Although Rock Sins will have a full day-by-day and blow-by-blow account of all the action from the 2015 Download Festival, here’s half a dozen things we learned and observed over the course of the weekend that we thought we’d share with our readers prior to the main review!
1) Muse Can Headline Wherever They Want, Whenever They Want
We’ll have a full review of Muse’s spectacular headline performance in our Saturday recap, but needless to say the doubters were put firmly in their place by Matt Bellamy and co on Saturday night. Described as “not right for Download” by many, they responded by pulling out what was probably the heaviest set of the band’s career (at least since the early days). The end result? An entire field hanging on every note for almost two hours. Simply spectacular.
2) Classic Rock Sunday Continues To Pull In The Punters
Download 2015 like virtually every Download before it (apart from 2008 but we won’t mention that year) was heaving with people with over 80,000 people packing the grounds of Donington for the yearly pilgrimage. This seemed particularly true on Sunday with the KISS army and the Motley Crue fans out in enormous numbers. It’s just a shame that judging by our reviewers accounts neither band lived up to some of their past glories – but there were many successes including the likes of Tremonti, Slash and Billy Idol. In addition some of the bands not quite as in keeping with the theme such as In Flames and Lamb of God helped make yet another Download Sunday memorable.
3) Breakfast With The Lounge Kittens Means Literally Breakfast
Rock Sins has always loved The Lounge Kittens aka Zan, Timia and Jenny since we first heard them a couple of years ago, so we were delighted they were opening the Zippo stage on Saturday morning at Download 2015. They’d promised Breakfast with The Lounge Kittens, but we didn’t realise they were going to come armed with baked goods to literally feed their audience! Combine that with a typically brilliant performance from the girls and a stage at Download has never had an opening like that before.
4) Judas Priest Are Still The Metal Gods
They may rival KISS for the band with the longest history at Download 2015 but unlike Gene Simmons and co, Judas Priest delivered a blistering performance of the highest quality for their whole set (one member of a very well known rock magazine reportedly wanted to give their performance a record setting “15 K’s”). The Priest were so good they even managed to hold the torrential rain at bay during the second half of their set as mother nature stopped getting us all wet to enjoy the likes of Turbo Lover, Halls Of Valhalla and Painkiller. Apparently a UK tour is forthcoming, all we’ve got to say to that is YES PLEASE!
5) Jake’s Stage Does Everyone’s Favourite Youngest Download Fan Proud
Naming the former Red Bull Studios tent stage after the little boy who’s video went viral last year thanks to his Mum was another touch of class and stroke of genius from Andy Copping and the Download team, and the bands on the stage throughout the weekend made it something for that little guy to never forget. From Evil Scarecrow’s totally unique offerings to the heavy blues rock of Purson and the titanic performance from melodeth favourites Insomnium, Jake’s Stage was the place to be to discover new bands and experience something different throughout Download 2015.
6) Cashless Wristbands Prove A Hit After Early Hiccups
The sight of hundreds of people queuing up on Thursday morning in the Download campsite village looking to get help with their cashless wristbands was a thoroughly depressing sight, especially since cash wasnt being accepted as a backup. By later that afternoon it was down to just a handful of people and it seemed to stay that way for the rest of the weekend. The payment system seemed very quick and efficient whenever team Rock Sins used it, and none of us had any problems whatsoever throughout the whole weekend. So we’re deeming it a success after the early teething problems – not entirely surprising when the large numbers of people were taken into account.