Gig Review

Download Festival 2013
Donington Park, Derby
14th - 16th June 2013

Last year was the tenth anniversary of Download Festival and boasted such a strong line up with the likes of The Prodigy, Metallica and Black Sabbath headlining the event however over the course of the weekend the unpredictable British weather did everything in its power to give Download Festival a battering with the site becoming a muddy mess with thousands of peoples tents broke from the extreme rain even before a second of music had been played, musically the festival was a huge success but the bad weather put a downer on many people’s festival with a lot of people leaving early.

Now a year on Download Festival have gone all out and secured it’s most impressive line up to date with the likes of slipknot, Iron Maiden and Rammstein headlining the main stage across the weekend and acts from Papa Roach, HIM, Korn, Five Finger Death Punch, Jimmy Eat World, Europe, Rat Attack, Airbourne, The Gaslight Anthem, Stone Sour and many other bands completing the festivals big diverse line up which features over 150 bands playing 5 stages over the course of the weekend and it was safe to say that the bad weather of 2012 did nothing to put people off returning to the festival in 2013 as over 90,000 rockers headed down to Donington Park for the 11th instalment of the Download festival.

We made it into the festival site just as Rise To Remain (3/5) took to the stage and this year everything seems to be on their side as last year their set got cancelled right at the last minute due to the extreme weather and the late opening of the main arena, in their short 30minutes set they wasted no time in warming up the crowd with their fast paced rock music and the likes of ‘Heartless’, ‘The Serpent’ and ‘Bridges will Burn’ pleased their fans no end.

We headed over to the Pepsi Max stage next to check out Patent Pending (4/5) but due to the British weather opening the heavens and rain coming down extremely fast the tent was packed out with people trying to keep dry so we stood at the entrance of the tent and listened to Patent Pending unload their infectious poppy punk on a packed crowd and from the start of the set right until the end frontman Joe Ragosta had the crowd entertained with his friendly banter but the most comical moment of the set was when he encouraged the crowd to flip the bird to Justin Bieber in a funky dance routine, musically their most recent song ‘Pyscho In Love’ went down well and made the unlucky people who could not make it into the tent forget about the rain for a few minutes.

Up next was Papa Roach (5/5) now last time I watched Papa Roach was back in December when they supported Stone Sour at Brixton Academy and on the night I thought they put on a better show than Stone Sour and today Papa Roach open with ‘Still Swinging’ and put on one of the best shows of the festival, there set list was like a mini greatest hits featuring 11 tracks which span across the 20 years they have been together as a band with the likes of ‘Between angels And Insects’, ‘Getting Away With Murder’, ‘Scars’ and ‘Dead Cell’ going down a storm with the crowd with the majority of people singing along, towards the middle of the set Jacoby Shaddix headed out to the crowd and threw himself straight into the mud to fully get in the festival sprit and returned to the stage dripping from head to toe in mud which gained him mega respect from the strong crowd watching, Papa Roach finished with the song which kicked it all off for them ‘Last Resort’ and it was epic hearing thousands of fans singing-a-long word for word.

After Papa Roach we went for a walk around the festival site to check out the general stores, merch and bars which soon saw us join a massive queue to purchase a bottle of Iron Maidens Trooper beer which was on sale through the duration of the festival, on first taste I thought the ale was disgusting but after a couple more sips it quickly become enjoyable and I am sure became the drink of the festival for many people, whilst walking through the festival site we could hear Down in the background who were showing the mainstage crowd how to rock out with ease.

We soon found ourselves at the Zippo Encore Stage and Europe (3/5) had just started so we decided to hang about and watch the whole set, Europe managed to fit in 7 songs in their 40minute set and their classic songs ‘Firebox’, ‘Superstitous’, ‘ Scream Of Anger’ and ‘Rock The Night’ were easily pleasing their hardcore fans at the front but everyone else looked a bit stale but as soon as Europe announced that they had one song left and went straight into ‘The Final Countdown’ the whole crowd erupted with excitement with people jumping around with excitement whilst singing-a-long.

After Europe we headed straight back down to the mainstage for Korn (4/5) now Korn were one of the bands that I was looking forward to most for a number of reasons, firstly the band were one of my favourite bands when growing up with me heading out to see Korn a couple of times on every tour of the UK but secondly it was the first Korn show in many years with guitarist Brian ‘Head’ Welch who has just returned to the band and from the start you can tell that Korn are here to impress as they open with one of their heaviest songs ‘Blind’ which went down a storm with the crowd with circle pits opening up all over the place yet for me it was a pleasure to hear Head lay down those killer riffs he wrote all those years ago again. As the set progresses Korn stick mainly to their classics such as ‘falling Away From Me’, ‘Coming Undone’, ‘Did My Time’, ‘Got The Life’, ‘Here To Stay’, ‘Freak On A Leash’ but they still find place to play the synth riddled ‘Narcissistic Cannibal’ and Johnathon Davies also gets his bagpipes out before they blast into ‘Shoots And Ladder’s but the heavy wind that is up today which makes his bagpipe performance sound so bad but you have to respect the man for trying, overall it was good to see Korn on stage looking like a happy family and their set was rounded off with the crowd and band singing happy birthday to drummer Ray Luzier.

Bullet For My Valentine (4/5) took to the stage next who celebrated their seventh appearances at Download Festival warming up for the mighty Slipknot and they waste no time warming up the crowd with pyro and a good collection of songs from their back catalogue.

The set that Bullet For My Valentine played was extremely enjoyable and the crowd really turned out for them tonight with the majority of people singing along and the mosh pit erupting to the more riff-tastic songs such as ‘Your Betrayal’, ‘Temper Temper’ and ‘Scream Aim Fire’ and set closer ‘Tears Don’t Fall’, it is never an easy job being sandwiched between Korn and Slipknot but I feel that Bullet For My Valentine pulled it off tonight and followed on perfectly form and just about warmed the crowd up for Slipknot.

The moment that everyone was waiting for finally arrived when Slipknot (5/5) took to the stage dressed in white boiler suits and ready to put on a performance to either equal or out do their 2009 Download headline performance which has gone down in the Download history books as best performance ever at the festival.

Now tonight’s show is Slipknot’s second performance in the UK since the sad passing of bassist Paul Gray yet Slipknot are here with 90,000 fans to do what they do best by rocking out and pleasing their fans whilst also remembering the life of Paul Gray and paying respect to him with such an energetic performance full of songs he helped create.

It is safe to say that tonight’s show was one of the most hectic Slipknot shows in a long time as on a number of occasions Corey Taylor had to stop the show as the barrier kept looking like it was breaking and a lot of fans were left on the floor struggling to get up and Corey Taylor being the amazing front man that he is shouted out “We are not going to continue until everyone is safe, the barriers are breaking and no one is getting hurt on our time”, luckily everyone listened to Corey and within the matter of seconds the show continued.

Slipknot played for nearly two hours and played a set which was very similar to the last time they were at Download but that didn’t matter as it has been a solid couple of years since Slipknot last played in the UK and every Slipknot show is a pleasure to watch no matter what set they play as Slipknot are easily the most energetic, hectic yet enjoyable band to watch live as you really don’t know what is going to happen from one minute to the next especially when you have the Clown rising in the air jumping around on his gear whilst equally smashing the hell out of it.

The songs that Slipknot played were truly epic with the likes of ‘Wait And Bleed’, ‘Before I Forget’, ‘Eyeless’, ‘Dead Memories’, ‘Left Behind’, ‘Pulse Of The Maggots’, ‘ The Heretic Anthem’, ‘Psychosocial’ and ‘Duality’ making up the majority of the set but it was the amazing ‘Spit It Out’ which was where it proper dawned on you that you were at a Slipknot show as Corey taylor demanded that the strong 90,000 crowd get down on the floor and jump back up in the air when he shouts “jump the fuck up”, the moment was truly epic and will easily gone in the Download Festival history books.

The encore featured ‘(sic)’, ‘People = Shit’, ‘Surfacing’ and set closer ‘Til We Die’ and as soon as Slipknot left the stage 90,000 started to leave the main arena for the long journey back to their tents, hotels or home but we a smile on their face after witnessing such a strong Slipknot show and also with the news that Slipknot back will be back very soon as Corey Taylor announced on stage earlier in the night.

We got to festival site pretty early and headed straight in to see Heavens Basement (5/5) take to the Zippo Encore stage, the band had a short 25 minute set and they wasted no time what so ever and started with album opener ‘Welcome Home’ whilst quickly woke this sleepy crowd up. Heavens Basement only had time to play 5 songs but they easily picked 5 of their most energetic songs to play with the likes of ‘I Am Electric’ and ‘Fire, Fire’ following on from the opening song with perfection, I am been following Heavens Basement right from the start and I feel after today’s massive performance their fan base is going to go through the roof and the recognition they deserve is finally going to come their way.

Black Star Riders (4/5) took to the main stage next and a couple of weeks before the festival they were not even listed to be playing but due to Buckcherry pulling out right at the last minute festival booker Andy Copping wasted no time in asking Black Star Riders to fill the space and he made a good decision getting them on board to play the festival as judging from today’s crowd not many people knew too much on this re jigged version of Thin Lizzy but the Black Star Riders mixed their set up well by playing some of the best songs from their debut album like ‘Bound For Glory’, ‘Hey Judas’, ‘Kingdom Of The Lost’ but also adding a few classic Thin Lizzy tracks such as ‘Whisky In The Jar’ and ‘The Boys Are Back’ to show the crowd that they are a new band but have not and will not ever forget about their roots.

We headed to the Jagermeister stage next for a bit of acoustic action, the first band we caught was Straight Lines (4/5) now Straight Lines are a band that I have seen a few times over the past couple of years and on some occasions they have been at the top of their game and at others they have come across quite boring yet today the acoustic side of things seemed to of suited Straight Lines as they really got the crowd’s attention and before you knew it they had a massive amount of the crowd who have never met before dancing around the field in a massive conga line.

Up next were Crowns (4/5) who are another band that I have shown interest in over the last year or so due to their infectious punk folk sound and today they treated the crowd at the Jagermeister stage to their full band show as their music is as close as you can get to being acoustic without actually being acoustic, songs like ‘Kissing Gate’ and ‘Parting In The Porch’ left the majority of people watching with a smile on their face.

After Crowns we quickly headed back to the main stage to catch Alice In Chains (4/5) now last time I saw Alice In Chains was at Sonisphere Festival back in 2010 so it was good to catch them at Download Festival today and I was glad that I did as they put on a solid performance with the likes of ‘Down In A Hole’, ‘Check My Brain’, ‘Stone’ and set closer ‘Rooster’ all going down well with the crowd, the only downside was that I felt that Alice In Chains could of done with a longer set as they have so many classic songs to play which they sadly didn’t have time to play.

We headed to the Zippo Encore stage next to catch dad rockers Thunder (4/5) now last time I watched Thunder was at High Voltage in London back in 2011 they put on a fantastic show then so I had high hopes them today and I wasn’t disappointed as they played through the likes of ‘Dirty Love’, ‘River Of Pain’, ‘The Devil Made Me Do It’, ‘Love Walked In’ and ‘I Love You More than Rock ‘N’ Roll’ which show that after 25 years despite a few split up’s Thunder are still going strong and still have the fan base who cry out to see them time and time again.

Jimmy Eat World (5/5) were up next and were easily alongside Heavens Basement as the band of the day, the stage was packed as Jimmy Eat World played through the classics with the crowd singing-a-long word for word to the likes of ‘My Best Theory’, ‘Our House’, ‘Bleed American’, ‘The Sweetness’ and set closer ‘The Middle’ , Jimmy Eat World really are at the top of their game these days and really do deserve to be at the dizzy heights alongside the likes of past touring partners Green Day and Blink 182.

Enter Shikari (5/5) took to the Zippo Encore stage next for their headline performance and they put on a massive show which is full of synths bashing your ears, mental lighting pleasing your eyes and a collection of songs which run right through the years from when Enter Shikari released their debut album in 2007 right up until their latest song ‘The Paddington Frisk’ which is completed with the maddest dance routine since Psy’s ‘Gagnam Style’.

Considering Enter Shikari were headlining they only had an hour set and had to play in broad day light as in classic Download style the second stage was due to close moments before the headliners Iron Maiden took to the main stage so the lighting show despite being quite impressive was slightly wasted tonight as the full effect was not met and also no one could bring out their glow sticks and going mental as it was to light to have that kind of effect, however Enter Shikari and their fans did not let this get them down as they played the likes of ‘Sorry, You’re Not A Winner’, ‘Radiate’, ‘Sssnakepit’, ‘ Juggernauts’, ‘Gandi Mate, Gandi’, ‘Mothership’ and many other killer tracks whilst also mixing the majority of the songs up slightly whilst still maintaining the big forceful sound they are known for.

As soon as Enter Shikari finished the majority of the crowd headed to the main stage to get a spot for Iron Maiden but due to see Iron Maiden many times in the past I had other plans and headed to the Red Bull stage to catch the up and coming British punk band Rat Attack (5/5) however before Rat Attack took to the stage I did see the Spitfires flay over for the start of the Iron Maiden set and have to say that it easily is the most opening moments of a live show ever, moments later Rat Attack take to the stage for a short bouncy punk set set, the tent they played to was pretty empty with a maximum of 150 people in the tent due to Iron Maiden being on just across the field but Rat Attack did not let this bother them and put on a show like they were playing to thousands of people, front man Mike Dodges wore a shiny gold shirt for the set looking a bit like a game show host yet spent the majority of the set bouncy across the stage whilst screaming the lyrics to ‘Facehooked’, ‘Look Back And Laugh’ and recent single ‘Heartbeat’.

After Rat Attack we headed to the back of the mainstage and watched what was left of Iron Maiden and luckily timed it right to catch the likes of ‘Run To The Hills’ and ‘Fear Of The Dark’ before heading back.

As we arrived at the festival site we could hear Sacred Mother Tongue in the distance but sadly never managed to get in on time to see them however we made it into the main arena just in time for the Cancer Bats (5/5) to take to the stage now the Cancer Bats have been waiting an whole year for this moment after their main stage slot got cancelled last year due to the weather and the late opening of the main arena however their mates in Billy Talent did invite them up on stage for one song however this year they got a full 30 minute set and Liam Cormier made the crowd know that he is glad that they finally got their moment to play the main stage and also let the crowd know that the wait was painful but worth it.

Cancer Bats played one hell of a hectic set laying down some fantastic riffs throughout the likes of ‘Bricks And Mortar’, ‘Pneumonia Hawk’ , ‘R.A.T.S’ and even their Beastie Boys cover ‘Sabotage’, Liam Cormier spent the set running around like someone who had been let out for the day whilst the crowd were opening circle pits in nearly every corner of the mosh pit which I sure quickly shook off any hangovers today.

Coal Chamber (2/5) were up next, now I haven’t heard a lot about Coal Chamber in many years, I know they reformed back in 2011 and were due to play Sonisphere in 2012 before it got cancelled and were quickly to get announced for Download this year but there set was poor the band sounding shocking and out dated and even the likes of ‘Loco’ and ‘Big Truck’ did nothing please the crowd, Coal Chamber may well be a blast from the past but I can’t see Dez Fafara putting Devil Driver on hold in the near future to concentrate on getting Coal Chamber fully back in the scene.

The last time Five Finger Death Punch (5/5) played Download Festival was in 2010 and their set got cut short due to front man Ivan Moody encouraging the crowd to crowd surf and come up on stage this pissed the security off and led to health and safety issues that the mic was quickly turned off and Five Finger Death Punch’s set ended however this year Ivan Moody touched on what happened in 2010 and promised that the same thing wouldn’t happen this time, however Moody was still on a mission doing his best to piss the security off and played a quick game of Ivan says where he got a number of kids up on stage who then went on to hand bang whilst Moody carried on swearing and throwing abuse at the security telling one if he touches another kid he is going to break his fucking nose. Musically Five Finger Death Punch were on top form with the likes of ‘The Way Of the Fist’, ‘Lift Me Up’ and ‘The Bleeding’ causing a frenzy in the pit.

Corey Taylor’s other band Stone Sour (4/5) were up next, now Corey Taylor was completing a triple whammy of appearances at Download 2013 with his Stone Sour performance as on the Friday he headlined with Slipknot on the Saturday he was in the signing tent signing copies of his book and this afternoon he was pleasing the crowd in Stone Sour.

Stone Sour managed to fit 11 songs into their set and it was done in true Stone sour style opening with a mad flurry of hard hitters such as ‘Gone Sovereign’, ‘Absolute Zero’, ‘Mission Statement’ and ‘Made Of Scars’ before things become more chilled out as Corey Taylor treated the crowd to an solo cover of Alice In Chains ‘Nutshell’ before going on to play the massive sing-a-long crowd pleaser ‘Bother’ with the set then picking up in pace with the rest of the band rejoining Corey Taylor for the classic songs ‘Through Glass’, ‘ Get Inside’, ‘30/30-150’ and a stunning cover of Black Sabbaths ‘Children Of The Grave’.

As the sun is glazing down over Castle Donington The Gaslight Anthem (4/5) are first to admit that they are slightly out of place playing so later in the afternoon on the main stage at the metal festival and if you look around the nearly packed out field that was here moments ago to see Stone Sour has emptied with the majority of people most probably moved on to the Zippo Encore stage for everyone’s favourite Australian rockers Airbourne play an unpredictable set.

The Gaslight Anthem don’t let this bother them and play a collection of their best songs, opening with the stunning ‘Handwritten’ which is followed up by ‘The ’59 Sound’ and as the set progresses The Gaslight Anthem really do blast out the hits with ‘American slang’, ‘45’, ‘Too Much Blood’ and even a cover of The Misfits ‘Astro Zombies’ dominating this sunny afternoon.

A Day To Remember (4/5) are on next over at the Zippo Encore Stage and they put on a show to remember and prove that you don’t need on expensive stage props to have a good time and instead launch toilet roll into the crowd and encourage the crowd to attempt some surfboard crowd surfing where someone lays down on top of the crowd and then someone climbs on the person laying down and pretends to surf board, hundreds of people attempt it but only a few succeed, whilst the person that weren’t brave enough to participate are left mesmerized by what’s happening in front of them.

Through their set A Day To Remember churn out ‘2nd Sucks’, ‘A Shot In The dark’, ‘ All I Want’, ‘The Plot To Bomb The Panhandle’ but by the time set closer ‘The Downfall Of Us All’ is played you are left wondering how their set has passed so quickly as so much fun was had yet before A Day To Remember leave the stage they are quick to remind us that they have a headline UK tour confirmed for 2014.

Up next is the biggest and most painful clash of the whole Festival Limp Bizkit (5/5) and Rammstein (5/5) but luckily Limp Bizkit start a good 30minutes before Rammstein are due to start so we hang out right in-between the main and second stage so we can see and hear Limp Bizkit whilst also keeping an eye on the main stage to move quickly when Rammstein start.

Limp Bizkit take to the stage looking slightly different with Fred Durst now sporting a fully grown beard and Wes Borland in yet another one of his weird and wacky outfits, Limp Bizkit tease the fuck out of the crowd tonight with an ongoing rifftastic intro but soon get down to business playing the songs that everyone wants to hear such as ‘Rollin’, ‘Nookie’, ‘Hot Dog’, ‘My Generation’ and generally getting the mosh pit super charged with their heavy riffs and amazing stage presence.

We quickly make our way to the main stage moments before Rammstein take to the stage and in true Rammstein style fireworks are blasted into the air and general fire is let off on the stage as the curtain hiding their stage show falls down and Rammstein took to the stage to one of the best set’s Download Festival has ever hosted.

Now over the last couple of years Rammstein have toured the UK heavily and their stage show is always quite similar yet tonight it is such a pleasure to watch their show outside and alongside 90,000 people some who know what to expect and some who have no idea what to expect and tonight Rammstein brought everything with them and did as much as they could to make tonight’s performance one that people will never forget.

Seriously where else are you going to see a man set fire to, a huge penis squirt foam out over the crowd or a man get bummed by a huge dildo with spraying juices dominating the stage for a couple of minutes? This is all part of Rammstein’s stage show tonight and it is moments like this that keep your eyes peeled on the stage for the duration in suspense of what is going to happen next.

Rammstein played for just over one and a half hours and they managed to fit 18 tracks in which the majority of the songs being taken from their most recent ‘Made In Germany’ greatest hits style collection, the likes of ‘Mein Teil’, ‘ Links 2-3-4’, ‘Du hast’, Buck Dich’, ‘Ich Will’, ‘Mein Herz Brennt’, ‘Sonne, and regular set closer ‘Pussy’ all went down a storm.

Now Rammstein are a band unlike any other band around they managed to play a whole set without muttering a word to the crowd but instead they let their music, fire and general crazy antics on stage do the talking from them and I am pretty sure that the majority of Download Festival goers left thinking that Rammstein were the band of the weekend as let’s face it they are the full package.

Overall Download 2013 was a massive success and people’s faith in the festival was easily regained after the dreadful weather of 2012, there was some rain across the course of the weekend but nothing major, there were a few sound issues on the main stage early on in the festival but this was mainly due to the heavy wind which would of been hard to prevent however these small issues was not enough to put a dampener on Download 2013 which was easily the biggest and best Download festival to date, roll on Download Festival 2014.

Review By Trigger

 Download Festival

Download Festival 2013
Donington Park, Derby
14 th - 16th June 2013

 Friday - Main Stage

Bullet For My Valentine
Papa Roach
Asking Alexandria
Rise To Remain

 Friday - Second Stage

Black Stone Cherry
Gogol Bordello
3 Doors Down
Uriah Heep
Skin (band)
Dir En Grey

 Friday - Pepsi Max Stage

Motionless In White
In This Moment
The Sword
Hang the Bastard
Patent Pending
Palm Reader
Emperor Chung

 Friday - Red Bull Stage

Fearless Vampire Killers
The Algorithm
Zico Chain
Blood Command
Page 44
Hammer Of The Gods

 Friday - Jager Stage

We Are The Ocean
Walking Papers
Hear Kitty Kitty
Rob Lynch

 Saturday - Main Stage

Iron Maiden
Queens of the Stone Age
Alice in Chains
Black Star Riders
Young Guns

 Saturday - Second Stage

Enter Shikari
Jimmy Eat World
Hardcore Superstar
Escape The Fate
Heavens Basement
Red White & Blues
I Divide

 Saturday - Pepsi Max Stage

The Hives
CHTHONIC & The Oriental Orchestra
Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats
Bury Tomorrow
Heart Of A Coward
Walking Papers
Hill Valley High

 Saturday - Red Bull Stage

After The Burial
Last Witness
Rat Attack
Voodoo Six
Silent Screams
Black Moth
Astroid Boys
The Wild Lies

 Saturday - Jager Stage

Devin Townsend
Buffalo Summer
Straight Lines
Killing Floor
The Afterparty

 Sunday - Main Stage

Thirty Seconds To Mars
The Gaslight Anthem
Stone Sour
Parkway Drive
Five Finger Death Punch
Coal Chamber
Cancer Bats
Sacred Mother Tongue

 Sunday - Second Stage

Limp Bizkit
A Day To Remember
Rival Sons
Amon Amarth
Masters Of Reality
The Ghost Inside
Blitz Kids

 Sunday - Pepsi Max Stage

Red Fang
Vision Of Disorder
Bleed From Within
Brutality Will Prevail
Little Caesar
States of Panic

 Sunday - Red Bull Stage

Sonic Boom Six
Glamour Of The Kill
I Am I
The Howling
Buffalo Summer
Black Dogs
The First
Naked Flame

 Sunday - Jager Stage

Heavens Basement
Pig Iron
Crash Mansion
Skin (band)
Red White & Blues
Night x Night
The Graveltones

 Event Related Links
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?