Download Festival 2013 Day 220th June 2013
UFO open today’s festivities, Iron Maiden are renowned for using the UFO song “Doctor, Doctor” before they come on stage and I have to feel that that’s the only reason they are here today, the songs are lackluster and they certainly don’t fire the audience up as an opening act.
Young Guns however do, very much. Opening with “Towers” before moving onto “I Was Born, I Will Live I Will Surely Die”, they also throw in a cover version of The Smashing Pumpkins “Today” before closing the set to the crowds demands with “Bones” which goes down amazing. They have been compared in the past to The Lostprophets – for all the right reasons may I add, and it’s easy to see why. Anthems are delivered and the festival is back on track.
The Ricky Warwick fronted Thin Lizzy are next a.k.a. Black Star Riders, and they start the set with “All Hell Breaks Loose” from the debut album of the same name. It was always a query to me if Ricky Warwick would fit into the Thin Lizzy vein in comparison to his previous outings, but it’s a relief to say he does as they perform the classic Lizzy material the crowd can’t help but throw themselves into it and that’s a great mixture of generations of young and old. As the band end with “The Boys Are Back in Town” they receive rapturous applause and a thankful farewell from the audience.
Mastodon follow and it’s easy to see why they are picking up so much speed of late with the power and the weight their performance brings they revel on the festival stage and deliver the waves of exhaustion that the crowd are crying for.
“Octopus has no friends” sounds absolutely phenomenal and vocalist Troy Sanders has the crowd moving backwards and forwards hypnotized by the music. They end with “The Sparrow” an epic that’s perfect to end their set with.
As the next band prepare to enter onto the stage I can see two other fans waiting sidestage, Duff McKagan and Corey Taylor are waiting along with the rest of us in anticipation for the one and only Alice In Chains, starting with “Them Bones” the crowd erupt as thousands sing along. When previous vocalist Layne Staley passed away the question was never asked if Alice In Chains would remain, everyone including this reviewer thought it would be a given it was the end. How anyone could carry the vocal style he had but still sound genuine and pure was never to be filled. That said the singer they found in William DuVall was extraordinarily talented to do that, to carry on with a vocal style that is still his own but as near to Staley’s as you can get, both old and new songs are seamless and delivered as if from the same voice. Alice In Chains don’t just deliver, they overdeliver. “Man In A Box” never sounded so triumphant and it’s obvious to all that so many came here to witness this as a highlight.
I then wander over to the second stage picking up some Trooper beer on the way (and it does indeed taste rather nice) to see Thunder – who called it a day a few years back but public demand keeps pulling them back. Lead singer Danny Bowes does look like your uncle but his vocals are aging well and from opener “Dirty Love” the crowd are onboard the party train for the next 30 minutes. The band are clearly enjoying themselves and it’s hard to say why they called it a day when they are loved by the british public so much, Thunder like FM are one of the strongest british bands of the last 25 yrs who deserved so much more and that’s a sense that’s shared with the complete audience here today. They end the set with “I love You More Than Rock N Roll” and it’s a testament to Thunder how well they go down tonight – They tour in December, if you haven’t seen them before, grab the chance to see what you’ve missed.
Queens Of The Stone Age have just received amazing reviews for the latest album that’s just been released and live they are renowned to be a solid force. “Feel Good Hit Of The Summer” start’s the band off and Lead singer Josh Homme is in full control from the start providing us songs to dance to, mosh to and in his words “get laid to”. By the time the band launch into “No One Knows” everyone is deep into this ocean of music. They play new songs “Keep Your Eyes Peeled” and “My God Is The Sun” before “Go With The Flow”. Queens Of The Stone Age are a force to be reckoned with and the perfect caliber to warm up for the mighty Iron Maiden.
The prequel to the show is an actual Spitfire flying over the stage, and as the audience of circa 100,000 people watch in awe the set starts. “Moonchild” opens up the “Maiden England” . Maiden had stated that they weren’t performing any later material and they stay true to their word with the latest material being from “Fear Of The Dark” – the set contains, “Can I Play With Madness”, “The Prisoner”, “2 Minutes To Midnight”, ”Wasted Years” and “Seventh Son” – a true journey into nostalgia with the Material presented here tonight.
The Stage set is an updated one from the ’88 tour and Eddie looms across the stage dressed as a Cavalier fighting Janick Gers and chasing Steve Harris across the icebergs, when “Iron Maiden” is played the monstrous Eddie rises complete with beating fetus, the tri Guitars of Adrian Smith, Janick Gers and Dave Murray is as awesome as ever along with the beating basslines of the ever consistent Steve Harris to the pounding of Nicko McBrians drumming, topped off with Bruce Dickinson’s soaring vocals. The band encore with “Aces High”, “The Evil That Men Do” and “Running Free”. Another night ends completed by Rock Gods as people trail back to their tents, hotels and in some cases clubs. Day Two is over and today wasn’t just a festival concert, today was an event….