Sunday, 18 November 2012

Download 2013: Further Bands

It was about this time last year that Download had released all 3 of their headliners for the 2012 festival and I was frothing at the mouth. Ok, I didn’t actually froth but I was very happy with the announcement of Prodigy, Metallica and Black Sabbath. Roll on a year later and Download has not only announced their 3 headliners for the 2013 installment but has also announced a further batch of bands. For me the announcement was quite mixed in terms of personal enjoyment. Following the initial announcement, another band has been added (although I think that was due to a self confirmation). This is the announcement for Download 2013, plus my thoughts on the whole thing.

30 Seconds To Mars – I caught the second half of their set at Reading 2011 after watching Noah and the Whale. I did not like what I saw. I thought it was really quite boring. I just listened back now to studio recordings of them, I find them dull. I appreciate why they have been booked for Download and cannot argue with their stage positioning (although I’d have been much happier with them being 2nd stage headliners) but I’m not a fan. 30 Seconds To Mars being on before Rammstein puts me in a tough spot as I’d like a decent spot for Rammstein but I really could do without seeing them again.

A Day To Remember – I had never listened to this band before they were announced for Download despite them being recommended to me. I have listened to some of their material now and I like what I hear. It almost appears to be a blend of a variety of genres which works quite well. Again, me seeing them depends on a clash but as I’ve not seen them before, and I like what I hear, it could well happen.

Alice In Chains – Saw them unknowingly at Download 2006. Walked round from Devildriver and saw the last song or two of Arch Enemy (I think) and they were on before Stone Sour. On reflection, I wish I’d stayed at the second stage after Devildriver as according to the poster, Henry Rollins was up next (although I have a vague recollection Wicked Wisdom did another set – maybe seeing AiC was better for all involved). Anyway, I found AiC to be a little boring. Some stuff I enjoyed, but the set felt like it dragged. I could have seen them at Sonisphere 2010 and 2011 but opted not to. I will give them another chance this time around if they are not clashing with anyone.

HIM – I used to detest this band. Then again I used to detest a lot of bands that I now like. However, HIM is not a band I like. They are ok. I could go on about them but I really don’t need to. They are headlining the 3rd stage on the Friday, which means they clash with Slipknot. Sorry HIM, you lose.

Motorhead – A safe, predictable announcement but one that I am fine with. Saw them on the 2012 installment of the inevitable November tour and they were really good. They are better indoors than at festivals, but it is always good to hear the big songs like Overkill and Ace of Spades live. Not sure if they’ll have a new album out then, but if not, a 40 minute set packed with classics works well with me.  

Queens of the Stone Age – I think I saw maybe 3 or 4 songs of QOTSA when I saw them at Rock AM Ring. I can’t remember if it was because they were on late (as in late in the day) or they were the last band of a very tiring weekend (really long walks every day to the festival site, which in itself was not small). Anyway, they were good live from what I remember and I look forward to seeing them again. As I understand it (from Andy Copping’s Twitter), the top 4 on the Saturday are Iron Maiden, QOTSA, Motorhead and AiC. With that in mind, I will hopefully grab a good spot for all the bands and stick with main stage. Short of announcing Kiss (a rumour, not just a random band), to headline second stage prior to Iron Maiden starting, I can’t see me missing QOTSA.

The Gaslight Anthem – Gaslight are another band that I never listened to before their announcement. I frequent the Download Festival Forums where there is a lot of love for Gaslight. I can’t claim to share the love for them, but I do like what I’ve heard. I originally thought they were a tad dull but I am enjoying them with more and more listens. Definition of a grower right there! Anyway, I am looking forward to seeing them. I suspect they would win a clash with another band I want to see (subject to it not being an absolute favourite band, and I can’t see that happening). According to Andy Copping on Twitter, the top 3 for Sunday is Rammstein, 30STM and Gaslight.

Volbeat – I am so very happy with this announcement. They only did one European date in 2012 and that was Wacken (which I was at, and it was awesome). They are superb live and have fast become one of my favourite bands. I am still hoping for a full UK tour (with a Portsmouth date, seeing as the last one got cancelled!) but a Download appearance is something I am very happy with. I suspect they’ll have a new album out by then (they played a new song at Wacken which sounded good). They are on the second stage on Friday, which means the other bands that clash with them lose. Simple as that really!

So that is the announcement for Download 2013 and we now know a little more about how the festival is shaping up. Is it as good as last years? At the moment I would say no, but it is still early days and there will be more announcements to help make that decision. They are some great bands lined up for next year, along with some bands I will probably watch. And also 30 Seconds To Mars, which goes to show you can’t win them all. 

What do I want to see added for Download 2013 now? Well, I seem to recall some discussion with Ginger saying if The Wildhearts were offered the 2nd stage headline slot at Download, they would reform. I’d love to see that (against Slipknot would be my preference). I’d quite like to see Henry Rollins added for another spoken word set. He is always fun live. Looking at other festivals around the same time, I am expecting to see the following bands get announced:

Airbourne, Amon Amarth, Bad Religion, Bring Me The Horizon, Coal Chamber, Five Finger Death Punch, Korn, Simple Plan, Stone Sour, Within Temptation. I am also wondering if there is any truth to this rumour about Kiss headlining the second stage. They’re in Europe that weekend after all....