Sunday saw the curtain come down on 2009’s Download Festival, a bit more of a relaxed day as most of the line up was not as hardcore as the first two days. Highlighted by bands such as Journey, ZZ Top and Def Leppard on the main stage. Due to the relaxed nature of the day, and Sunday being the hottest day of the festival I cant fully remember who we saw first! Im sure we began on the main stage, and remember seeing a banner saying ‘Skin’ so we will start there! J
Main Stage – Skin: Even though I said I was starting with Skin, I don’t remember there set at all! I think we spent most of the time finding some friends who we would spend most of the day with. I think we also arrived in the main arena just as Skin were finishing up so cant really offer a rating on them!
Main Stage – Black Stone Cherry: Sadly another band that I didn’t really pay much attention too, must have been the sun!
Main Stage – Journey: I must admit to not knowing huge amounts about Journey, however they played a decent set with some cracking rock songs. Hilariously with a lead singer who looked like the rest of the band could be his dad! Despite this he had an amazing voice, absolutely faultless and the crowd lapped it up! 7/10.
Tuborg Stage – Hexes: We trudged off the the Tuborg stage (tent) for Hexes, I wanted to catch a bit of Hexes as im a big ‘A’ fan and Daniel P Carter (‘A’ bassist) was now the front man. Plus the friends we were with wanted to go and see them, Hexes had the added advantage of playing in a tent at the hottest part of the day. So the tent offered some respite from the sun! Hexes performed very well and Daniel has a great rock/screamy voice! The crowd got into it but I think most were just tired from days of camping and the intense heat! 7/10.
Second Stage – Shinedown: Shinedown are one of those many polished American rock bands who get endless air play on US radio. I must admit to liking them after hearing them on Rock Radio over the Internet. Some fine agreeable rock, performed perfectly! Stand out songs in the set were ‘Fly From the Inside’ (I think they played that one!) and ‘45’. I remember enjoying their set but not getting overly worked up about it, so another 7/10 for me! Shinedown also showcased something else I came to realise, why is it American bands are better at the whole crowd banter thing than others?
Second Stage – Clutch: Much like Shinedown, in as much as putting on a polished performance but with a more raspy hardcore edge. To be honest I spent most of the set admiring the lead singers beard! Must have been the sun! So ill apologise now, 7/10 again! Another good performance but again I don’t remember getting worked up much!
Second Stage – Buckcherry: We stayed for Buckcherry really to save our place for Papa Roach and Trivium after. Plus seeing as though we had settled in for the long haul at the second stage we couldn’t be bothered moving! The only song I knew of Buckerry’s was the ‘Crazy Bitch’ song, which was unleashed at the end of the set. Up until then I wasn’t impressed much. Good tune though! 6/10.
Second Stage – Papa Roach: Papa Roach have come a hell of a long way, another band that seem vilified for jumping on the whole rap/rock thing made famous by Mr Red Cap. For this reason I wondered what sort of reception they would get at a mainly metal festival, judging by the size of the gathering crowd, they have done pretty darn well! Having not listened to my Papa Roach albums for a while I was surprised by home many songs I knew! Papa Roach played very well with Jacoby Shaddix bounding round the stage and getting the crowd moving. ‘Between Angels and Insects’ ‘Deadcell’ and ‘Infest’ being crowd favourites. 8/10.
Second Stage – Trivium: Now, my girlfriend and I are big big Trivium fan’s so when the line up for Download was announced this Trivium were pencilled into our schedule straight away! Trivium always put on a good show and this was no different, the band seemingly at ease with headlining a stage at the legendary Donnington Park. Matt Heafy loving marshaling the crowd and revelling in the mutual love-in between crowd and band. It was quite heartening to see a band who genuinely felt honoured to be on the stage, and this helped ratchet up the atmosphere to delirium levels. So many song highlights littered through the set, so ill have to go for the obvious highlight, being the set ending ‘Pull Harder on the Strings of your Martyr’. 9.5/10!
Red Bull Bedroom Jam Stage – We Are The Ocean: The thing with Sunday we knew was due to We Are The Ocean headlining at the same time as Trivium and Def Leppard, as soon as Trivium finished we were to set off on a mad scramble to visit the other two stages. As soon as Trivium did finished we packed up and rushed over, for our first visit, to the Red Bull stage. Now We Are The Ocean are one of my girlfriends favourite bands, but I do quite like them too. As ive often said to my girlfriend im a big fan of lead guitarist and vocalist Liam’s vocals, I think he has a great voice! Due to spending most of their set watching Trivium we only got to see their last two songs of the set. But judging by the crowd reaction they must have put on a blinder. Due to the limited set we did see im not going to rate them, but they did well!
Main Stage – Def Leppard: So with all stages now closed except for the main stage it would have been rude of us not to take in some Def Leppard. It was obvious this was quote an emotional performance from the band, with the light going and a fantastic light show it really was a spectacle. 2009 was the first time Def Leppard had returned to their spiritual home since their first appearance at the Monsters of Rock festival in 1986. What followed was a truly heartfelt 5 minute ovation for drummer Rick Allen. To be honest I don’t remember much about the set other than that moment, but we had to stay to catch ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me’. Once that song ended we knew Download 2009 had ended. 8/10.
So that was Download 2009, I couldn’t have wished for better weather! The music was great, food was overpriced, and even the loos were ok! Great site layout with good slopes on all stages offering good views and a great festival atmosphere! Now if only someone can explain to me the meaning of ‘Butt-Scratcher’ and why a Panthers fan decided to bring a flag!
Roll on 2010!