Continuing our march through the reviews of the final day of the 2017 Download Festival, this installment sees reviews of the likes of Stone Broken, Basement, The Dillinger Escape Plan’s final UK and many more spread across The Avalanche Stage and The Dogtooth Stage. If you’ve missed any of our existing Download 2017 coverage, then please catch up on the links below.
Rock Sins Download Festival 2017 Friday Review – Main Stage
Rock Sins Download Festival 2017 Friday Review – Zippo Encore Stage
Rock Sins Download Festival 2017 Friday Review – Avalanche and Dogtooth Stages
Rock Sins Download Festival 2017 Saturday Review – Main Stage
Rock Sins Download Festival 2017 Saturday Review – Zippo Encore Stage
Rock Sins Download Festival 2017 Saturday Review – Avalanche and Dogtooth Stages
Rock Sins Download Festival 2017 Sunday Review – Zippo Encore Stage
It may be early on Sunday but Stone Broken (8.5) had the overflowing crowd in the palm of their hand. Although we didn’t manage to see their whole set, an incredible rendition of Wait For You was topped off by frontman Rich Moss turning vocal duties over to the audience and having almost every person present sing it back to him at top volume. If you’re not familiar with them, Stone Broken are like a young British mix of Alter Bridge, Volbeat and Nickelback, and based on this evidence, are seriously going places. It would not surprise us at all to see them grace a much bigger stage next year. JG
Proving their worth at Download today were Basement (8), and it was clear they were here to make a statement. The band get things going by diving straight in with ‘Whole’ followed by ‘Faded’. The band manage to get a good balance of material from their last three albums, with 2012’s Colourmeinkindness being the prominent album being played. The band’s grungy brand of emo is catchy and melodic, but there are sometimes parts where it can feel like everything blends together. However, this is only brief, as songs like ‘Bad Apple’ and ‘Promise Everything’ are played and the crowd gets more excited and louder with each passing track. In an unexpected turn of events, it seems like Basement were near enough the only band of the weekend to call for a Wall of Death. Yep. You read that right. B a s e m e n t c a l l e d f o r a w a l l o f d e a t h . Closing with fan favourite ‘Covet’, the crowd sing back at a deafening volume. Basement delivered a very exciting set, like them or not, they’re here to stay. CM
And now for one of the bigger sing-a-long bands of the weekend, it’s time Canterbury emos, Moose Blood (7). Opening with ‘Pastel’ from their sophomore release Blush, the band smash through song after song, each as catchy as the last. Songs like ‘Swim Down’ and ‘Bukowski’ are received to an enormous response from the crowd singing along and it feels like this band are made for a larger stage, much like the songs feel like they’re made for a larger venue with thousands singing along. Eddie Brewerton’s vocals sound almost exactly as they do on record (when you can hear him over the crowd) and the rest of the band are able to play without a note out of place. They play ‘Gum’ before finishing with fan favourite ‘Knuckles’, and everyone is very happy. CM
Watching a band like Touche Amore (10) play live is always an emotional experience, and an experience you are definitely not going to forget. Starting with the opening three tracks from their third album, as Jeremy Bolm screams the album’s title lyric “I’m parting the sea, between brightness and me”, the diehard Touche fans are already up at the front screaming every lyric back at him. The connection the fans have with this band is something really quite incredible and it’s something that is shown throughout and it’s easy to see why as you see Bolm pouring his heart out on stage. Hearing lyrics like “Like a wave, like the rapture, something you love is gone, something you love is gone, someone you love is gone” send chills down your spine and will most likely bring a tear to your eye. Any performance that can do that is nothing short of incredible, and the fact that this band are able to deliver such a brilliant set whilst only playing one song from “Is Survived By” shows just how strong a back catalogue they have as well as the live performance too boot. The only criticism is that this set wasn’t long enough!
It’s always a good sign when the smallest stage at Download Festival is packed to the edges of the tent for a band from the other side of the world and Devilskin (8) are not only pulling people in, but perhaps more importantly, keeping them in there. Looking as comfortable as a band who’s played the UK’s premier rock and metal festival every year, Kiwi band Devilskin waste no time in smashing through their set and proving to everybody in attendance why they deserve to be on the bill and winning over new fans.
There’s kind of a nu-metal vibe to the music, but on the heavier “chuggy-riff” side of things and petite singer Jennie Skulander flips between rock chick clean vocals and metal roars that most burly men would be proud of, all the while bouncing and pirouetting around the stage with reckless abandon, clearly loving her job, while the rest of the band (Tony Vincent on guitar and father/son rhythm section Paul and Nic Martin on bass and drums respectively) attack their groove-laden riffs with vigour.
I was disappointed to miss these guys on their recent UK tour after they were recommended to me and whilst I’m not glad I’ve seen them I’m gutted not to have seen them doing their thing with a longer set and less of a hangover on my part. The crowd in the Dogtooth Stage tent are on the bands’ side from start to finish, with huge cheers erupting after each song. I think it’s fair to say bigger stages certainly beckon and it won’t be long before Devilskin are as loved in Blighty as they are in The Land of the Long White Cloud. Sweet as. GL
The 2nd of Sunday’s New Zealand visitors to the Dogtooth Stage at this year’s Download Festival are Like A Storm (5). Despite their success in America and haircuts to match their brand of grunge meets hard rock, the band doesn’t seem to have the same buzz that Devilskin did, playing to a sparser tent even with their sub-headline slot and having played the festival before. Or maybe it was because they were essentially competing with both Steel Panther and Clutch. Or maybe it’s simply because their singer isn’t a woman in a corset – who knows?
To give credit to the band, vocalist Chris Brooks does the frontman job very well, getting everyone involved where possible and interacting with the front row and musically they seem to focus more on playing what’s right for the song, rather than just going balls to the wall, which makes a nice change these days. I’ve been reliably informed they have recorded a cover of Gangsta’s Paradise, but sadly (?) the audience is denied hearing this today, however, the rest of the set goes down well with those in attendance and Wish You Hell certainly gets some fists pumping and those in the know singing along. I’m not sure the UK is going to be their market, but time will tell. GL
Now for a performance that was always going to be special. The Dillinger Escape Plan (9) have been demolishing stages for years with their intense live shows and as this was their last ever UK show it was only going to be more explosive. Playing at a potentially difficult time squashed between Slayer and headliners Aerosmith they had to get the most out of a slightly squeezed set and they did just that.
The band displayed plenty of passion, intensity and in some senses anger during the performance, Greg Puciato in particular wanting the volume turned up to punish the crowd and raged at the constraints of an enforced finish due to Aerosmith’s headline slot, exclaiming ‘I’m playing until they fucking turn us off’. Greg and lead guitarist Ben Weinman dived into the crowd on numerous occasions with Greg yelling that he wanted to be with the people. Dillinger have been blowing away fans for years so are going to be sorely missed that is for sure but it was a finale to celebrate their greatness. IW
Words by Jamie Giberti, Connor Morris, Greg Latham, Iain Willetts.