Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Download Festival Day Two Review

A NEW day, a new set of (dry) clothes and a new hope that the rain would stay away - how wrong that last one was.

But the rain from above and rising mud from underneath failed to dampen my spirits as I went on to take in 17 bands across the course of another fantastic day of music.

I started the day (with a beer and) Shvpes - and the Birmingham boys bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm to the early slot in the Maverick tent. A decent start to the day.

Photo credit:
Ben Gibson

But things were ramped up even further on the Lemmy Stage as Beartooth - themselves in the Maverick tent last year - let rip.

They started with hit The Lines and never looked back as Caleb Shomo led the band through an excellent set that really connected with the crowd.

I then took in a bit of Black Peaks back in the Maverick who were also really good. There really is a big bunch of super-talented, heavy British bands emerging.

A bit past it, and taking me on a bit of a downer, were Atreyu on the Lemmy Stage. Their sing-along tracks offer nothing fresh or exciting. They weren't terrible, but they just didn't get my juices flowing like the earlier bands did.

It was the same with Danko Jones and Sixx:AM. Having caught a little, but not enough, of Turbowolf, I switched between DJ on the Maverick and Nikki Sixx's gang on the Lemmy Stage. The fact I did shows that neither did enough to capture my attention. Surely there is better than this.

But I was pulled out of my funk by a dose of Bury Tomorrow on the Encore Zippo Stage. The band came out to the Champions League theme music and then delivered a Champions League performance.

They killed it; each song connecting with the crowd. Frontman Daniel Winter-Bates' offer wait behind after to shake the hand of each and every audience member sealed Bury Tomorrow's place as a Download Festival favourite. Awesome stuff.

Things were a little mixed after that for yours truly. Escape The Fate were OK, Megadeth - with or without WWE legend Triple H - aren't my cup of tea, while Anti-Flag and Neck Deep offered something a little more exciting.

In between that latter two I had hoped to see the highly-rated Architects. But they were forced to pull out and while replacements Against The Current were solid, it wasn't what I had hoped to see at that time.

There were, however, highlights to come. Deftones - like they did at Sonisphere two years ago - absolutely slayed it with a superb performance on the Lemmy Stage. And Skindred are always enjoyable and made me for get about the rain - a little - over on the Zippo Encore.

I would return there after a short dabble watching England v Russia in Euro 2016 for a touch of NOFX, but then it was on to see Black Sabbath headline.

Like the night before, it was a little underwhelming. They played the hits. The musicianship is mindblowing and despite not always hitting the tune, Ozzy is still a force full of charisma.

But I was left feeling that the decision to wind things up after this one last tour is probably for the best. 

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