Download Festival: Day One

Let there be Rawk!
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Friday

With the least amount of bands, Day One has the potential to be as droll as Nickleback. But as Unearth take to the stage, there’s a miniscule glimpse of truly great rock and metal the weekend has in store. This is metalcore at its finest, with guitars that shatter the sky and prove the band are more than worthy of their new main stage status. You can never accuse 36 Crazyfists of lacking passion and songs like 'Bloodwork' and the ever popular 'Slit Wrist Theory' are decent enough slabs of melodic metal goodness. But the real issue is with their live sets is that Brock Lindow’s vocals just don’t carry or even penetrate the first few rows.

That’s not a problem afflicting Killswitch Engage as singer Howard Jones, dressed for a job interview takes pride of place. His dulcet honey-then-gravel tones course through the crowds and shatter the forming rainclouds with pure bursts of dance friendly mosh. 'My Curse' and 'Last Serenade' are predictable but glorious highlights and with an impish smile spreading across his face broadening to a beaming grin, its evident the band live for these immense festival crowds. By the end of the set there isn’t a fist that’s not in the air. Job for a Cowboy make light work of filling up the Pepsi Max stage as Jonny Davy’s relentless vocals penetrate like bullets fired from all angles. They’ll easily rank as one of the best acts of the weekend and win new admirers with their sheer sonic brilliance.

The rumours have been flying all day about AC/DC ‘they brought their own stage, (they did!) There will be cannons (there were!) And they’ll show why they’re the biggest rock band on the planet (score). Opening with 'Runaway Train' and 'Back in Black', their hits rack up 2 hours of the stuff dreams are made of. Its nigh-on impossible to review a band of this might, a task akin to reviewing Jesus’s performance at the Last Supper. Some things just can’t be done, but you know they’re epic, unmistakeable and utterly magnificent.

Words by Anna Brown

View an accompanying photo gallery from Download HERE.

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