All of the Friday action at Download 2014, featuring Miss May I, Crossfaith, letlive., Within Temptation, Skindred, The Amity Affliction, The Offspring, Avenged Sevenfold + more!
For more photos of Avenged Sevenfold's headline set, head to this link.
2340: What a day. And what a way to end it. Ryan Bird has words on Avenged Sevenfold's show-stopping, fire-breathing performance:
"Back in December, not long after the internet trolls had their usual say regarding their slot on today's bill, Avenged Sevenfold embarked on a sold-out UK arena tour designed solely to prove that they were ready to join the biggest league of all. It was a test that they passed with flying colours, and so it should come as no surprise that tonight they reign supreme. With opener 'Shepherd Of Fire' living up to its name courtesy of pyrotechnics so huge that the heat can surely be felt out in the car parks, this is everything a festival headline set should be from the first minute. In front of a giant chapel backdrop, both new songs ('Doing Time') and old (a stunning 'Bat Country' in particular) sound massive, taking on a new lease of life that suddenly makes them feel like truly classic rock songs. In terms of career-defining moments it's certainly up there, and by the time 'Unholy Confessions' sends its last notes lingering long into the night air, you get the distinct impression that this isn't the last time Avenged Sevenfold will find themselves on top of the Download pile."
If you want to see more of The Offspring limping through their set (soz guys), head here.
2320: A disappointed Andy Biddulph reports back from The Offspring:
"Doing album anniversary shows are all well and good, but they've notoriously hit and miss. Tonight, The Offspring's run through 'Smash' falls into the latter category. With those born in the year of release not only old enough to attend the festival, but to legally drink at it, large patches of the band's seminal album - such as 'Come Out And Play' and 'What Happened To You' - go down terribly. They aren't helped by the band's sluggish stage presence and stale stage banter ("You guys are the best audience we've had on this tour", doesn't exactly sound convincing) and things don't even pick up on hits like 'Pretty Fly (For A White Guy) meaning their set proves to be a lesson in phoning it in."
2214: Our Deputy Ed David McLaughlin is back from Opeth. Here's what he's got to say about it: "A scan through the rest of the evening's fare confirms that Opeth really are the thinking man's metal band. In contrast to what's happening elsewhere, there aren't any gimmicks, there's no production, no nuthin' - just peerless performers performing peerlessly. A mercurial 'God Is Dead' sets the tone, transfixing a criminally small crowd, but those who've opted for others over the more obvious are treated to a masterclass. Of course they are. Opeth might not be the ideal festival headliner but ahead of forthcoming album, 'Pale Communion', this is a timely reminder of how much they still matter."
2123: Fire. Grey Skies. Avenged Sevenfold.
2100: Remember when letlive. played Download three years ago and this happened?
Today, Jason and security made their peace...
More photos of their ridiculous set are over here.
2054: Ryan Bird is back from Flogging Molly over on the Zippo Encore stage. Turns out, he had FUN.
"It seems as though barely a Download goes by without either Flogging Molly or Dropkick Murphys showing up to fly the (Irish) flag for folk-filled punk rock, and today the former go some way to quickly showing why they're one half of such a staple duo. An unapologetic slice of fun and frolics among a sea of black shirts, the likes of 'Tobacco Island' and a riotous 'The Seven Deadly Sins' provoke singalongs and circle pits galore, and for 40-minutes it feels like the most fun we've had in ages."
2030: This man is a fucking festival god.
Need more shots of Skindred's impeccable main stage. Course you do!
1955: Features Ed. David McLaughlin has just got back from letlive. Here’s the scoop:
"Jason Butler emerges on stage in crutches. Guess what's going to happen next. Yup. Before a single note of opening song '27 Club' is played, he's not only lost both of them, but he's shed half his clothes, too. Just another letlive. show then, right? Not really. The spectacle – and what a spectacle – of this band is something else, and those crutches tell their own tale about the toll it takes. But there's genuine emotional bloodletting here too; poured into 'Pheromone Cvlt' and into a stripped-back 'Muther'. "This is the closest thing I've ever known to love," he says, moments before he goes berserk again and scaling the side stage barriers. Oh, Jason...”
1930:No words necessary for this one...
1905: Andy Biddulph just caught a few minutes of Within Temptation over on the Main Stage, and it sounds like they were struggling a little:
“Grand, orchestral bands often have a tough time of it at festivals. It’d be ideal to cart a violinist, a cellist and everyone else along, but it just isn’t practical. All this means Dutch metallers Within Temptation sound a little bare this afternoon, leaving them exposed on the likes of ‘Paradise (What About Us?)’. Vocalist Sharon den Adel is in fine form, mind, and while the big man himself doesn’t turn up to save the day, we do get a glimpse of Xzibit on the video screen during ‘And We Run’. Better than nothing, right?”
Psst.. More shots of Royal Blood's set over on this page.
1840: That man David McLaughlin is at it again. Here’s his take on Royal Blood’s set a few minutes ago:
“Two mere musicians should not be capable of conjuring the rumble and racket that Royal Blood summon. It just shouldn't be possible. Two people with a single instrument each at their disposal should surely be lost on a stage of this size, but the thick blues grooves and sultry sonic soup that spills out from Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher's interplay is somehow greater than the sum of its parts. It certainly goes some way to explaining and justifying the widespread hype that surrounds the Brighton duo. Impressive stuff.”
Within Temptation are doing the Xzibit song. THIS IS NOT A DRILL— Rock Sound (@rocksound) June 13, 2014
1830: Did someone order a full gallery of Crossfaith photos? Right here.
1710: The Amity Affliction have just blown Deputy Editor David McLaughlin away! His thoughts are right here:
“The Pepsi Max Tent is rammed, and with bloody good reason. "This is fucking mind-blowing," vocalist Joel Birch roars midway thorough The Amity Affliction’s set. Judging by the pandemonium breaking out around him, it's difficult not to go along with that assessment. The skin-bristling sing along during 'Pittsburgh' from new album 'Let The Ocean Take Me' is a bit of a moment, and a taste of just how commanding this most underrated of bands can really be when they put their collective muscle into it.”
Full gallery of The Amity Affliction shots up here.
1645: Andy Biddulph has been hanging around outside again. Here’s what happened when Skindred took the stage:
““They can’t fuck with metal, they can’t fuck with music,” proclaims Skindred ringmaster Benji Webbe. Based on this evidence, he’s not wrong. Webbe leads his troops through a delightfully twisted ‘Kill The Power’ to ‘Pressure’ by way of a gargantuan field-wide Harlem Shake (remember those?) A final stomp through ‘Warning’ is aided and abetted by the Newport Helicopter, and althought this band don't need gimmicks, the fun stuff makes a set that was already well worth checking out close to unmissable.”
1605: It's only our first 15 Seconds At Download video... with The Amity Affliction's Ahren Stringer!
1550: Our shots of Miss May I are in. Didn't our girl Carla Mundeh do well?
More shots from their set are up at this link.
1445: RS Editor Ryan Bird is back from Crossfaith on the main stage:
"For the past two years, Crossfaith have carved out a name for themselves as one of the most explosive support bands going. Today, though, there's no hiding place, and fortunately for the Japanese crew there's also no need for one. Standing on their own two feet, the likes of 'Monolith' help win over a crowd who visibly become more supportive as their performance progresses, and while a run through The Prodigy's 'Omen' is painfully familiar, their set at least sees them take one long overdue step towards finding their own space."
1430: Looks like somebody is struggling to get into the festival mood...
1355: Reviews Editor Andy Biddulph has just got back from the Main Stage. Here's what he thought of openers Miss May I:
“Opening the Main Stage at Download is a huge responsibility for any band, but Miss May I carry out their duty with aplomb in what is amazingly their first ever appearance here (we’re not sure how that’s happened, either). “I’ve been watching this shit on DVD for years”, shouts frontman Levi Benton, before the likes of ‘Hero With No Name’ and a punishing ‘Hey Mister’ provide a fine platform for the early risers to stretch those neck muscles, while ‘Gone’ brings a crowdsurfing Spiderman into the equation. If that isn’t a good sign, what is?”
1322: Our man Giles Smith has just returned from a quick dive into the main arena. Looks like Miss May I are getting some horns in the air nice and early...
If you head over to our Instagram today, we'll be kicking off our 15 Seconds At Download With... series shortly. Here are the rules: as many bands as possible, 15 seconds for them to talk about everything Download. Let's dooooo this!
1209: We're here! Look! Tents!
Need a hand getting around? Consult the Download sitemap below:
(click to open the full size version in a new window)
We're not on site just yet, so why don't you have a look back at what happened last year?
Iron Maiden were there and it was glorious...
Slipknot made their trimphant return to the stage...
and, uh, Rammstein set everything north of Watford on fire.