Download Festival 2014 – Saturday 14th June 2014

Elliot and Ant give their opinions of the second day at this years Download festival..

Download Festival LogoThe first band of the day for me was South Wales rockers The Dirty Youth [8] who put in a great set.  Singer Danni Monroe was sporting a natural hair colour for the first time – every gig I’ve seen them play over the last few years have seen her with bright red/pink hair.  She’s a good front person and does well at getting the crowd involved.  During the set she reveals they have a new album due out later this year.  Ending the set with “Fight” this was a good start to the day.

Some wake up with hangovers at festivals. Everyone at Download woke up with the sun again. And after the previous day’s antics of Avenged Sevenfold smashing everything to pieces in astonishing fashion, today would hopefully maintain the high standards. But first off, a conundrum – would we find out the identity of Iceman Thesis?

Erm, well, no. Who even IS Iceman Thesis (N/A)? If you don’t know about the huge Twitter storm they’ve caused then don’t worry. If you do then don’t worry either – five blokes in black morphsuit masks who stuck true to their word and played for five minutes on the Pepsi Max Stage and with a very generic metalcore sound. Nothing spectacular, nothing special – and nothing else of note to say. But bringing spectacular to the tent today is most definitely Lawnmower Deth (8). Following the unfortunate cancellation of Upon a Burning Body the Brits have an extra 15 minutes of time to play with and they do it in the only way they know how – with complete and utter bedlam. Never have I seen an audience so wary of flying green balls in all my life, or as bewildered when faced with a Sumo Rabbit…

I think this is the fourth year that Lawnmower Deth [9]  have played Download so they are clearly doing something right.  Taking to the stage to the Muppets theme the lunacy quickly takes off as they throw out the flying killer cobs (green beach balls with faces on them).  They blast through a load of songs including “Flying killer cobs from the planet bob”, “Sheep dip”, “Weebles wobble”, “Drink to be sick”, “ooh crikey”, “Sumo rabbit” and many more – in fact as the songs range from a few seconds long to 2 oe 3 minutes they are able to cram in a lot of songs with their extended set time (extended due to members King 810 being arrested as they tried to fly from the US and their set being cancelled).  Lawnmower Deth give us a set packed with on-stage lunacy, and once again pack out the tent – something Andy Copping must have noticed when he joined them on stage.  Hopefully next time they’ll be on the second stage where they can play to an even bigger crowd.

Over on the Zippo stage, The Bosshoss [9] were entertaining a large crowd.  With their cowboy hats, music thats a blend of rock, blues, country and western and more, then you could be forgiven for thinking they come from the USA, but they actually come from the wild west…of Berlin, Germany.  With a horn section and unusual instruments such as castanets and a washboard, they sound different to every other band on the bill and it’s an insanely addictive fun sound – I’d compare them to Gogol Bordello in that respect, something totally off the wall but extremely entertaining.  A great band, and their cover of Cameo’s “Word up” was great fun.

Over on the Stephen Sutton Stage, it’s social media storms of a different nature with Dying Fetus (7) opening proceedings after Metal Hammer’s #WhyNotDyingFetus campaign got them noticed by Download’s big wigs. Their death metal was never going to be to everyone’s tastes but they do get the first pits of the day going. Fozzy (7) are finally starting to break away from being ‘that band fronted by Chris Jericho’ – the chants of their name outweigh the ‘Y2J’ ones considerably. Bury Tomorrow (8) continue to grow from strength to strength and deservedly pulled a big audience with ‘Royal Blood’ going down particularly well, whilst While She Sleeps (8) keep the momentum going and more when Loz decides to scale the stage rafters with a flag bearing the bands name. It’s Killswitch Engage (9) who turn it up to the next level. Jesse Leach has one of the best voices around and he leads everybody through 14 songs of both old an new material, completely killing it all – even the songs originally sung by Howard Jones are not trouble at all for him and My Curse is just stunning in every aspect. On any other day they’d have been the best band of the undercard but Bring Me the Horizon (9) kick them out the park the minute they open with ‘Shadow Moses’ and the crowd go absolutely mental. From the material on Sempiternal to a rare outing of ‘Chelsea Smile’ from 2008’s Suicide Season, Oli Sykes and co are on the sort of form you’d except from a band that are finally headlining arenas in the UK. It’s a performance that Fall Out Boy (8) struggle to follow but they don’t half give it a go. Patrick Stump sounds fantastic and the band have really grown up since their Infinity on High days. Yes the hits are paramount and the sing-a-longs are huge but this is a much mature quartet than the one that went on hiatus in 2009. We’re slowly going back in time with the hits of yesteryear…and then we went back even further.

On the acoustic stage, Toby Jepson [7] put in a very good performance consisting mainly of his solo stuff, but ending with a couple of Little Angels songs.

For me, Saturday was all about the last part of the day on the Zippo stage – Twisted Sister and Status Quo.  Twisted Sister [10] were second from top on the bill and had a very large crowd – the largest of the weekend on that stage I think.  They blasted through hit after hit – Stay hungry, The kids are back, You can’t stop rock and roll, Under the blade, Shoot em down, We’re not going to take it, I am I’m me, Burn in hell, and I wanna rock, and the crowd were singing along to virtually every song.  It was a great atmosphere and Dee Snider is a superb frontman who kept the crowd entertained and involved.  He did get distracted at one point seeing an aircraft coming in to land at East Midlands airport next door to the festival site, but soon recovered and joked about it.  To end the show they performed “Born to raise hell” as an encore – a Motorhead cover which they dedicated to Lemmy, saying the festival season just wasn’t the same without Motorhead.

Status Quo [9] had the unenviable task of following Twisted Sister.  By the time they came on the crowd had shrunk noticeably but there was still a good crowd for Status Quo.  Any band that’s been around as long as Quo knows that a festival audience generally wants a greatest hits set, and that’s what they gave us – Sweet Caroline, What You’re Proposing/Wild Side of Life/Railroad/Again and Again, The oriental, Creeping up on you, In the army now, Roll over lay down, Down down, Whatever you want, Rockin all over the world.  For an encore we got “Juniors wailing” followed by the traditional Quo set closer – Rock and roll music/Bye Bye Johnny.  It was a great set – Quo are one of those bands that never disappoint, but was sadly on the short side as they’d been told to finish early so the stage could be set up to show the England football match later – it’s a sad day when football takes priority over music at a rock festival.

About Elliot Leaver

PlanetMosh's resident Iron Maiden fanboy and Mr. Babymetal. Also appreciates the music of Pink Floyd, Rammstein, Nightwish, Avenged Sevenfold, Slipknot and many others. Writing to continue to enjoy life away from the stresses of full-time employment.