bands. Yes they are a lot more commercial than a lot of the other bands on the bill, but they write amazing songs and perform them in a spectacular show - even if we only got the scaled back version.

Their set included a number of songs from their new album Drones, but plenty of the classics such as Hysteria, Supermassive Black Hole, Time Is Running Out and Stockholm Syndrome before closing their encore with Plug In Baby and Knights Of Cydonia.

So more than 15 bands seen in one day - a day it rained constantly - and my must-see of the weekend early on the bill tomorrow. Time for bed.

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