Download Festival – 2012 – Friday – 8/06/2012


Each June myself and thousands of other rockers make our annual pilgrimage to Download Festival to worship the Gods of rock n roll – come rain or shine.  This year was the will be remembered as the year of the Download Downpour and the ten year anniversary of the festival.

From the minute we stepped off the bus at 1pm after travelling on a bus since 5.30am from Glasgow it started to rain despite our optimism during out journey into Donnington Park – the sun was shining.

We kept upbeat and made out trek into the park.  I call it a trek as the walk into Donnigton and then the process of getting camped is my least favourite part of the weekend.  It has never been easy – especially if you are a girl that does not pack light.  This year was worse than normal even though we got there on the Wednesday – which made me think it would be easier getting camped up. It took us about two and a half hours to get camped.  I stood for 45 minutes waiting for the stewards to open Brown Camp – which they did not open in the end.  During this time the rain started again – resulting in wrecked converse, soaked jumper, hair and furry jacket.  There goes any chance of looking stylish the rest of the weekend.  We eventually all got camped together and the rain died down for a little while – obviously it started back up and made everything beautifully muddy for the rest of the weekend but I’ll leave the mud stories for the next post.

True story, bro.

The first two days were honestly horrible everything was damp, a friends tent broke and I got myself lost which near resulted in a panic attack but you’ll be glad to know the rest of the weekend was better than the first two days. 

Friday – 8/06/2012

The weather was so bad that the opening time for the arena was delayed which meant some of the first bands did not get to play their set.  Bands such as Cancer Bats.  I felt really bad for those bands and I hope they are compensated somehow next year.  

The first act I seen was Billy Talent and singer Benjamin Kowalewicz was lovely enough to allow fellow Canadians Cancer Bats to come on stage and play one song. For me this symbolised exactly what Download Festival is about for a lot of people – love.  Love thy fellow rocker.  

After seeing Talent at Download 2009 I was excited to see them again as he gave a great performance back then.  Yet again they did not disappoint and played their new track Viking Death March.  It was great to hear new material from them and they were a great act to open Download 2012 for me.

 Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish were up next.  Nightwish are a band I loved dearly when I was sixteen but fell off the radar a little for me but after seeing them live they are back on my most recent playlist. 
Great band live – in both sound quality and stage persona.  There were a good mix of tracks from when Annette Olzon,the current singer, wasn’t in the band to their most recent tracks.   Definitely a band I will go and see when they tour – lots of smoke and pyro and the classical and folk music element to their music is utterly beautiful live.  
Music that will temporarily carry you off to another world. 

Closing the first night of Download was the man who epitomises rock n roll – Slash. If Billy Joel is Piano Man then Slash is Guitar Man and that is why I opted to see him over The Prodigy.  Well that and the fact that the beautiful Myles Kennedy was performing with Slash.

This was my second time seeing the combo of Slash and Myles Kennedy and I now think this gives me the authority to say that Myles Kennedy can do what Axl Rose does just as well if not better, with an air of professionalism and on time I might add.

The set-list was perfect – a great mix of tracks from the self-titled Slash album, the new album Apocalyptic Love album, classic Gun and Roses and finishing with Velvet Revolver.

Slash and Kennedy are both Grade A performers and I can’t imagine them ever letting a crowd down and the atmosphere is always electric.

The first couple of days of Download 2012 might have been miserable but I would not have missed singing along to Sweet Child of Mine out of tune with thousands of other people for the all the rain in the world.

Part 2 – Saturday – 9/06/2012 – The Treatment, Biffy Clyro, Steel Panther, Metallica, Heavens Basement Coming Soon.