It’s the last day of Download 2013. Tired bodies and minds fill the arena as we arrive to the Main Stage to kick things off with the energetic Cancer Bats. The fact that it’s pretty early Sunday morning does not seem to bother the band or the fans that have gathered to see them.
Performing songs, like “Bricks & Mortar,” “Road Sick,” “R.A.T.S.,” “Hail Destroyer” and the very awesome cover of Beastie Boy’s “Sabotage”, Cancer Bats manage to wake up even the most hangover metalheads out there and charge us with some energy to last for the rest of the day.
Although it’s the third day of the festival, Cancer Bats fans are in top condition and there’s a great energy in and around the crowd. Hail Destroyer!
Next up are the one and only Coal Chamber bringing nu-metal back to its roots and back to the Castle Donington.
Seems that wherever Dez Fafara goes and whoever he plays with, whether its Coal Chamber or DevilDriver, he brings along the epic circle pits.
Opening with their hit “Loco” and instantly kicking off a party, Coal Chamber seem to be back stronger than ever. It is a pleasure to see them come together as a band and still pull it off without a worry in the world. After joining the band in 2011, Chela Rhea Harper seems like the perfect addition to Coal Chamber, as her stage presence is undeniable and her bass playing skills are rather impressive. Other songs like “Big Truck,” “Something Told Me,” “Dark Days” and “Sway” are well accepted within the crowd and go down as classics we’ve all missed a long time.
Soon after Coal Chamber are done, it is time to go and check out the Swedish blues masters Graveyard.
Their music has this indescribable and mystical element to it and their performances are always somewhat magical. Their music is melodically beautiful, yet holds a lot of darkness.
Performing songs off their albums Lights Out and Hisingen Blues, they deliver an intense and mesmerizing set. Songs like, “An Industry of Murder,” “Hisingen Blues” and “Ain’t Fit to Live Here” characterize and highlight Graveyard set. The band put on a great performance and is a definite must see and hear for those who enjoy a bit of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin vibe being brought back to us in the 21st Century.
After watching Graveyard, we head back to the Main stage to catch 5 Finger Death Punch.
The band put on a show that focuses on involving their fans to participate and become a part of their show.
5 Finger Death Punch guys perform some of their most famous songs, like “Under and Over It,” “Lift Me Up” and “Bad Company” (Bad Company cover). They absolutely own the stage and their set is energetic, uplifting and very social. The singer Ivan L. Moody even manages to bring some kids from the audience on to the stage and introduce them as ‘the next generation of heavy metal’ as they headbang together.
They’re a great example to other bands when it comes to communicating with their crowd and their performance is a great entertainment to watch. Their stage presence seems very honest and it’s clear that these guys care about their fans more than anything else. Well done, lads.
Soon after we wander off to Pepsi Max Stage to catch a little bit Hacktivist set.
Emerging from the UK, Hacktivist have earned a significant media recognition since the band was founded in 2011. Mixing rap with djent, their sound seems to attract those looking for something different and challenging. Today Hacktivist performed some of their most famous tracks, like “Hacktivist,” “Cold Shoulders,” “Unlike Us” and presented a new track “Elevate”. Hacktivist music is not for every average rock/heavy metal fan out there, but they sure do put on an intense and full-on show.
Up next are Parkway Drive.
Famous for their energetic and ferocious performances and hardcore/heavy metal music, Parkway Drive do not disappoint. Opening their set with “Sparks,” they kick off one of the biggest moshpits of the weekend. The singer Winston McCall deliver some epic growls, jumps around like nuts and absolutely owns the stage to prove that their Main stage slot is well deserved.
Their most famous tracks, like “Sleepwalker,” “Wild Eyes” and “Carrion” are absolute crowd pleasers and give Parkway Drive an opportunity to present themselves as not just another bunch of dudes playing metalcore tunes. Parkway Drive are set to go far and it looks like there is no stopping them.
After some epic tunes by Parkway Drive, it is finally time for Stone Sour.
On Friday night Corey Taylor already appeared on the Main stage with Slipknot and today he’s back to give us some more. You would think that a set of 20 Slipknot songs would’ve affected his voice, but it seems that there’s absolutely nothing that can stand in the way of this man.
Stone Sour are most famous for their ability to write songs that speak directly to the listener and emotional live performances. Today’s set list is carefully chosen to offer the audience as broad Stone Sour song selection as possible. They kicks things off with “Gone Sovereign” and “Absolute Zero” off of House of Gold & Bones Part 1 and throw in some absolute classics, like “Made of Scars,” “Say You’ll Haunt Me,” “Through Glass” and “Bother” performed acoustic by Corey Taylor. And when you think it couldn’t get any better, the band blast out a cover version of “Children of the Grave” by Black Sabbath. That, ladies and gentlemen, is knowing your crowd inside out, as there’s nothing else that would have made their audience at Download more satisfied.
Stone Sour have done it again. They’ve proved to be one of the most genuine and hardest working bands out there. We salute them.
After such an epic performance, it is time to make our way to The Zippo Encore stage for more action.
It is quite unusual to see Ghost perform outdoors in the daylight, as their stage presence and music suggests dark and gloomy venues. However, they manage to pull it off in the best possible way.
Mixing material from both Ghost albums, they blast out songs like, “Con Clavi Con Dio,” “Ritual,” “Monstrance Clock” and many more. Ghost, once again, prove to be the one and only cardinals of heavy metal. …even in the daylight.
Next up on The Zippo Encore Stage are one of the most exciting rock’n’roll bands of our times – Airbourne.
Famous for their AC/DC-like sound and reckless live performances, Airbourne are just the perfect band to turn your Sunday afternoon into a raging Friday night’s party.
They storm the stage and open tonight’s set with the rock’n’roll anthem “Ready to Rock” off their new album Black Dog Barking. Songs like “Cheap Wine & Cheaper Women,” “Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast” and “Runnin’ Wild” are trademark Airbourne tracks that gets everyone going. Also, “Live It Up” – the first single off the new album goes down brilliantly well and there in not a single person in the crowd standing still.
Airbourne put on a performance that is beyond energetic, wild, uplifting and it makes you want to party like a crazy person. Rock’n’roll is not dead and no one else proves it better than Airbourne.
After Airbourne performance we head back to the Main stage just to find a bunch of pissed-off Rammstein fans raging about the band that’s about to hit the stage. Yes, ladies and gents, it’s 30 Seconds To Mars and although they might have not been the right choice to perform just before the Germans storm the stage, that’s how it is, so live with it.
30 Seconds To Mars put on an overall good show, but still struggle to win over the frustrated audience in Rammstein t-shirts. They perform good amount of well known songs, like “Closer to the Edge,” “Night of the Hunter,” “The Kill,” “Kings and Queens” and “Up in the Air” – their latest single off the new album Love Lust Faith + Dreams. The performance involves Jared Leto inviting many 30 Seconds To Mars fans (weeping girls) to join them on stage and they somehow manage to release huge colourful balloons all over the crowd. Not metal at all, but still pretty epic for those who are 16 and below.
As we still have some time before Rammstein hit the stage, we head back to The Zippo Encore set to witness Fred Durst and the boys play us some good old Limp Bizkit tunes. No matter how fun and in-your-face their performance gets, it’s also quite a sentimental thing for the kids of the 90’s.
They blast out such bangers, like “Rollin’ (Air Ride Vehicle),” “Ņookie,” “My Generation” and everything else you can wish for a classic Limp Bizkit set. Unfortunately, our time with Mr. Durst & Co is limited, as we head back to the Main stage, because it’s nearly time for the German heavy-weights to put everything and everyone in place.
The curtain drops, fireworks are let off and Rammstein take the stage ready to cause some trouble.
Singer Till Lindemann appears on stage wearing a pink fluffy jacket to signalize that Rammstein massacre is about to begin.
There is something phenomenal about seeing Rammstein live. It is old news that their performance involves a lot of pyrotechnics and there’s fire all over the stage, but one thing is to hear someone talk about it. Another to thing is to go and see it yourself.
Also what’s rather impressive about Rammstein is that they perform in a language that majority of tonight’s audience don’t understand. However, that still doesn’t stop everyone from fully enjoying the show and having a blast. To this day, there are no other band that can sing in a foreign language and get 90’000 people at Download absolutely lose their minds.
Opening with “Ich tu dir weh” and blasting out classics like “Mein Teil,” “Du Hast” and “Ich Will,” their set is an absolute winner. There’s ‘Testosterone’ written all over Rammstein performance and Till’s voice is sounding beyond powerful. Stage fire and pyro effects never stop coming and evolving with every song.
Rammstein save the best for later and return to stage for an encore of piano version of “Mein Herz Brennt” and the ever-epic “Sonne”. The last song of the night is “Pussy” when, in a classic Till Lindemann way, he appears on stage sitting on a giant foam-shooting penis. What a man.
When it comes to entertainment, it doesn’t seem to get much better than this.
And with this, my dear friends, Download 2013 is over!
We wander off to find the nearest bar to have a drink and celebrate what has been another successful Download weekend.
We’ve just witnessed Rammstein set a new standard for future Download headline acts, so here’s to another year we’ll spend looking forward to Download 2014!