LIVE: Download Festival @ Donington Park – Sunday (10/06/2012)

Date: June 10th, 2012
Venue: Donington Park, Derbyshire
Website: www.downloadfestival.co.uk
Facebook: www.facebook.com/downloadfest
Twitter: www.twitter.com/downloadfest

Rating:

Now celebrating the 10th year since its inception, it’s obvious that to mark this important milestone in the event’s history, Download Festival was going to make it truly special weekend to remember. If we weren’t there, we would have thrown a tantrum. Here’s our review of what we thought of the Sunday of what would undoubtedly be a fantastic weekend of rock, metal, punk and alternative music:


MAIN (JIM MARSHALL) STAGE

STELLAR REVIVAL – 7/10
Where Stellar Revival appeared from, nobody knows, but they seem genuinely humbled to be opening main stage at Download. They give us all an impressive show too for a band that 99% of the crowd will never have heard, save for radio hit ‘The Crazy Ones’. Dashing frontman Rino Cerbone puts on his best British accent and compliments our lovemaking skills, enough to surely gain a number of fans. Think Nickelback, but not reeking of semen. [MS]

DEVILDRIVER – 8/10
Established Download favourites, thanks to their now legendary circle pits. YouTube is plastered with videos of their 2007 and 2009 performances, the latter of which featuring an unofficial circle pit world record attempt. Every single song has a circle pit to it on both sides of the T-barrier; if the ground wasn’t torn up already it is by the end of this performance. They pound the hell out of us, hitting us first with songs like ‘Not All Who Wander Are Lost’ and flooring us with ‘Clouds Over California’. Even Mr. Blobby in the pit seems to be enjoying himself. [MS]

KYUSS LIVES! – 3/10
It’s hard to grasp what was actually happening at mid-afternoon on Sunday on the main stage. Kyuss Lives! were playing, nobody seemed to care, the people who were watching looked tired and wrung out, and the whole thing was a little peculiar. The music was pretty dire; it was one of those occasions where you hope for someone to invade the stage and give lead singer John Garcia a slap, a stiff drink or both. [GS]

ANTHRAX – 8/10
Perhaps the most underrated band of the Big Four of thrash metal, Anthrax never fall short of putting on a good show, especially at Download. The tunes provide ample ammunition for brutality in the pit; ‘Madhouse’ blasts us, ‘Caught In A Mosh’ bombards us and ‘I Am The Law’ rounds off another dazing set of top grade thrash. [MS]

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

LAMB OF GOD
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

MEGADETH – 5/10
It’s old news now that Dave Mustaine is a bit of a bellend, and he certainly exemplifies this stereotype during his band Megadeth‘s set. If he’d just shut up between songs they might actually be a relevant live band, but as it is, there are better things on show on other stages today as people walk away bored. Yawn. [MS]

SOUNDGARDEN – 6/10
The scene is set for Soundgarden to blow us all away. They’ve got some top songs at their disposal and Chris Cornell seems like a top bloke, but for whatever reason they’re painfully average today. Maybe it’s the 4-day hangover kicking in, but they drag in their 75-minute set. Even ‘Black Hole Sun’ lacks the oomph needed to excite the crowd. At least they can play their songs live. [MS]

BLACK SABBATH – 10/10
The godfathers of heavy metal could well have played their final show. For 45 years, they’ve pioneered the way for pretty much every metal band out there and they’ve lost none of that talent, even in 2012. For a band that wrote its songs, so long ago it’s damn impressive how heavy some of them are, like ‘N.I.B.’ and ‘Iron Man’. It’s a miracle that Ozzy Osbourne is still alive but he can still play the crowd, even if we can’t understand what he’s saying half the time. Tony Iommi must be like 100 years old by now, but he looks damn good, especially for a man in his health. There are chants of “Tony” as the legend entertains us and does what he’s been doing so well for so long. I’m sure every last person in the crowd hopes that this isn’t the last time we see Black Sabbath live and that Tony Iommi makes a speedy recovery. ‘Paranoid’ sounds out over Donington to end the weekend, backed up by some excellent fireworks to close the curtain on a very special experience for every generation. [MS]


SECOND (ZIPPO ENCORE) STAGE

KOBRA AND THE LOTUS
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

BLACK SPIDERS
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

WE ARE THE OCEAN – 4/10
With the news of frontman Dan Brown leaving the band a few days before Download, We Are The Ocean are in a strange position. They go through with the gig and Liam Cromby takes over lead vocals. The result is pretty disappointing, there’s no energy to the set at all. The vocals are wobbly and there seems to be a lack of confidence with in general. Older songs like ‘Runaway’ and ‘The Waiting Room’ are fine but even with a large crowd, the atmosphere just wasn’t there. Even newbie ‘Bleed’ was a damp squib in an underwhelming set. [GS]

AUGUST BURNS RED – 9/10
With more drops than a butler with Parkinson’s are August Burns Red. The action comes thick and fast with opener ‘Empire’, the crowd wailing away in vain trying to singalong with its uplifting chorus. ‘Internal Cannon’ has a flamenco section that puts grins on the faces of the unsuspecting and has the rest of the audience dancing away. The heavy is brought though with ‘Back Burner’; the bass drops are like nuclear explosions and the breakdowns beat us to the ground. [MS]

RIVAL SONS
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

SEBASTIAN BACH
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

UGLY KID JOE
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

SHINEDOWN
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

REFUSED – 7/10
Refused pull in a massive crowd on the second stage and deservedly so. They plough through their back catalogue like there’s no tomorrow, and tracks like ‘New Noise’ and ‘Refused Are Fucking Dead’ garner the best reactions from the masses. Everyone who’s here to see them completely worships them as the greatest modern day punk band, and the people who are unaware of the band shalln’t be forgetting their set for a long time. [GS]

DROPKICK MURPHYS
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

RISE AGAINST
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.


PEPSI MAX

SKARLETT RIOT – 6/10
Despite the majority of Download attendees undoubtedly suffering from typical Sunday morning hangover, Skarlett Riot manage to get everyone worked up enough and songs like ‘Villain’ go down a treat with the small-ish crowd. Their pop-punk style is easily accessible and with a more quality tracks, it’s hard to see why they can’t become huge. [GS]

FEED THE RHINO – 9/10
Quite possibly the best show in the Pepsi Max tent, Feed The Rhino destroy any notion of hardcore or metalcore, they simply rip it up. Frontman Lee Tobin‘s sweat-inducing performance is amazing, he commands the crowd like an orchestra without even blinking an eyelid. Tracks like ‘The Butchers’ and ‘Mr. Red Eye’ sees Tobin flinging himself into the endearing audience, a clear sign that you need to see Feed The Rhino. [GS]

HEAVEN’S BASEMENT – 5/10
With the amount of hard rock on show this weekend, you’d be forgiven for thinking that no-one would want to see Heaven’s Basement, but there’s a ton of people on third for their lunchtime set. Those who are fans of the band are treated to all of their top songs like ‘Executioner’s Day’, but those who are just passing by don’t hang around for too long. [MS]

RECKLESS LOVE
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

EDGUY
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

SHADOWS FALL – 7/10
I didn’t know that Shadows Fall were still going, but here they are playing their Massachusetts metalcore for the 17th year of their careers. By far the coolest thing on show is vocalist Brian Fair‘s dreads that look like something out of hell itself when they are windmilled. It’s a tight set, featuring ‘Retribution’, but not quite one that will win any awards. [MS]

THE JAMES CLEAVER QUINTET – 4/10
What the hell genre The James Cleaver Quintet are is a mystery to all involved. They seem to play punk and the nearest band comparison is Every Time I Die, but that band has charm, while TJCQ don’t really have anything to make them special. There are a few antics, including singer Jacky Udon crawling underneath the drumkit stand, but it’s another generally forgettable half hour. [MS]

LA DISPUTE – 8/10
Tissues are at the ready for the emotional hardcore of La Dispute. I’m on the barrier and there’s no shortage of people shouting the lyrics back at vocalist Jordan Dreyer. For such an unhappy sounding band, they seem like pretty happy chappies until the excellent ‘King Park’ closes the set. It’s a breathless finale, telling the tale of a shooter who accidentally kills a kid in a drive-by and as a result wants to take his own life. Edgar Allan Poe would have the biggest boner ever. [MS]

EMMURE – 9/10
From the stupidly clever to the cleverly stupid is the transition to Emmure. If chavs played death metal, they would come up with something like this with the juvenile lyrics and basic song structures, but that’s not to say that they’re a bad band. On the contrary, if you’re willing to let your IQ fly out the window and have a good time, they’re just the band for you. Starting with the ridiculously heavy ‘Children Of Cybertron’ and playing through songs mainly from ‘Speaker Of The Dead’. Sick show bruv. [MS]

FIREWIND
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

GHOST – 2/10
Ghost aren’t a band to everyone’s taste, including mine. It’s hard to understand if they themselves are taking the gig seriously, as the dressing up as ghost priests is fine, but the music is so incoherent it’s almost laughable. The most entertaining part of the gig is witnessing a drunken punter climbing on top of the railing and the security guards failing to get him down. It’s a sad state of affairs when someone who’s pissed gets more attention than the band on stage. [GS]

PERIPHERY – 8/10
“Why are you people not watching Black Sabbath?” lead singer Spencer Sotelo exclaims to the audience as Periphery rage through their hour-long set. It’s not the fullest tent ever, but there are plenty of people enjoying the set, with mosh pits galore and a feeling of the festival coming to a close. [GS]


RED BULL BEDROOM JAM

KAMCHATKA
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

PITCHBLACK
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

MECHANICAL SMILE
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

ADELAIDE – 7/10
This was a really enjoyable and surprisingly refreshing set from the fresh-faced pop punk quintet. The small crowd loved it and it was hard not to be won over by the catchy melodies of tracks like ‘And They Said’ and ‘Falling Under’. They do a good job of working a willing crowd and keep things tight. [GS]

STRANGLE KOJAK – 7/10
It seems like Strangle Kojak have a lot of fans in the Red Bull tent, and it shows. When they begin their set, the crowd goes wild and vocalist Omar Elkaseh quickly works them up into a frenzy. The band deliver a mix of dance and pop-punk, with more worth than anything like Metro Station or bands of that ilk. [GS]

YOU AND WHAT ARMY – 5/10
The set starts out really bright for these guys, the dance/rave mix with hard rock seems to work for the first couple of songs. After about fifteen minutes or so, it does get a little tiring and tedious, and the music just doesn’t really go anywhere. But hey, if you were drunk, it would probably sound fantastic. [GS]

KOPEK – 9/10
This Irish trio walkk on stage with no fuss, no bravado and they tear it up. They have some really quality tracks that might sound better live than on record, as vocalist Daniel Jordan has a fantastic range and sounds like a cross between Axl Rose and Glen Hansard. It’s nice to see a no-frills guitar band where all that matters are the songs. [GS]

WITH ONE LAST BREATH

THE MINUTES

THE DIRTY YOUTH – 7/10
Charismatic lead singer Danni Monroe takes to the stage and totally owns it. There’s a band behind her, but let’s face it, she’s the only one anybody’s looking at. She brims with confidence and carries more attitude than a bulldog, and you get the feeling that The Dirty Youth would really shine on a bigger stage. [GS]

HAWK EYES
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

WILLIAM CONTROL
Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.


JÄGERMEISTER STAGE

Sadly, we were unable to catch any bands performing at this venue/stage.

Written by Martin Savage [MS] and Greg Spencer [GS]