Note: As only two members of the site were able to attend the festival weekend, we were sadly unable to cover every band performing throughout the day.
The final day of the Download Festival sadly brings along with it the storms and a downpour of rain that lasted pretty much the entire day. This however didnt stop the thousands of festival attendees making the most of the last day of the festival weekend, catching an array of great acts both big and small before having to return back to their every day lives once more the following day:
SUICIDE SILENCE – 8/10
Pointing his middle finger to the air, clearly aimed directly at God with some of their blasphemous messages, Suicide Silence front man Mitch Lucker screeches his way through songs such as ‘Unanswered’ and ‘Wake Up’, as well as a couple of new ones like ‘Fuck Everything’ thrown in for good measure. A lot of fan girls scream every time he reaches side stage, but judging by the size of the crowd they pulled on a rainy and wet Sunday morning, nothing can go wrong for them. The new songs sound like absolute bangers too, which is a big positive for when ‘The Black Crown’ hits the shelves.
MADINA LAKE – 5/10
Absent from the shores of Britain for a good year or so, Madina Lake have kind of lost the focus once set on them from many British music publications, and the public eye as a whole. Their return to the country at Download was highly desired, but doubtfully wasn’t as appreciated by the end of their set. Of course, their emo pop tracks like ‘House Of Cards’ bring more than enough fans screaming the words back to the quintet, but from an unbiased view, Madina Lake are a little sloppy and need to tighten themselves up to get back on the ground running again.
BOWLING FOR SOUP – 7/10
Going full band after their short acoustic set in the Jagermeister tent the day before, pop-punk outfit Bowling For Soup are easily one of the most humourous and fun bands on the festival line-up the whole weekend. A little bit of light-hearted and care-free music is exactly what’s needed during the persistent showers that have taken over the day. From moments of chanting “Fuck you BFS” to the bouncy and catchy hits of ‘Almost’ and ‘Girl All The Bad Guys Want’, Bowling For Soup are a great remedy to a rainy day outdoors.
THE PRETTY RECKLESS – 6/10
We all know the crack when it comes down to this band: yes, Taylor Momsen is hot, and even more so when she decides to wear a very revealing sleeveless top that constantly shows some side boob, and one point she even decides to lift her top to reveal both boobs – though the nipples were covered by tape. Songs like the ever popular single ‘Make Me Wanna Die’ bring an otherwise average set to a thrilling conclusion, as the young front woman commands everyone’s attention talking about sex and other taboos. However, discard the fact that the vocalist is Taylor Momsen, and the set would have much less credit to give, unfortunately.
DISTURBED – 8/10
“WAAA-AHHH-AHHH-HAAA”, or something like that, right? David Draiman adorns the Donington main stage in a godly manner, seamlessly gliding through songs with an air of professionalism and well, for lack of a better word, awesomeness. Finishing on ‘Down With The Sickness’, it seemed like a lot of the crowd had disappeared from yesterday due to the rain, which is a huge shame because of a brilliant performance by a band who are still on top after over a decade in the metal ‘game’.
BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE – 7/10
It’s strange to think that only a few years ago, Bullet For My Valentine were releasing their first album and sets of singles to promote said album, and were still managing to play pretty late slots on the Download Festival main stage. 2011 is no different. Now with three albums under their belt, BFMV have much more material to work off. They’re definitely main stage material, and songs like ‘Scream Aim Fire’ and ‘Your Betrayal’ sound huge. ‘Tears Don’t Fall’ brings the strongest and biggest sing back moment, with almost the entire crowd singing back the song’s chorus word for word. It won’t be long until the Welsh quartet will be headlining the very stage they’ve been performing on for the past few years.
LINKIN PARK – 8/10
As one of the very last bands to perform this year’s festival weekend, there’s a lot resting on the shoulders of nu-metal survivors turned anathematic rockers, Linkin Park. Not ones to back down from bringing anything atmospheric and in-built with message and emotion, Linkin Park perform their set of material both old and new along to a video backdrop, playing series of different images from war to famine. Old nu-metal favourites like ‘Papercut’ and ‘Faint’ bring a reason for attention from their fans of the classic hits, and newer numbers like ‘New Divide’ reveal how this band have adapted their live setting to their more epic face of today. Closing with debut single ‘One Step Closer’, what better way to end the festival than a field of people screaming “shut up when I’m talking to you”.
YASHIN – 5/10
Though they’re packing all the right hooks, melodies and fan attraction a band at their level could need, Yashin seem a little uncomfortable and out of place right now on a stage of this size. Co-vocalists Harry Radford and Kevin Miles bounce off one another with ‘Get Loose!’ and others as always, but as a band who’ve always been used to playing on much smaller stages and venues, the Scottish outfit struggle getting their bearings and leaves for a slightly awkward set.
MALEFICE – 7/10
Standing in the shadows of the British metal community a little more than they truly should, Malefice have more than enough potential to stand aside their peers and share their spotlight. Their early afternoon set only cements this thought further, with the Reading-based quintet delivering a rather dominating set of heavy metal, bringing out heavy guns like ‘Awaken The Giants’ and brining out a series of mosh pits throughout the crowd of rain soaked attendees.
GWAR – 7/10
The first thing to expect when you come to watch a Gwar show is anything out of the ordinary. Please, do not expect it to be plain sailing because it is nothing remotely like that, at all. Ripping the Queen’s tits off in style, the costume laden quintet sink the crowd further into the mud as Oderus Urungus bellows his way through an impressive, yet rambunctious set. Bizarre is probably the only word that can sum up everything about this band, completely and utterly bizarre.
BLACK VEIL BRIDES – 6/10
Much talk has been spread about Black Veil Brides about pretty much everyone in the past few months, leading up to the release of their major label debut, ‘Set The World On Fire’. Released the day after their Download set, it’s of upmost important they affirm to established fans and convince potential new fans that they deserve every essence of hype. Sadly for BVB, though their UK festival debut wasn’t terrible, it certainly wasn’t anything more than average. Front man Andy Biersack loves the attention from the stage cameras following him at every opportune moment, and though his vocals sound much more gruff and solid live than they do in the studio, the band just lacked that spark that would really catapult their set as a performance and band worthy of talk about for days after the festival was over.
DEAF HAVANA – 7/10
Bringing to the forefront a far more melodic post-hardcore, much alike American act Emarosa, quartet Deaf Havana have managed to maintain and build on their already strong fanbase with their recent sound change, something that’s strongly proven by the huge amount of people singing back to fan favourite, ‘Friends Like These’. With a new album on the way soon after too, new offerings like ‘Smiles All Round’ receive just as much praise, and could well be the very start of things for Deaf Havana.
FRAMING HANLEY – 7/10
A large group of people gather into the Pepsi Max tent in time for Framing Hanley, some of which would probably have filtered in to shelter from the rain, but none the less the band have many to please. Though many are just waiting on their toes to hear their biggest hit, and cover, ‘Lollipop’, their other array of original material like ‘You Stupid Girl’ manages to cause more than just a slight stir in the crowd. Despite their crowd being mainly of the young teen variety, there’s potential for Framing Hanley to get even bigger over here in the UK.
SILVERSTEIN – 8/10
One of the originators and mainstays of the post-hardcore genre, Silverstein show exactly how it’s done to a packed tent of festival goers. Reeling of the big and hard hits like ‘My Heroine’ and ‘Smashed Into Pieces’, the Canadian ensemble show they’re far from down and out, and new album offerings ‘Vices’ are evidence that the band are still very much on top of their game when it comes to creating and delivering new material in a live setting.
FLOODS – 7/10
Easily one of the heavier winners of this year’s RBBJ competition, Floods deliver to the Donington grounds pure slices of ambient hardcore menace and one hell of a show to capture visually. The guitars are rough and distorted yet accessible, the drums are rapid and strong, and the vocals are animalistic yet at times as harmonious and inviting as they can come. Songs like ‘You Convinced Me That I Needed It’ showcase all of the aforementioned at its brightest, and affirm that the St. Albans quintet are more than deserving of their spot here.
YOU AND WHAT ARMY – 3/10
Attracting fans to creating a rather packed out tent, which is very surprising, it’s clear that You And What Army are one of the more popular contest winners that are to appear on the Red Bull Bedroom Jam stage over the duration of the weekend. What’s a little hard to comprehend is why that is exactly. YAWA sound much like Enter Shikari and HORSE The Band back in their very early, and admittedly rather terrible days, complete with lots of crazy synth and some obscure vocals. Maybe they’ll follow in the success of the aforementioned, but for now, YAWA are just a bit, well, rubbish.
Unfortunately, we were unable to cover any acts performing on this stage on this date.
Written by Zach Redrup and Dom Wyatt