LIVE: Download Festival 2014

The Download Festival made it’s annual return to Donington Park last weekend. Not only were we treated to 3 amazing headline sets from Linkin Park, Avenged Sevenfold and Aerosmith, we also had great weather for the whole festival. The past few Download’s have been wash outs but the 2014 festival was already looking on the up and no bands had even hit the stage.

The first act we caught were Japan’s Crossfaith. The first time I saw these guys was a few years ago at the Camden Crawl. I happened to stumble upon them by chance. From what I remember, they put on an energetic and fast paced set. I’ve always wondered how a Crossfaith gig would play out on a main stage and today I got to experience this first hand. If you haven’t seen Crossfaith, they’re a mix of rock, metal, electronic and dubstep. The reception they received was brilliant. ‘Eclipse’ and their cover of ‘Omen’ went down particularly well. Overall a really fun and lively set to kick off Download 2014.

I’ve heard a lot of good things about The Amity Affliction, but never had the chance to catch the band live until now. Opening with ‘Chasing Ghosts’, what is very clear is how much energy and passion they put into their performance. The band return to our shores at the end of the year for a headline run. Be sure to check them out, you won’t regret it.

Headlining the Friday night were Avenged Sevenfold. It’s taken them a while, but they are finally headlining. Along with the headline status, the band brought along a very impressive stage show. In traditional Avenged Sevenfold style, Donington was treated to an array of pyrotechnics, smoke and searing flames.The band performed an array of old and new songs keeping everyone in the crowd happy. Highlights included ‘Hail To The King’ and ‘Seize The Day’. The band’s performance was spot on and I expect them to come back in a few years time to headline all over again.

We caught While She Sleeps slay the Main Stage on Saturday morning. The band have been away for a little while recording the follow up to the critically acclaimed “This Is The Six”. During this period the band’s singer Loz Taylor had to undergo some vocal surgery meaning that Download was their first gig of 2014. The band’s performance was second to none. They put everything into it and put on a very tight and hard hitting set.

Bring Me The Horizon are one of those bands that have helped shape the metalcore genre over the past few years. Their most recent album “Sempiternal” pushed them to main stage status playing Reading and Leeds last year and the main stage of Download this year. They were without a doubt, one of the best set’s of the weekend. Opening with ‘Shadow Moses’, frontman Oli Sykes and Co powered through all the hits. The lighting and stage show that accompanied the performance was flawless.

Linkin Park closed the Saturday with an epic performance of their debut album “Hybrid Theory”. It felt like the year 2000 all over again. Every track sounded how it does on the album – it was really enjoyable.

Our Sunday kicked off with LA’s Steel Panther. To put it in the words of their guitarist Satchel, their set was bitchin’. There was a mix of material from all three albums. Highlight’s included ‘Gloryhole’, ’17 Girls In A Row’ and the SP classic ‘Death to All But Metal’, which was greeted by huge applause. Overall, a very hilarious set. I can’t wait to catch them at their Wembley headline show next year.

Our Download weekend came to a close with a brilliant performance by The Used. Highlights included their opener ‘Cry’ and ‘The Taste Of Ink‘. As with the other bands we caught over the weekend, The Used put on a great show. It just shows how important and prestigious Download is to these bands, and that they want to give fans 110%.

Early Bird tickets for the Download Festival 2015 are on sale now. For more information, go to downloadfestival.co.uk