Monday, 13 June 2016

Download Festival 2016 Top 10 Performances

That's it! Ive officially been going to Donington for a decade and as always music festivals are a wonderful experience, Download being one of the best with three days and four stages of heavy and hard music to get stuck into. This years was the most subdued of all Ive been to, the rain came down as heavy as the metal and really affected the freedom to rock out, head bang and mosh to your hearts content, at least if your me and are not fond of being soaking wet and cold. So cocooned in my waterproofs and ponchos I did my best to stay dry while enjoying some great performances.

(10) Ho99o9
Hailed as a Hip Hop / Punk crossover Ho99o9 are often talked about with Death Grips in mind. This duo take their raps to dark, noisy and aggressive places with sampled punk guitars and a crazy rebellious persona. I only got to catch half there set on the forth stage but it was a blinding riot of aggression, noise and attitude that blew me away.

(9) Rammstein
 Not the first time Ive seen them live and probably not the last. You can count on Rammstein to put on a good show fueled by fire, pyrotechnics and an absurd amounts of fireworks. They were fantastic however I wasn't keen on their cover of Depeche Mode's "Stripped". An energetic show loaded with their classics.
(8) Megadeth
Thrash legends Megadeth came out playing a solid set with a few tracks from their latest album "Dystopia" which sounded fantastic live. Loaded with classics like "Hanger 18", "Trust" and "Countdown To Extinction" there was little they could do wrong.

(7) Havok
A classic Thrash Metal band I had not heard of before spotting them on the lineup. Glad I chose to watch them, very fast and energetic thrash like a cross between Slayer and Testament with many climatic and intense moments in their songs to head bang to.

(6) Amon Amarth
An undeniably great Viking Metal band of which Ive never quite clicked with. Their latest record "Jomsviking" was a decent listen and seeing them certainly helped me appreciate them more. Fantastic stage presences with dragons heads and rune stones plus plenty of fire!

(5) Korn
I've not been in the mood for Korn in a while but when they walked on stage I was sucked in. Playing a few more songs than usual from 2003's "Take A Look In The Mirror" their set felt a bit chunkier than usual and I enjoyed every minute of there performance. So good to hear them again.

(4) Periphery
This band well and truly won me over with last years double release of "Alpha" and "Omega". Their performance was tight and flawless with a thick and dense wall of Djemt coming from the four guitarists. It was an infectious performance of groovy head banging that sounded to big for the stage. Set was a little short but that's just because I didn't want it to stop!

(3) Deftones
Probably both the best and worst performance of download but at no fault of the band. Promoting their new record "Gore" I caught them a week back at Wembly warming up for the big stage and they sounded fantastic. On the day though the rain poured and soured what would of been a memorable show, Deftones lined up their more emotional and atmospheric tracks for the sunset slot on the main stage and in the downpour it still sounded fantastic but the weather sucked the life out of the crowd.

(2) Babymetal
Babymetal also suffered the rain with bursts of heavy showers delaying their set for over half an hour. When they finally took to the stage the crowd loved it and so did I! They are even better as a live act and the bands modern compression heavy production sounded sublime on the big stage. The girls danced along with metallic choreography and smiles to fire up everyone's spirits. Definitely would of been in the pit if it wasn't for the mud and rain.

(1) Black Sabbath
The most influential and important band in Metal history would always make it a historic occasion when they play, as part of their farewell tour the band get ready to close the curtains on their history spanning six decades. It was a flawless performance with Ozzy who can barely string a sentence together having no issues hitting all the words and notes while inspiring the crowd with momentary bursts of energy before shuffling back to center stage. Toni Iommi and Gezzer Buttler sounded sublime with the best guitar tones to grace the stage. The stand in drummer got a fair spotlight with a tame and lengthy set of drum solos leading into Iron Man and hearing "Into The Void" really made my evening. It was one to cross off the bucket list and I'm so very glad I waited out the rain at the front of the crowd to see them.