Shini's pick of the festivals part I – DOWNLOAD


So festival season is upon us yet again, and with it comes not only the dilemma of which weekends are going to be spent in particular fields but once that choice has been made, who to go and see when you’re there? It’s June, you already have your tickets (hopefully), so I’m going to go through and do my pick of who to see at each of the bigger festivals this summer.


It needs no introduction. It’s also one of the first of the festival season and its a BIG one. The main attraction (at least among my age group, entering their fourth decade on the planet) has to be Linkin Park playing Hybrid Theory in full. None of their rubbishy dubstep mixes or violations of all that was good with their early stuff. Just the music that got them famous. Got to be worth a watch.

Rob Zombie. If you are there and choose to see anyone else over Rob Zombie, what are you thinking? I saw him the last time I was at Download and he blew it away.


Aside from those two, I’m going to look at the smaller stages, and the bottom of the lineups. To me this is the beauty of a festival; you pay to go an see your favourites but then get to go and see a fucktonne of new to you music.

I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t say that the unmissable of the unmissable is the astounding American Head Charge, who are hitting the Pepsi Max stage on Saturday at 8:00pm. I am SO jealous that I am not going to be there, and with their new album just around the corner you might even get to hear a new Head Charge song before most of their Deathsquad promotion team. I will stop fangirling now, though if you want to see what I thought when they last hit the UK in November, you can find my review here.


Another band who have been part of the soundtrack to my last 12 months is the mighty Battlecross, who were supporting Killswitch Engage and Trivium (also both worth seeing if you can, they’re on the bill) on their tour early in the year (review here). They’re some wonderfully brutal thrash who put on a killer show, and earned more than a few fans on their “First Thrash Across Europe”. Definitely ones to watch.

Someone else that have made a mark on a massive support slot are Upon a Burning Body, who hit a goldmine when they toured with Five Finger Death Punch. The show we saw them on, the entire lighting rig blew and they didn’t bat an eyelid, keeping the place bouncing. I’ll admit they don’t necessarily look the part, but if you like hardcore along the lines of Hatebreed then you definitely need to give these guys a listen.

Thy Art is Murder are going to be massive. They’re not someone I would choose to buy a CD from, but their reputation for their utterly insane live show precedes them, and for that reason alone I’d be there to see them. Kill Devil Hill (who incidentally are supporting American Head Charge in the post Download show) are one of those “supergroups”, but not one that leaves you rolling your eyes at the description as it comprises of former members of Dio, Down and Pissing Razors. Do your ears a favour and be there.

Sepultura, Sabaton, Alter Bridge, Within Temptation… I could be here all day, but now I challenge you to tell me who you’re really looking forward to.

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