Fireworks

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Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 11, 2018    
 
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Download Festivasl 2018 - Donington Park, Castle Donington (UK) - 09-11 June 2018

Download 2017 ended two weeks ago. Seriously, that's how it seemed. If I had blinked, I was sure it would be Christmas next. So, here we were again and, as always, the thing that had been on our minds for the previous two weeks was, "is it going to rain, and if so, how much?" Those of us who have been doing this for a while will remember those years when it started and refused to stop, and the clay mud that are the Donington fields pulled our boots off – oh what fun that was.

This year saw a bit of a change as we had two headliners who hadn't been at Download for quite a while, namely Ozzy Osbourne (admittedly he was here in 2015, but then as part of Black Sabbath and not under his own name) and the reformed Guns N' Roses. I had never seen GN'R before because I don't subscribe to spending my time and money to see someone who can't be bothered to show his audience any respect and turn up on time. I had heard he had since grown up a little and that this doesn't really happen these days so who knows.

FRI 09 JUNE

Friday morning soon came around and guess what? Rain! Keep in mind this was after the weather guessers had told us it was going to be nice all weekend. I was hopeful that all the drainage they spent all that money on last year wasn't temporary and that it would work this year as well. This year, the press tent was further away than ever from the main stage, so I knew my legs would be buckling at the end of the first day rather than Sunday.

Everything kicked off at the usual time of 1pm on the Friday and the first target on my list was a Swiss band called CELLAR DARLING (on the Dogtooth Stage) which, you may not be surprised to learn, were female-fronted. I have seen them described as Folk Rock and I think that is based on the fact that vocalist Anna Murphy plays an old instrument called a Hurdy-Gurdy, something made famous by Bob Dylan in an old song he wrote ages ago.


Download Festival 2018 Cellar Darling Live 2

Did she dare to play it today in front of a Download audience? Yes, she did, but it wasn't an old piece of kit, but a brilliant white, electric job with more knobs than a knobby thing. The music they played wasn't what I would describe as Folk. In fact, she sang a little like Sharon Den Adel and the music wasn't that far removed from Within Temptation either, even when she incorporated the knobby thing.


Download Festival 2018 Cellar Darling Live 1

I was familiar with the third song, 'Avalanche', as it was the new single I believe, and Cellar Darling appeared to be another band I will have to keep tabs on.

Hullaballoo, Black Moon, Avalanche. Six Days, Challenge.

Next up was AVATAR on the main stage. Now the thing about this band is that some of their music is really good, but vocalist Johannes Eckerström does a lot of that screaming/shouting stuff which I don't really go for. However, they are quite theatrical and some of their videos are really good, so I thought to myself why not. Theatre played a big part today because during their entrance to the stage, they all rose from under the floor with guitarist Jonas Jarlsby having been proclaimed King Of Avatar Land and placed at the top around 25ft up.


Download Festival 2018 Avatar Live 3

They all had a lot of energy, particularly when they did the synchronised head-spins, and while the make-up plays a large part in their act and videos meaning some may consider their performance a little macabre and a bit scary for the kids, there is a lot of fun and tongue-in-cheek to be found within as well; either way,


Download Festival 2018 Avatar Live 1

it hasn't really done them any harm. Part way through the set, Eckerström noticed himself on the large screen and showed he was highly delighted by pointing to it. Sadly, they were only on for thirty minutes, probably due to the time needed to set their gear up, but they had done what they set out to do and made an impression on a decent sized audience.


Download Festival 2018 Avatar Live 2

A Statue Of The King, Let It Burn, Hail The Apocalypse, The Eagle Has Landed, Smells Like A Freakshow


I stayed at the main stage for DRAGONFORCE who we all know have guitarists with fingers that raise questions about the space/time continuum. Herman Li and Sam Totman did the business again today, despite the fact they only had time to perform six songs.


Download Festival 2018 Dragonforce Live 1

I thought 'Valley Of The Damned' would get an airing, but no, it was conspicuous by its absence. I believe this appearance was as part of their tour to promote their "latest" release, which is actually one of their earlier releases, 2012's 'The Power Within', that has been re-mastered and re-mixed as 'Repowered Within'; if I am being honest, it is a bit... how shall I put it... not the best thing for the fans is it?


Download Festival 2018 Dragonforce Live 2

They pulled in a decent crowd and played well, but I'm not sure whether the appearance will increase their sales.


Download Festival 2018 Dragonforce Live 3

Reaching Into Infinity, Ashes Of The Dawn, Judgement Day, Cry Thunder, Three Hammers, Through The Fire And Flames

MARMOZETS were another new band to me and, one again, they were female-fronted by Becca McIntyre, together with her brothers Sam and Josh, and Jack Bottomley and his brother Will – talk about keeping it in the family.


Download Festival 2018 Marmorzets Live 1

The Yorkshire band were on the main stage, so they must have been okay, right? They weren't bad, as things go, but there was nothing spectacular about them either, and already having seen Avatar on the same stage just a little earlier, a straightforward band like this seemed to be missing something. Still, they had a decent crowd to witness their forty-ish minute set, so they may have recruited some new fans.


Download Festival 2018 Marmorzets Live 2

Play, Meant To Be, Particle, Like A Battery, Move, Shake, Hide, Habits, Suffocation, Vibetec, Captivate You, Why Do You Hate Me?, Major System Error.

As I had decided, like last year, to check out bands that I knew about but hadn't as yet seen, the next one of these (on the Zippo (2nd) stage) was ANDREW W.K. I'm glad I went as I thought he and his band were excellent.


Download Festival 2018 Andrew WK Live 1

He looked as pleased as a happy person that so many had come to see him, and he told us that. Being a bit (?) of a showman, his arms flailed like a crazy person while he played the keyboards, and he had a range of expressions that went from delighted to Horror movie in the blink of an eye. This was a really entertaining set and really good music.


Download Festival 2018 Andrew WK Live 2

She Is Beautiful, You Will Remember Tonight, Tear It Up, Music Is Worth Living For, We Want Fun (Countdown), Party Hard

VOLBEAT I had seen both here and on their own tour previously, and they are one of those bands that just make you feel better about yourself once you have seen them. Rob Caggiano had decided to plait his hair today and arrived on stage wearing a (kind of) flat cap which was different.


Download Festival 2018 Volbeat Live 2

Maybe he thought Donington was in Yorkshire! They drew a good crowd that were more than happy to sing along and I heard front-man Michael Poulson shout the name of one of his heroes, Johnny Cash, which received a loud cheer; this proved that maybe he was not on his own here.


Download Festival 2018 Volbeat Live 1

As I said last time, Caggiano has definitely added to the Volbeat sound which hasn't changed drastically, but has become more precise and edgy.


Download Festival 2018 Volbeat Live 3

The Devil's Bleeding Crown, Lola Montez, Sad Man's Tongue, Slaytan, Dead But Rising, 16 Dollars, For Evigt, Evelyn, Black Rose, Seal The Deal, Pool Of Booze, Booze, Booza, Still Counting

JONATHAN DAVIS played here the last time he toured on his own and was doing so again in support of his recently released album 'Black Labyrinth', which I have to say is very good indeed. One of just a few bands I had put down as a three star/must see (a help system I came up with), I was looking forward to seeing what he would perform from that today and if he would stand up, rather than just sit in his big chair like last time.


Download Festival 2018 Jonathan Davis Live 1

I was kind of surprised that he was on the second stage as his day job act (Korn) are so well known, but he was, and I have to say he was well worth catching. The question is always in this case, will it just sound like his main band because he does have a very distinctive voice. To some extent it did, it had to, but it was individual enough as no Korn songs were performed; all but one of the set being from his latest, while 'Forsaken' was from the soundtrack to 'Queen Of The Damned' and his limited release 'Alone I Play'.


Download Festival 2018 Jonathan Davis Live 2

The material was maybe a little less edgy than the Korn stuff, but definitely no less enjoyable. My only problem here was that I would have liked to have seen him do a longer set.


Download Festival 2018 Jonathan Davis Live 3

Underneath My Skin, Everyone, Forsaken, What You Believe, Final Days, Basic Needs, Walk On By, What It Is.

On the main stage, BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE were another band who have been around for a while, but I have never seen before. I was a bit uncertain when they kicked off as there was a lot of screeching rather than singing, but the vocals, taken by guitarists Matthew Tuck and Michael Paget in front of a healthy wall of speaker cabinets, were okay once they got it out of their system.


Download Festival 2018 Bullet For My Valentine Live 1

Their stage show heralded my first sign of pyro and smoke, and the weather held off so didn't put a damper on proceedings. The crowd had started to get into the swing of things now and were much happier as the rain had held off.


Download Festival 2018 Bullet For My Valentine Live 2

Don't Need You, Over It, Your Betrayal, l4 Words (To Choke Upon), You Want A Battle? (Here's A War), The Last Fight, Letting You Go, Worthless, Army Of Noise, Scream Aim Fire, Piece Of Me.

Another band I had not seen before was YOU ME AT SIX, who were on at 8:15, so a bit late really and, because I had other stuff to see and people to do, I started to prepare for the main event.

AVENGED SEVENFOLD have headlined Download before, that time with an elaborate stage set up and pyro to keep everybody warm on a cold June evening, so I expected the same tonight – I was not disappointed. Right from the first song, we had explosions (I was a bit surprised to see how early they were used in proceedings) and then flame throwers, while behind them was a video wall the whole width of the stage... and these guys know how to use a stage and they covered every inch throughout the night.


Download Festival 2018 Avenged Sevenfold Live 1

There were microphones placed strategically so that Zacky Vengeance and Synyster Gates could go on the side runways to deliver their backing vocals when required. The Skeleton King was raised at the back of the stage for 'Hail To The King', while later on, we had a floating spaceman that hung over the band for 'Higher'. 'So Far Away' was played as a tribute to both 'The Rev' as well as their sound guy "The Shirt" who they lost last year.


Download Festival 2018 Avenged Sevenfold Live 2

I was also pleased to hear a decent version of Pink Floyd's 'Wish You Were Here'. The only problem I noticed was that the guitars seemed to get lost in the mix so that we only heard the bass and vocals when we moved back a bit, but this may have been down to the healthy breeze that most likely carried the sound away. The night ended in true Ax7 fashion with a barrage of explosions which seemed to end, but then we had another burst a couple of minutes later – not sure why.


Download Festival 2018 Avenged Sevenfold Live 3

The Stage, Afterlife, Hail To The King, Welcome To The Family, God Damn, Buried Alive, So Far Away, Nightmare, Eternal Rest, M.I.A., Higher, Wish You Were Here, Bat Country.
Encore: Shepherd Of Fire, A Little Piece Of Heaven, Unholy Confessions.

This brought an end to the first day and we got away with the weather for most of it. Highlights for me had to be Avatar, Andrew W.K. and Jonathan Davis because I got something new from all of them. On the down side, I was more knackered than usual, due to the quarter of a mile (at least) distance that the main stage was from the press area and having to wear boots that crippled me as I thought it was going to rain all day. Would things be easier tomorrow?

SAT 10 JUNE

The first thing to mention is that it wasn't raining first thing in the morning, but it was very overcast which was fine for taking photographs. My thoughts were that there was nothing I could do about it, so we got on with it and just waited to see what happened.

The PINK SLIPS were the first band on the main stage today, and while people say it is not the best position of the day to play – due to the fact that a lot of people are still in bed and those that were out were probably still half asleep – I am sure that just being on the main stage over-rides that feeling, if it even exists.


Download Festival 2018 Pink Slips Live 1

Certainly, vocalist Grace McKagan didn't seem bothered and neither did the crowd. The band played a cross of all kinds of styles and Grace McKagan is a blonde fireball who sings in all sorts of different positions. Oh, by the way, if you thought the name sounds familiar, you are right because Grace McKagan is the daughter of Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan.

TIGRESS, on the 3rd stage, were a bit of a surprise. Another "unknown" to me, but I decided to take a short trip to check them out. The upshot is that for most of the show I wasn't particularly blown away by anything and I thought that was that.


Download Festival 2018 Tigress Live 1

Towards the end, however, vocalist Katy Jackson opened her pipes and showed how well she could hold a high note and you could tell that most, if not all the people in the tent were impressed. I came away with the feeling that they should write more complex music and really test her out.

I had seen THE STRUTS for the first time on the internet only a week or two ago and I thought straight away that they were interesting. Front-man Luke Spiller had his trademark elaborate stage gear on, with lots of gold, which was a stark contrast to the jeans and wellies I later saw him wearing in the press area.


Download Festival 2018 The Struts Live 1

This guy is an amalgam of Freddie Mercury and Mick Jagger – he sang like the former and moved like the latter. They have already supported The Rolling Stones and Mötley Crüe, and they haven't even released an album yet.


Download Festival 2018 The Struts Live 2

Although they come from all over the place, the band actually formed in Derby, which raised a cheer when mentioned. They put on a good show, but it was the anthemic 'Could Have Been Me' that stuck in the ear for ages afterwards. The Struts are definitely one to watch out for.


Download Festival 2018 The Struts Live 3

Put Your Hands Up, Kiss, This Body Talks, Put Your Money On Me, Could Have Been Me, Where Did She Go

SLEEP TOKEN had caught my attention due to the fact that they are all anonymous musicians (a bit like Ghost when they started) and their music was Prog in the "huh, what's happening" category. There was a lot of angst from the vocalist, while the guitarist and bassist held their positions for some time before suddenly jerking into action.


Download Festival 2018 Sleep Token Live 1

Not the easiest of bands to see from the front, due to the very bright, white lights moving behind them, but I suppose that all added to the effect of (being) almost a Horror movie on stage.


Download Festival 2018 Sleep Token Live 2

I am not sure whether I would describe their music as Prog Metal or not, but it was different, and I will definitely check them out in the future.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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L7 have been around for quite some time now and it is fair to say that Donita Sparks is well past dropping her trousers at the end of the set, but bassist Jennifer Finch decided to crouch at the beginning and show us that she was indeed wearing something under her shorts. Rather than the usual four of them on stage today, there was an extra body as drummer Demetra Plakas had broken her arm only forty-eight hours before.


Download Festival 2018 L7 Live 2

She stood by the kit as she performed backing vocals as she waved the arm in the air a lot, while in her actual place at the kit was Adam Ant drummer Jola... after just one rehearsal. How relevant they are in today's market I am not sure, and I would hazard a guess that the dropping of jeans all those years ago was probably the smartest move Sparks ever made as it is still talked about today.


Download Festival 2018 L7 Live 3

Andres, Fast And Frightening, Everglade, Shitlist, Fuel My Fire, Pretend We're Dead

I have to hold my hand up and say that I became involved in conversation with someone in the press garden and missed the chance to photograph THUNDER on their return to the main stage. They are old hands at this venue – so much so that I think Danny Bowes gives guided tours of the site when it's all over – and they had one hour to prove they could still do it. However, they had to prove nothing and never a band to disappoint, they played many old classics and everyone was happy.

Wonder Days, River Of Pain, Higher Ground, Low Life In High Places, Backstreet Symphony, The Devil Made Me Do It, I Love You More Than Rock 'N' Roll, Love Walked In, Dirty Love.

Missing BABYMETAL (or as I call it Maybemetal?) was not my fault as the shuttle bus to the second stage left early and I missed it, and I wasn't walking all the way over there to see them. I have to admit, I haven't watched them before and I don't get it. Occasionally they scream something down their microphones, then stop and run across the stage in opposite directions from opposite ends, and then they scream in Japanese again. Nobody knows what they are singing. What's that all about? Three young girls running around in tutu's is no basis for a government; the fact that they have such a following is a bit of a puzzler to me.

BLACK STONE CHERRY are best described as an American Blues Rock ensemble, rather in the vein of say... Lynyrd Skynyrd, but without the ace card of 'Freebird'. Again, what they do, they do well, but big stages require big performances and I would say they were comfortable. There's nothing wrong with that, but I must say I was surprised when they started playing Reggae and no less than Bob Marley's 'Stir It Up.' They also did Jimi Hendrix's 'Foxy Lady', but this didn't come as such a surprise.

Burnin', Blind Man, Rain Wizard, Stir It Up (Wailers cover), Me And Mary Jane, In My Blood, Like I Roll, Foxy Lady (Jimi Hendrix cover), Blame It on the Boom Boom, White Trash Millionaire, Lonely Train, Bad Habit, Tired Of The Rain, Cheaper To Drink Alone, Family Tree

GUNS N' ROSES are a band that I have never seen before and, to be honest, one that I have never really been bothered about seeing. The main draw for me would always be Slash on guitar, who I have seen numerous times, and not the squeaky-voiced, slightly-bloated, ego-maniac fronting the band. They came on stage, not late, at bang on 7:20 after a ten minute animation of a tank aiming and firing at whatever it thought it saw. In the first hour they played five songs I recognised, only two of which were their own, namely 'Welcome To The Jungle' and 'Sweet Child O' Mine'. The other three were snippets of 'Live And Let Die', 'Stairway To Heaven' and music from 'The Godfather' which was naturally instrumental. Another thing I found interesting was that there was very little audience communication from Axl Rose, the second time he spoke being after 'Sweet Child O' Mine', just as we were approaching the car park as we thought we had seen enough.

It's So Easy, Mr. Brownstone, Chinese Democracy, Welcome To The Jungle, Double Talkin' Jive, Better,
Estranged, Live And Let Die (Wings cover), Slither (Velvet Revolver cover), Rocket Queen, You Could Be Mine, Attitude (Misfits cover), This I Love, Shadow Of Your Love (Hollywood Rose cover), Civil War, Slash Guitar Solo, Speak Softly Love (Love Theme From 'The Godfather'), Sweet Child O' Mine.

SUN 11 JUNE

I saw INGLORIOUS the last time they played here and was so impressed that I went to see them during their following tour on a small stage in Sheffield. This was a slightly bigger stage than that, so I was a little disappointed that none of the band ventured down the runway while I was down the front. However, they once again put on a stellar show and I really think this band should go far.


Download Festival 2018 Inglorious Live 1

As singer Nathan James said, he was delighted that so many people had come out to see them at such an early hour on a Sunday morning and it was the best fucking church he had ever attended at that time. He also thanked the audience for supporting a British Rock band, which I thought a little amusing as guitarist Andreas Eriksson is from Sweden, but never mind eh?


Download Festival 2018 Inglorious Live 2

Read All About It, Taking The Blame, High Flying Gypsy, I Got A Feeling, Warning, I Don't Need Your Loving, Holy Water, Until I Die.

CRADLE OF FILTH may not be totally my kind of music as there is a lot of screaming masquerading as vocals, but the theatre of their act is something to see and "some" of the music I have heard has been really good, almost Melodic Progressive. Hell, the band has now been around for years, and Dani Filth and company are always something to see. I believe that if they were producing 'The Addams Family' or 'The Munsters' on TV today, the band in front of me would have been in the cast.


Download Festival 2018 Cradle Of Filth Live 1

My favourite to watch though was guitarist Richard Shaw, a guy whose name is just too normal for his appearance. With only forty minutes on stage, they were straight into it and the crowd were more than ready, despite the temperature having reached energy sapping levels. It is always a little weird when you hear Operatic vocals in the middle of this kind of music, but Lindsay Schoolcraft (who was also on keyboards) made it work.


Download Festival 2018 Cradle Of Filth Live 2

Ave Satani, Gilded Cunt, Dusk And Her Embrace, Heartbreak And Séance, Born In A Burial Gown, Nymphetamine (Fix), Her Ghost In The Fog.

I have to admit to not checking out HYENA KILL sufficiently to realise that there were only two people in the band, namely Manchester pair Steven Dobb on guitar/vocals and Lorna Blundell on the drums; it somewhat raised the question of whether bass players are essential at all.


Download Festival 2018 Hylena Kill Live 2

I remember seeing Rush for the first time in the seventies and thinking how did so much noise come out of just three people, and as I stood watching this band today, I thought the same about two people. Okay, the guitar playing was a bit raw and the vocals were a bit screechy, but the drummer was very impressive.


Download Festival 2018 Hylena Kill Live 1

I wasn't able to get the song titles, in fact, I actually can't remember any of them being announced, but the thing about these smaller stages at Download is that all the bands seem to have a following. People knew the lyrics and word must have gotten out to get these people to the stage because they couldn't all have been just "friends".

The other band I had put on my list of "must sees" with three stars was IN THIS MOMENT. I saw them here the very first time they played, in 2005, and they were very new to the business having just released their first album. At that time, I thought then that they had great performance potential and Maria Brink was the genie just waiting to pop out of her bottle.


Download Festival 2018 In This Moment Live 1

Today's performance proved me just right; Brink donned a new costume for every song as she came and went through a cross portal at the rear of the stage. There were two dancers/assistants who came on before she did, both of whom we only saw at the beginning of the set, the other one I assumed stayed behind the portal to help with the clothing changes.


Download Festival 2018 In This Moment Live 2

Brink invited us to her Black Wedding with Ded vocalist Joe Cotela as the priest, so I'm not quite sure who she was marrying. The crowd for them was what you would see for a headline act and the response was the same. In This Moment were probably the highlight of the weekend for me.


Download Festival 2018 In This Moment Live 3

BloodRoots, Monster Jam, Black Wedding, Big Bad Wolf, Whore.

I next had a decision to make as there was a clash of interests. BLACK VEIL BRIDES were on the main stage, but they played at the same time as Rival Sons who were on the fourth stage. This meant tramping up the hill to get to the Dogtooth Stage for the Sons, while the Brides were right there on the main platform.


Download Festival 2018 Black Veil Brides Live 1

Also, I was not impressed with the photos I got of Black Veil Brides last time, so I thought they deserved another go. When I saw them the first time they played Download way back when, I came away feeling that they were of more interest to the female persuasion of the audience, a bit like H.I.M. were.


Download Festival 2018 Black Veil Brides Live 2

The same applied to the second time they were here, but for some reason, maybe because they have matured, both as people and a band, or taken off most of the make-up, that seems to have fallen away. Their set was very visual with pyro, explosions and all that stuff, and their music also had a bit more punch to it. Front-man Andy Biersack (the only original band member left) even came down into the pit during 'Coffin' to meet the people (which raised a few squeals from the female members of the audience).


Download Festival 2018 Black Veil Brides Live 3

Faithless, Coffin, Wake Up, Rebel Love Song, The Legacy, Knives And Pens, Fallen Angels, In The End

SHINEDOWN were another band I have had on my list for some time, but have not had the opportunity to go down and check out. If this weekend proved anything to me, it is that I had made the right decision before coming down as all the bands I had belatedly watched so far had been worth the wait.


Download Festival 2018 Shinedown Live 1

Brent Smith was an audience participation guy, he got the crowd to sing along and, rather strangely, high-fived a lot of the photographers at the end of the runway. I would have been interested to see how much of the audience he may have got to join him had they played 'Amaryllis' or 'If You Only Knew'. Still, it was a solid performance and one that will not do them any harm at all.


Download Festival 2018 Shinedown Live 2

Sound Of Madness, Bully, Cut The Cord, Kill Your Conscience, State Of My Head, The Human Radio, Unity, Enemies, Second Chance, Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom) Devil

Over on the Dogtooth Stage (4th) was a band called MYRKUR (from Scandinavia) who are described as Black Metal with a female vocalist, Amalie Bruun, whose appearance in her flowing white dress with her eyes blacked out reminded me very much of Annie Lennox at Live Aid (if you can remember that far back).


Download Festival 2018 Myrkur Live 1

I have no idea what she was singing about, but it didn't really matter because it was kind of ethereal and ambient, but still Rock. Metal? Maybe in places, particularly when she picked up and started playing a BC Rich guitar. That looked Metal. Again, a band I would like to listen to on album or see on a lengthier basis to determine exactly what's going on, although I did like what I saw and heard.


Download Festival 2018 Myrkur Live 2

The Serpent, Ulvinde, Onde børn, Vølvens spådom, Jeg er guden i er tjenerne, Elleskudt, Måneblôt, (Work that lot out for yourselves).

It was then back to the main stage to catch MARILYN MANSON who, for some reason, would only let us photograph him for his first song. This made things difficult as it meant that all the photographers (and there were quite a few) were running around like headless chickens trying to get the best position for the moving target that they could in the time allotted. Not easy, but then Manson goes to the effort of looking photogenic, so probably felt it was only right that we have to work for that shot.


Download Festival 2018 Marylin Manson Live 1

Bearing in mind that it was a really hot day, I didn't think he would wear the black frock coat he had on for very long. I was right as it came off during the first song. To be honest, I can take or leave his music. Some of it I like, 'mOBSCENE' for instance, while some of it not so much, but the thing about his show is that with his image and the subject matter of some of the songs, I expected something a little more dramatic visually, rather than him just taking his coat off.


Download Festival 2018 Marylin Manson Live 3

Let's be honest, he is not the world's best singer, is he? He did get joined by a follower at the end of 'Kill 4 Me' and he did drag Dani Filth on at the end of 'The Beautiful People' to scream down the mic a bit, but the theatre seemed to have been laid to one side unfortunately.


Download Festival 2018 Marylin Manson Live 2

Irresponsible Hate Anthem, Angel With The Scabbed Wings, Deep Six, This Is The New Shit, Disposable Teens, mOBSCENE, Kill4Me, The Dope Show & I Don't Like The Drugs, Sweet Dreams (Eurythmics cover), Say10,
Encore: Antichrist Superstar, The Beautiful People, Cry Little Sister,

We tried to catch BARONESS last year, but due to reasons I cannot remember at the moment, it wasn't possible. Again, I was surprised to see that a band that I would consider to have a fairly big following were only on the fourth stage.


Download Festival 2018 Baroness Live 1

However, the intimacy often works to the advantage of bands like this and they more often put on a better show than on the bigger stages. Whether that was the case today or not I don't know, but they were excellent and well worth tearing yourself away from the main stage for fifty minutes to see.


Download Festival 2018 Baroness Live 2

Take My Bones Away, The Sweetest Curse, March To The Sea, Green Theme, Morningstar, Shock Me, Chlorine & Wine, Kerosene, If I Have To Wake Up (Would You Stop The Rain?), Isak

OZZY OSBOURNE wouldn't let anybody but Ross Halfin photograph him, so I can't deny I was a bit pissed about this. To be fair though, he did put on a good set, although some of Zakk Wylde's leads went on for a while and Ozzy Osbourne appeared to get tired during them, so just sat down on the stage set until Wylde had finished. Ozzy Osbourne also had Adam Wakeman, son of Rick, on keyboards which meant that he could do some of the more "elaborate" stuff that he maybe hasn't done for a while. Wylde ran around in a kilt for some reason and, at one point in the show, we couldn't work out where he was until, by watching the screen, we realised that he was right up to the crowd in the pit and he was down there for some time.


Download Festival 2018 Ozzy Osbourne Live 1

One thing I will say is that Wylde is the right man for Ozzy Osbourne on guitar. I was slightly surprised when Ozzy Osbourne got the audience to shout "one more song" at around half ten as he was scheduled to be on until nearly eleven, but 'Paranoid' was indeed his last number before he departed under a barrage of fireworks. I don't know why but Ozzy Osbourne's re-recording of 'Changes' (with his daughter Kelly Osbourne) was played over the PA as we left which was both nice and sad. Maybe because, despite telling his son Jack Osbourne that he's not fucking retired, he has announced that this will be his last tour. Hopefully not as he still has something to offer.


Download Festival 2018 Ozzy Osbourne Live 2

Bark At The Moon, Mr Crowley, I Don't Know, Fairies Wear Boots, Suicide Solution, No More Tears, Road To Nowhere, War Pigs, Miracle Man/Crazy Babies/Desire/Perry Mason, Drum Solo, I Don't Want To Change The World, Paranoid.

So that, dear readers, was Download 2018. It is probably fair to say that you have to be slightly... errr, different to want to come to something like this, but where else would you get such a diverse range of music under the same heading. It is described as a Rock and Metal festival, but then you get acts like Sleep Token and MYRKUR playing which cannot simply be described as Metal, or even Rock at times, but that's what makes us... errr different. We don't care and we will give anything a go. I tip my hat to Andy Copping for assembling this troupe, and also for picking up rubbish, which I saw him doing earlier. Oh yes, and Merry Christmas to you all.

Review and photos by Andy Brailsford

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