Freitag, 10. Juni 2005 — Sonntag, 12. Juni 2005
Castle Donington, DE74 2RP, United Kingdom
Tel: 01332 810048
* STOLED FROM http://2005.downloadfestival.co.uk *
Friday Main Stage
Part 1: Queen Adrena, Wednesday 13, JJ72, Biffy Clyro, Megadeth
A swarm of black shirts covers the dust bowl in front of the main stage, sound checks get progressively booming as eager fans rush to secure a good spot in the mosh pit.
The Lolita blues-rock of Queen Adreena certainly sharpens the ears, explosively opening the main stage. Fresh from a UK tour of the new album ‘The Butcher And The Butterfly’, the spell binding ‘Heavenly Surrender’ enraptures the crowd from the start, as raw energy fuses with gothic elegance. It all translates perfectly for an early set, which allows front grrrl Katie Jane to be as provocative as ever, particularly during ‘FM Doll’. Ethereal yet disturbing, all flowers, hair and torn lace, the band delight, fright and tease with their display of sombre, furious metal tinged with fragility.
A quality Wednesday 13 definitely lack, but underneath the grease paint and drama, mid-week man and his ghoulish cohorts are ostensibly a rock ‘n’ roll band. Clearly the teen-goth majority represent the fan base but this unique brand of horror punk appeals to a varied audience akin to Alice Cooper, The Tubes or The Cramps. Ambitious and uninhibited, the set comprises of material from debut album ‘Transylvania 90210’ as well as live favourites ‘Rock For Me’ and ‘Walk Like A Zombie’, which result in a majestic closing.
Typically accustomed to intimate indie venues, JJ72 have a lot to prove today. Despite this, they are capable, militarian and musically adept enough to give a heart felt, vitriolic performance.‘Take From Me’ displays the angst ridden familiarity of Mark Greaney's pleading vocals, a taste of things to come from the new line-up. .
Biffy Clyro bring the first main stage slam pit, riffs so punching that Simon Neill can barely see through his hair amid a group hug with the audience that could cost their front man several minor appendages. Blinding stuff.
The entire Download crowd suddenly descends on the main stage for Dave Mustain’s Revenge Army aka, Megadeth. The long-lost cousin of David St.Hubbins himself has to do little more than run his fingers along his fret board to send the crowd into paroxysms of delight. Megadeth once and for all prove that metal is still king at Donington.
Part 2: Dinosaur Jr, Garbage, Feeder
Unlike Megadeth, Dinosaur Jr walk onstage to little fanfare or applause, the crowd noticeably thinned with the younger members of the audence seeking more familiar, fashionable bands. Not that it matters to those old enough to remember Dinosaur Jr at their individual mid ‘80’s peak, as they launch into their gritted proto-grunge ballistic, proving why they are placed so highly in the realm of underground US rock. While Mascis and Barlow may have been credited with laying the foundations for the cardigan-clad grunge movement that followed the sunshine melodies romantic lyricism that characterised (3rd album) 'Bug', these things that are sometimes sadly overlooked. As the reformed threesome pound, strum and pine their way through their classics it’s a wonderous site but one we very nearly didn’t get to see given the lead duos previous long-standing feud. Observing their camaraderie onstage such inter-band turmoil is hardly noticeable, Mascis cracked laconic drawl soaring above Barlows rigorous and tightly executed bass lines, the man clearly relishing his return to the stage as he gushes behind their fuzzed out noise
“This. Is. Not. My. Idea. Of. A. Good. Time” slurs Garbage's Shirley Manson, stabbing each note with a sultry, ball-grabbing bite. She’s a liar of course. She’s clearly loving every minute of it. And so should she. It’s been a while since she and her cohorts in Garbage have graced the festival stage (indeed this is her first ever perfomance at Donington) but it’s as if these brit-rock darlings never went away. Their inimitably frazzle distortion and white hot riffs cut through her sizzling moves in a manner that’s nothing short of electrifiying and made all the more alluring thanks to a deliciously sexy black number with a belt that keeps slipping teasingly loose. “I’m coming apart at the seams” gushes Manson as every bloke in the crowds heart thumps violently against his chest. Sliding effortlessly from the dark melancholic of 'Only Happy When It Rains' through to the slicker gutter-pop of 'Version 2.0' and the effects-laden electronics gracing their forthcoming album, it’s the sound of a band maturing with age whilst retaining their original fire and spark
Kings of the three-minute indie-pop song, Feeder's appearance is somewhat symbolic, signalling a welcome divergence from the olde rock of yore to a much broader range of styles as their focused indie suss caresses our hardened rock minds, reaching places the days heavier, riff-wielding bands simply fail to reach. 'High' is an exercise in restrained brilliance, while their stadium-conquering worth is proven only too well with life-affirming indie anthem 'Buck Rogers'. Grant’s fragile vocals radiate an understated cool, shades of colour cascading through their stirring, typically sun-bleached sounds with heart-warming results. A girl, waving a Welsh flag, is plucked from the crowd and paraded on stage, not only showing their allegiance to their native Wales but also their undeniable connection with their fans.
Friday Snickers Stage
Part 1: Flogging Molly, Fozzy, Lordi, Underoath, Apocalyptica, The Bled, InMe
Shunning the sporadic sunshine, hoardes of Download damagers flock to the darkness under the huge blue canopy that is the Snickers tent.
How on earth a seven-piece part-Irish, part punk mêlée can pull off opening the second stage at this years Download is anyone’s guess, but Flogging Molly manage it with surprising ease. Maybe it’s the band’s resident banjo player ripping out songs at breakneck speed, or the more clichéd anti-Bush mantra of 'Selfish Man'. An unusual but well-deserved success.
Fronted by former WWF wrestler Chris Jericho, what Fozzy may lack in musical ambition, they more than make up for with an explosive live show. Equally inspired by Spinal Tap and more serious metal, Fozzy blow away all of our hangovers - not too challenging, but a lot of fun.
And now for something completely different - namely monsters, violence and gore. Hailing from Finland, Lordi are the band your favourite horror movie characters would love to form. While, again, not the most serious prospect on the line-up musically, they produce a show unlike anything we've seen before. Slightly terrifying, totally entertaining.
Emo, screamo... call it what you will, but Underoath have been credited with putting the boot into a once-stagnant scene. Avoiding the hardcore cliches that have dogged many of their contemporaries, Underoath take us on a thrilling ride through their earlier metallic influences to their more recent melodic sounds.
With a 30-minute set of unique orchestral takes on such metal classics as Metallica’s ‘Master Of Puppets’, Finnish quartet Apocalyptica prove not only that they are one of the festival's most creative and original acts, but that you no longer need guitars to rock out with the best of them - cellos work just fine.
To say that screamo titans The Bled are a band on a mission today is somewhat of an understatement. Hitting the stage running and tossing their instruments around like rattles, they produce a set driven by the type of jagged edged riffs capable of slicing your very senses clean in two.
After almost 18 months of near obscurity, Essex trio InMe also have a lot to prove this afternoon. Disappointingly, they do little to warrant the deafening roar that greets their emergence. Newer material from the band's forthcoming second album 'White Butterfly' offer brief glimpses at a new found maturity, with front man Dave McPherson’s screeched howling delivering sufficient aggression, invention and ambition to put the band firmly back on track.
Part 2: My Chemical Romance, The Used, Billy Idol
My Chemical Romance have the Snickers tent overflowing with fans ten minutes before they arrive. When they do, Vocalist Gerard Way immediately sets about working everyone into a frenzy and undoubtedly they achieve the greatest connection with the audience out of all the bands today.
Within moments of arriving The Used have taken the crowd by the throat and blown them away. Blasting through classics from their two albums, Bert McCracken's unique style and gut wrenching screams almost takes the roof off with a 45 minute set that never relents and leaves us all gasping for more.
...which makes you wonder whether it's actually worth waiting for Billy Idol. It's always a nervous few minutes waiting for a legend to make a decades-defying return. Pixies and Motley Crue pulled it off, Queen and Cream just spanked it. Fortunately after a 12 year wilderness from the UK, Billy blows the hecking roof off! What seems like an entire festival crowd pile in to witness 90 minutes of classics, a couple of semi-cool new tracks and amazing cover versions of Van Halen’s 'Jump' and The Who's 'Who Are You'. Full of punk pomp and over-zealous bare chest-beating brawn, it would be so easy to dismiss Billy, but it's even easier just to love him for what he is - an original '80s icon who's done nothing to change himself or his performance. Final track 'Mony Mony' goes on for almost as long as he's been out of the country, complete with tooth tickling guitar face offs and band big ups, but who's counting? A true monster of rock.
Friday Napster Stage
Part 1: Planet of Women, Crash Diet, Just a Word, Slunt, Colour of Fire, Tokyo Dragons
It's all VJing wizardry and intimate sweat sharing in the Napster stage (powered by Virtual Festivals), where new bands get a chance to show the discerning masses what they're made of.
Planet Of Women bounce on stage sounding like AC / DC fronted by Patti Smith, three hot dancer/singers and an old-school 80s power rock group forming the perfect combination to start the day.
Crash Diet then proceed to take us back to the glory days when a poodle-perm and a pair of groin-huggingly tight jeans would guarantee you a place in rock history. Their night is young, so who knows what the future might hold...
And now for something completely different! Just A Word are almost just that. Two rappers and a rhythm section recalling House of Pain. This unique act can do no wrong dropping Faith No More covers and their own material is pretty inspired, too. Who'd have pegged Northern Ireland as the new home of hip hop? Word.
With two beautiful laydees and big heavy guitars, Slunt are a teenage boys' wet dream. Sleazily sexual (their name is an amalgam of two very naughty words) but with enough power to bulldoze the whole crowd, they're far more than just pretty faces. They even have the nerve to cover Queens Of The Stone Age’s B-side, ‘Never Say Never’. Songs about drinking and sex... Brilliant.
Shiny-haired York boys Colour Of Fire fuse fiery multi-layered guitars with bittersweet melodies to create a set that is angular, taut and heavy on soaring vocals. Amp and guitar abuse feature heavily on today's agenda. Love it.
Spinal Tap anyone? Forget the fabled fictional band; what you need is a good dose of Tokyo Dragons. Faultlessly entertaining classic rock with cock (no strap-ons here) from Steve Lomax and Co. Stand-out track ‘Get Em Off’ spreads smiles across the crowd in one big beautiful pleasure ripple. Perfectly pretentious.
Part 2: Hurricane Party, A Change of Pace, Paradise Lost, Raging Speedhorn, Napalm Death
With their passion, energy and uncanny predisposition for air-humping, Hurricane Party are indeed a unique cocktail of art and science. Lead singer Ritchie’s pulsating crotch says it all as the crowd stand, awe-struck, as these true rock gods strut their way to musical majesty. Presence x Inspired Technique = Unequalled Impact!
American teen band A Change Of Pace are on the up-side as forthcoming single ‘Loose Lips Sink Ships’ proves its not all doom and gloom as they blast the track across Donington with enough force to crack your grandmother’s dentures. Water well and watch this space.
The rammed Napster tent bulges further as metal kids leg it from the archaic croonings of Dinosaur Jr on the main stage. Although only nominally inspired by Milton’s epic, Paradise Lost’s performance convincingly mirrors the earth-shattering repercussions that the poem had in the 17th Century. Playing tracks from their new self-titled album, such as 'Grey', combined with classics like 'One Second', singer Holms has our undivided attention.
Now make way for one of the few universally credible British metal bands of recent years as Raging Speedhorn demonstrate their potential for longevity as they deliver the violence this evening with 'Two New Boys'. Aggression and energy levels are retained as the dual vocal play-off ensues between pig squeal and satanic grunts, both of which continuously insult the crowd, affectionally referred to as the “f**kers”.
This paves the way perfectly for Napalm Death who treat the high spirited audience to stroke-inducing live aneurisms from new album 'The Code is Red….Long Live the Code'. Singer Barney Greenaway points his finger knowingly with the masses respondin on cue with sky stabbing digits aloft, going crazy to songs like 'Vegetated State'. A 'short' set of around 28 songs, we’re given classics like 'Suffer the Children' alongside covers by The Dead Kennedys and Cryptic Slaughter. As Barney does his usual demented toddler on speed impression, most of us softly bang our heads, before making our way back towards the campsite to party long into the cold, cold night.
If anyone fancies stealing the rest from the URL below, please do... my laptop battery has crapped it's pants.
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