Wednesday morning roll around once more and with the car already packed and ready to get out there and get set up was on my way.
Another year going Solo, which now makes two in a row, I'm pretty use to going solo now and have it down to a fairly compact formation.
New tent which I had spent the time to learn to put up prior to the journey so was all on top of every thing, missed the trolley having a flat tire but that wasn't spotted till the return journey.
11:50am Wednesday morning I finally collapse out of my car after a little over a two hour overly warm and sunny drive across only two counties, the ques are already forming in the car park with rockers, punks, emos, and metalers wanting to get in get pitched and relax and await the annual pilgrimage to Donington Park.
We arrive to extra security checks extra waits and... Well we are meant to but it didn't feel like it was once I got the the gate, was just waved through after a quick only cloths in the bag right which I replied with a yep and walked on by. Maybe it's the fact that I've done so many an that's written all over my face, this was Download No 14 for me. I don't know.
I do know that seeing police wandering around with machine guns is bloody scary, but then I think I've got XX000, alternatives wandering around with me an with my own kind, I always feel safe.
Right shall we get into this, as I was solo and was nice weather I kind of wandered a bit and a lot of the bands I have seen before so was kind of just hitting the ones I like the odd one I hadn't seen and trying to talk to anyone and everyone, but never truly goes that way.
So we shall roll into Friday, this day I did spend totally on my own, I talked to a few people wandered around ran into a few I had met before and wandered, got to know the new layout.
So the new layout, it works the reduction in noise bleed from one stage to another was minimal which was a great improvement. Downside, the solo traders appeared to be missing, I don't have 100% reason for it and I am hoping to find out, but Bagel Dude (My favorite quick snack venue in the village) an DeliKate (this could be spelled wrong) (Great place to eat in the arena with a wide range of options for all dietary requirements) Wasn't there!
Instead it was multiple versions of the same food outlets all over the shop and very very few independents which seems to be a trend I'm not fond of, but I guess it is down to costing for the companies to make these decision, not really up to the consumers. An as always every year the costings go up, which is getting stupid, but once more capitalism at its best and inflation is a bitch, shame prices never go down. But that's not what this is all about and personal views on the over pricing of food and drink isn't really my place to bring up, beer though £5/£5.50 a pint is expensive it's only about £1 over that is in the pub, while a burger costing between £6 and £8.50 is a little ludicrous, but when you have a captive audience you can charge what you want.
Sorry got side tracked, on to music.
Friday and Music, where we going first?
We will start with... Motionless in White. This year running a shorter set on the main stage.
I did say this year was a more laid back year for me and the first band is mid afternoon,
I really do enjoy Motionless in White, and they never fail to preform, or impress me and as always I am reminded that they probably will never be massive as they aren't radio friendly, they look like a mashup of Manson, Alice Cooper and Slipknot, but they always play well. New album stuff and older stuff though No A.M.E.R.I.C.A which isn't a bad thing I just like the song. Put on a good 30 minute set though.
Sabaton, I don't think I have ever listened to them before but they were really good band, good song construction, interaction with the crowd and entertaining to watch, has been added to the list of Back Catalogue to purchase once I have funds again.
By the time Mastadon appeared on stage I was suffering a bit from heat stroke and not drinking enough fluids and though I could hear them I wasn't paying enough attention to even write anything here. So Yeah Mastadon......... I don't know!
5 Finger Death Punch. 5FDP.
This could be biased, I really like them on CD and the last couple of times I have seen them they have gotten better and better live and this time wasn't any less. I don't really know what to say here. Starting with lift me up which I possibly wasn't expecting to Jekyll And Hyde but then again I should have been it is an amazing song. But as I said earlier having seen many of these bands many times it really was more a picking my own favorites and just watching them. So this reviews stopping here as I am trying not to be biased.
Prophets Of Rage.
I didn't know what to expect here, what can you really expect with Rage Against The machine, Public Enemy and Cyprus Hill. With only a 5 track EP, they filled there set with a variation of tracks from the three bands and once more another cover of Killing In The Name Of.
Off to Catch the start of Sum 41, as I want to watch SOAD for a change as normally i miss the first half then catch the back half but for a change thought I should go check them out.
So Sum 41 after 21 years seem to still be belting out tracks as if they were still in their 20's. Stopped for the first three tracks and went to System.
Yeah so System. I don't know, some System stuff is good, some is naff, some is random as in a good way and some is random for the sake of random.
The performance wasn't bad, wasn't great either. Non of them seemed to look interested in being there an did look quiet bored, but when you have been touring the same set for a decade I guess I Would get bored too. Serj said his voice wasn't great an yeah, I am not 100% sure what was going on.
The general feeling in the village after wasn't the usual high buzzing that was a great day an everyone seemed to be a little subdued.
On to Saturday.
I originally planned on going down for Ale Storm but there was nothing I was that interested in after that till Lounge Kittens, So wandered down for about 30 minutes before they started and had a bit of a wander and half listened to who ever was playing, grabbed some food and a beer and headed over to the Dog Tooth Stage, found a spot and awaited the Kittens, an though they seem like the craziest group to be on site, three girls and a keyboard they are incredibly entertaining and tailor their sets to the festival or show they are doing look them up on you tube they are very fun and talented.
Time for a wander over to main stage for AFI, though this was from a bit of a distance, as I was in conversation with some folks and listening as I could, I do enjoy AFI an I wish I had been closer from where I was they sounded good but that is all I can say, Should have turned around really an then I would have been able to see, though I would have though a middle of the say band might not have had their normal stage set with them.
With some time to kill a bit more wandering and chatting then back to Dog Tooth for Wednesday 13, amazingly put together set, was a little short wish it had been longer but the show was amazing, with flaming sword wielding dancers and costume changes, an a mix of tunes from the Frankenstein Drag Queen days, Murder Dolls and Solo Stuff.
Quick sprint across the sight.. Hahahaha me sprint nah not going to happen, wandered over to the Avalanche Stage from Dog Tooth just missing Ale Storm doing their Acoustic set, in order to get into see Simple Plan, which ended up with me chatting to people outside the tent unable to get in.... Crap Rob Zombie have to run....
On off on my travels to Zippo Stage for Rob Zombie.
Expecting something similar to the last time they headlined the 2nd stage, what we got was a very impressive set of Rob Zombie Tracks from the early days ot the present day but without the usual wandering performers in robot costumes and alien outfits and just had a very large video wall playing all kinds of crazy stuff. Can't fault the music or the performance at all, was on key for the whole thing and not only did we get Blitzkregebop but also Schools Out by Alice Cooper.
This night the camp site had a lot more energy and everyone was buzzing. Far better end to the day than Friday night.
So today it is known that the only band playing at the end was Aerosmith. So had no way of avoiding the full set this time and I am glad I didn't but we will get to that.
So the plan was to head down for Fozzy, but if you are playing a 30 minute set at 11am and the next band you want to watch is at 14:25 and you are in the arena till 11pm then you might get missed, and Fozzy did, I'm getting to old to do a whole day in the Arena on my own, last year was hard enough and if the whole gang had been together we would have kept each other up through the day to make it easier but it is hard to do solo, any way I did eventually get down the the Arena for In Flames.
I am wishing I had seen Devil Driver though. They weren't terrible just not my thing and I go rather bored while they were on and I should have seen Devil Driver again.
Bit of Air Bourne, who just sound like ACDC now a days, but heading to DevilSkin, an was greatly surprise little New Zeland band that I am hoping will go far have a lot of potential was only really let down by the mic being set to the same volume as the rest of the instruments to start with making it hard to hear but a very impressive set an will be chasing their album or EP once I have funds, not a bad performance in the Dog Tooth Stage,
Catch a bit of Ministry, one day I am going to get to see them fully but not today as the group I am with today want to see Steel Panther and drag me over to that.
(Three comedians in wigs singing about sex and out of date celebrity stories, while their ability to play and sing can't be dismissed or ability to write a catchy tune they are simply a modern day spinal tap, though promoting nothing more than sexual innuendo,which to be honest is less innuendo and more blatant exploitation of sexual comedy, but they can preform an their crowd interaction and for lack of a better word internal banter makes the crowd laugh. (Written while at download))
Steel Panthers for some reason have just never impressed me, Early days I wanted them too but they just didn't light anything up inside me and while they can play and interact I just can't seem to get them.
Opeth, once more wandered to the back to just catch a few minutes of these guys and also Slayer who while are legends and shouldn't have been on the Zippo Stage are starting to slow down a little and once more putting on a good set have lost a bit since the old days. Right that's everyone covered lets get this Aerosmith done shall we. Photos first?
I can't really give a real break down of this set was just good old rock and roll, with a great set list played from the early decades of the band. With tracks like Jennys got a gun, to walk this and all manner in between, was a great ending though we didn't really get a choice as they were the only band on and the latest to finish at 10:50pm.
Ah crap I forgot Alter Bridge! I did see some of the set not all of it was a wander for food and beer while conversing with people about all manner of things, would have liked to have seen Slash and the Conspirators but I can't known Myles voice no matter which band he is playing with.
Right So Back to the tent and awaiting Download 2018.
Where I shall be hoping for...
Offspring. Blink 182 or Green Day.
Skid Row, Ugly Kid Joe, Megadeath.
In This Moment. Skindred. Killswitch engage.
Ah who am I kidding all I really want and would give my right arm for is simply Gun's N' F'in Roses.
Till Download 2018 is over this has Been Fallen013 and hopefully next year I'll have even more bands to talk about and a great Festival to write about.