One of Europe's best rock and metal festivals returned to its home at Donnington Park last weekend and it's safe to say, once again, that Download smashed it. With a range of bands from Kiss, Motley Crue, Billy Idol, Rise Against, Parkway Drive, We Are Harlot and more all booked to play, there was something for everyone at the festival, and that was one of the most noticeable highlights.
Despite the torrential rain pouring down during Slipknot's set, they pulled off one of the best shows to date on Friday and set an extremely high standard for the rest of the headliners. Playing hits like 'Psychosocial', 'Devil In I', 'Spit It Out' and 'Custer', and attempting to break the Download record for the most amount of people all jumping up at the same time they certainly went all out.
Muse were considered to be a controversial band to have booked, but all concerns were quickly dashed as soon as they hit the stage on Saturday. Matt Bellamy's vocal abilities were on top form as the band belted out tracks from their newly released album 'Drones' as well as well-known hits like 'Supermassive Black Hole' and 'Plug In Baby'. Even those who were indifferent or somewhat disliked Muse couldn't deny that they put on the show of a lifetime complete with dancing lights, pyrotechnics, confetti and inflatable balls.
Continue reading: Download Festival - 2015 Live Review
Download Festival 2014 was a tamer affair than in previous years, largely owing to the event's tightened alcohol and drugs searches, bands being instructed not to encourage the crowds to mosh, more mainstream main stage headliners, fewer boobs being shown on the live camera feed, and the sombre tone of the renamed 'Stephen Sutton Stage'. Instead of holding a silence for the cancer-struck teen, festival attendees took part in a minute of respectful applause, which was paralleled by comedy pop punk band Bowling For Soup's tribute to the late comic, Rik Mayall.
In memoriam sections aside, the festival managed to transform what could be perceived as a weaker line-up compared to its preceding year into a three-day celebration of a broad range of the rock spectrum, filled with bespoke performance gems and quality heavy metal memories. First night closers Avenged Sevenfold brought a larger stage to Donington than they'd ever taken out of the US and combined imposing crypt-inspired adornments with an explosive set that proved on a world stage that they are worthy successors to titans Metallica and Iron Maiden.
The beady-eyed punter will have had a ball spotting the odd and hilarious happenings across the weekend, including a "face-melting" washboard solo from Berlin faux cowboys The BossHoss, punk's immature popsters Bowling For Soup asking a knight to decapitate a giant inflatable sheep, full contact medieval fighting from Battle Heritage, and Killswitch Engage's Jesse Leach inviting the crowd to "dance responsibly" to a particularly heavy breakdown. Ribs were probably broken in the latter instance.
Continue reading: Download Festival 2014 Review
What? We only get to choose 10!?
Download Festival 2014 has come and gone in a dizzying blast of metal riffage, moshpits frenzies and surprisingly kind weather. The weekend was packed with memorable moments and stand-out performances but we decided to pick our ten favourite moments that truly epitomised the spirit of rock 'n' roll and getting dirty in that legendary Donington field.
Download Festival 2014: Awash With Rock, Not Mud.
1) Black Stone Cherry's Secret Set
Continue reading: Our 10 Favourite Download Festival 2014 Moments