On to the final day of Download Festival and the sun came out to play all day!
Inglorious kick off proceedings in glorious weather on the Main Stage. Catchy rock n roll delivered with aplomb by frontman Nathan James. As he states rock n roll isn’t dead Gene!
Greta Van Fleet – Believe The Hype!
Is it possible for the band of the day….no the band of the weekend to have come from a four song 25 minute set…..yes it truly is! Greta Van Fleet originate from Frankenmuth, Michigan and are the three Kiska brothers and drummer Danny Wagner. The band manage to encapsulate everything great about rock n roll in these four songs. More than a nod to the past but also a really invigorating energy about the whole band which comes with their youth.
Singer Josh has the diminutive stature of the late great Ronnie James Dio and delivery which is certainly reminiscent of Robert Plant but is also unique. Guitarist Jacob plays leads better than many twice his age. Playing a solo with his guitar behind his back shows both unnerving confidence and ability. The large crowd for the time of day on the Zippo Stage saw something special today. The four songs “Highway Tune”, “Edge of Darkness”, Black Smoke Rising” and “Safari Song” are all available on their EP “From The Fires”.
Next to The Dogtooth Stage for something completely different. Manchester duo The Hyena Kill deliver a noisy set brimmed with attitude. Drummer Lorna Blundell absolutely pounds the kit throughout but especially in the song “Panic Room” ably abetted by guitarist and vocalist Steven Dobb. Cracking set.
Back over at the Zippo Stage for Dead Cross. If Hyena Kills Lorna is relatively unknown (so far) then everyone knows Dead Crosses Dave Lombardo. With Mike Patten leading the band they delivery a solid set showcasing their material oddly to a slightly subdued crowd.
This subdued nature continued on with the next band Germans Kreator. Despite being around since the 80’s like many of their thrash metal contemporaries, this was their first Download appearance. Having seen them last year at Bloodstock the subdued audience seemed to have an effect on the band too. A solid set but by today’s standard nothing special.
Body Count Reign at Download
That charge could not be made of Body Count. The Ice-T fronted metal cross over band hit the Zippo stage with a cover of Slayers Raining Blood and continue their fury throughout the set. Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta joining them on stage for “Cop Killer”. Ice-T’s 2 year old daughter also joined them on stage…nothing like starting them young! The only wish here was they could have played more from their latest album “Bloodlust”.
At the Dogtooth stage it was the turn of All Them Witches. Having been wowed by Greta Van Fleet earlier in the day the doomy rambling style of this band didn’t keep my attention. On the same stage Danes Myrkur brought their hypnotic rock / nordic haunting vocals to Download. It had a Game of Thrones type vibe and was well received by those who like that. Others looked somewhat bemused.
Marilyn Manson Exposed to Download Sunlight
You had to feel a bit for Marilyn Manson performing in the glare of the now very hot sun. At least you had to appreciate the irony of it. Manson can be hit and miss and as sub-headliner on Main Stage with a large crowd many obviously here from him, he delivered hit.
Once he had got past the sun he and his band delivered a set of hits including “Sweet Dreams”, “Mobscene” “Beautiful People” and “Deep Six”. When he is on he is great and many went away happy from his set if a bit sun burnt.
The final band of the night and of Download 2018 was Ozzy Osbourne but this reviewer chose to go to The Avalanche Stage to watch The Hives. The vibe with them is fun rock n roll. They are one of those bands as a casual observer that you don’t realise how many songs you know. Will be going again to see them. A great end to Download festival 2018.