LIVE: Download Festival 2012

Biffy Clyro:

Biffy Clyro have been in the studio over the past months gearing up for the release of their new album. They have now established themselves as a firm, strong festival band who never leave their fans disappointed. Personally I felt they were a perfect addition to the day allowing punters to get a more softer rock dose as well.

As I noticed at last years headline slot at Sonisphere, Biffy Clyro have a huge catalogue of top quality tracks to choose from meaning that at no point in tonights performance fans can be disappointed. A great, yet slightly odd stage aesthetic, aided them through songs such as “Many Of Horror”, “The Captain”, “Mountains”, “That Golden Rule” and “Folding Stars”. The band also managed to showcase two of their new songs.

A great band, a great performance, and a great way to gear up for the mighty Metallica. “Mon The Biff”.

Black Veil Brides:

Black Veil Brides play todays main stage slot off the back of a “Best Single” award at this years Kerrang! Awards. However, the reception for the band today was not as expected. Playing through hits such as “Fallen Angels”, the set was a constant battle with the audience and despite the bombardment of bottles throughout, the band threw this aside and gave it their all. Very admirable despite the onslaught of abuse being served to them. I felt that the band sounded tight, and had no doubt over their musicianship. Despite this, their was still an element missing from the performance and at times they sounded weak, especially when you compare the performance to that of the bands to come on the main stage today.

Don Broco:

Don Broco are playing their biggest festival slot to date today and you can tell they are buzzing for it. Despite having an early slot, many fans turned up to witness the Bedford four-piece take Download by storm. Playing tracks such as “Thug Workout”, “Beautiful Morning” and new single “Priorities”, Don Broco showed high energy and great crowd interaction. Don Broco are starting to establish themselves as a firm festival favourite. I look forward to seeing them rip up the Festival Republic Stage at this years Reading and Leeds Festivals.

Kids In Glass Houses:

Its been a busy year for Kids In Glass Houses, with headline tours, numerous support slots, including a full UK tour with tonights second stage headliners You Me At Six. At first the crowd was slightly bare, but in true Kids In Glass Houses fashion, they battled through a fantastic number of hits and sounded excellent. By the end of the set, many had gathered to witness, in my opinion, one of the best sets of the day. Tight musicianship and great stage presence rounded into a great festival slot. Kids In Glass Houses played “Young Blood”, “Matters At All” and “Fisticuffs” to name a few.

Metallica:

I can sum this up very quickly. They were outstanding.

Never have I seen a Download crowd as big as this, ready for San Francisco’s finest. As always, the production was huge and the sound was massive. The layout of the setlist tonight revolved around the legendary Black Album, with the band playing it in its entirety, from back to front. Of course they also played through fan favourites such as “Master Of Puppets”, “One” and “Seek And Destroy”, but the emphasis was really on celebrating one of the greatest albums of all time.

Metallica look refreshed, hard to believe considering their relentless touring habits, and are musically incredible. Tight as ever. No one can fault the Bay Area four-piece tonight. They owned this years festival and from the look on James Hetfield’s face, they were happy to be back in Donington, the home of metal. I can only fault them in one area, they did not play for long enough!

Steel Panther:

Out of all the bands being showcased here today, the most amount of anticipation has to be for Steel Panther. It has been two years since they last played the festival, and today they were to play on the Main Stage. The crowd gathered quickly to witness some great metal and some crude, excellent humor. Steel Panther delivered their usual set, full of songs such as “Asian Hooker”, “Community Property” and tracks from this years release Balls Out. This was mixed in well with tons of crowd participation. A highlight of the weekend would have to be Corey Taylor coming on stage for a rendition of “Death To All But Metal” pumping all the fans for not only the rest of the day, but also for Taylor’s set later in the day. Thoroughly enjoyable, if not slightly predictable. One of the best bands of the day.

Tenacious D:

Tenacious D do not grace our shores very often, but when they do, it is epic. Coming off the back of sold out shows at Brixton Academy, Tenacious D are here to promote their latest album Rise Of The Fenix. A highlight for most peoples Download would have to be “Tribute” which gave the fans a much needed sing-a-long. Tenacious D are a perfect festival band, they are musically tight, they are funny, and are sometimes the perfect way to chill out in the middles of a hectic day of metal. The one criticism I would add is that sometimes it is hard for the humour to translate easily in this kind of setting. You have to listen closely, and in a noisy festival atmosphere this is not the easiest task. None the less, a great addition to today’s line up and a very enjoyable performance.

Trivium:

Trivium are favourites here at Donington Park and never disappoint their loyal gathering of fans. Playing the main stage straight after Black Veil Brides, they opened their set with the awesome “In Waves”, the title track and first single off their latest album. Throughout the performance they served a good dose of metal to the fans and showed their humble gratitude on many occasions. Trivium embark on a UK tour later this year with support from As I Lay Dying. You would be a fool to miss this!

You Me At Six:

This has to be the biggest moment in You Me At Six’s career. A headlines slot on the Second Stage at one of the UK’s most prestigious festivals. Playing at the same time as Metallica, it was going to be tough from step one. By no surprise, they absolutely killed it.

It was evident from the first note that all the stops had been pulled out for this performance with great pyro and stage production in place to aid them through a blinding set. Kicking off the slot with “Little Death” and “The Consequence”, You Me At Six drew a remarkable crowd considering that they were competing against, arguably, the biggest band in metal. The setlist consisted of mainly new material, leaving tracks from Take Off Your Colours on the sideline. However, it was a great mix of songs which included “Crash”, “Underdog”, “The Swarm” and “Reckless”. The set finished with a bang seeing Bring Me The Horizon frontman Oliver Sykes join them onstage for “Bite My Tongue”. You Me At Six left the stage victorious leaving behind a very happy entourage of loyal fans and many new found fans too.

A great performance, under huge pressure, by one of Britain’s hottest bands.