Archive for System of a Down

Download 2017: Friday

Posted in Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 16, 2017 by 80smetalman

Up early and eager to go on the first full day of metal mania at Download. Teal, my stepson and his friend Joe, were disappointed that the sport of bin jousting hasn’t caught on at Download and is exclusive to Bloodstock. However, Friday at Download is a dress up day and the theme was wrestling. Therefore, there were a lot of people dressed up as such. Some dressed up as other things like super heroes. I did like the Supergirl outfit I saw.

This gentleman was ready for the day’s festivities.

Inside the arena

I noticed that it has been a sub-concious tradition on my part at all festivals to go check out the first band on stage. On this day, it was Australian metal core band, Northlane. Now, it is the stereotype belief that all Australian bands are influenced by AC/DC. Obviously, somebody forgot to tell that to Northlane. If anything, they sounded more like Marilyn Manson than AC/DC. They came out on stage with the determination to leave their mark on the day and they did with their hard sound. They did slow things down in the middle of their set with songs “Rotten” and the newly released on video, “Solar” but they came back even harder after that. Even though they were only on stage thirty minutes, Northlane was a great way to start the weekend.

Northlane begins the festival

And they kept it going

Teal advised me to stick around for the second band and so with no plans to go anywhere else, I did. After their acoustic sounding intro, Motionless in White blasted onto the stage. While Northlane might have sounded like Marilyn, Motionless in White’s lead singer, Chris ‘Motionless’ Cerulli sort of looked like him. He did have a great stage presence. While being bashed about by their hardcore metal sound, they did introduce their new song, “Unnecessary Evil” and ended things with one of their best known songs, “Abigail.” When they finished, I was glad that I had listened to my stepson’s advice.

Chris ‘Motionless’ leading the charge.

And the band followed.

It had always been my intention to catch the next band out on the main stage, Sabaton. I saw these Swedish metalers at Bloodstock two years prior so I was looking forward to more of the same. This time, they wasted no time in getting the tank on stage as I watched it being set up before the band even got on stage. When they did, the tank did it’s job in producing a great display of firepower in support. The pyro in the first song, gave way to their classic, “Art of War.” As always, Sabaton put on a great stage show and they played great songs like “Sparta” and “Primo Victoria” to commemorate the 73 years plus three days anniversary of D-Day. The audience also found out that the tank was named Walter and so the crowd started chanting the tank’s name. All very amusing and I if they had played more than forty minutes, I would have said they were better than what they had been at Bloodstock. With the time cut, they were about the same.

Wheeling in Walter

Sabaton under a cloud of smoke

Sabaton leads to victory.

After watching three bands back to back, I thought I needed some lunch. So after a quick refuel, I headed over to the Zippo stage for the next band I wanted to see. When I got there, I managed to catch the last five to ten minutes of Machine Gun Kelly. Normally, rap metal isn’t my thing but these guys were pretty good. On the last song, the lead singer sang directly to a lady in the audience. What I saw of them was okay.

Machine Gun Kelly finishing up.

Once MGK left the stage, I managed to manoeuvre my way to the front in anticipation for a band I had been waiting over thirty years to see, Suicidal Tendencies. When they propelled themselves onto the stage, they were manic from start to finish. Lead singer Mike Muir was a complete psycho. He would rev himself up by doing this little dance and than dart madly across the stage. Opening with “You Can’t Bring Me Down,” they went straight into their own version of “God Save the Queen,” “I Shot the Devil.” For those familiar with that song, it actually begins with Mike bellowing out, “I shot Reagan!” These days, it might be cool if he changed Reagan to Trump. But the audience sang along to it anyway. We were also treated to “War Inside My Head” and “Subliminal” to name a few. During the set, Mike spoke to the crowd about doing things for yourself instead of blaming others and he jumped off stage and high fived people in the front. One of them was me. One surprise they unleashed was when they announced that Slayer’s Dave Lombardo was on the drums, that got lots of cheers. ┬áThe other thing I can say about ST is Dean Pleasants is very underrated as a lead guitarist, the man can lay down some jams! I would like to say that it was the perfect forty five minutes. Unfortunately for me, there was a major disappointment. The band played neither of my two favourite tracks, “Institutionalized” and “I Saw Your Mommy.” While they were absolutely brilliant, I can’t say they were perfect.

Welcome Suicidal Tendencies

Mike Muir and Co

Pleasants wailing away

On my way back to the campsite, I stopped again at the main stage because Five Finger Death Punch were playing. Their good aggressive metal enticed me to stay and have a listen. What I didn’t know was that they had been previously banned from Download, I don’t know the details. There was one part, where lead singer, Ivan Moody stated guitarist Jason Hook could play any song. Left to his devices, Hook began to play the Ozzy classic, “Crazy Train.” When told to stop, he began playing “Smoke on the Water.” After that, Moody told the crowd they were ‘bad company’ before going into a cover of the classic tune. I have to say, even their acoustic number was pretty good. I have since been told that Moody has left the tour and checked into rehab. Tommy Vext will take over the singing duties for the rest of the European tour.

Five Finger Death Punch

Back to the Zippo Stage, this time to get ready for the headliner. But before they came out, I did catch a good chunk of Good Charlotte. I only know the one hit, “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” which they closed with. However, I thought they’re overall performance was good.

Good Charlotte on stage

See, I must have liked them, I took a second picture

And a third

Friday’s headliner at the Zippo Stage was Sum 41, a band I have always liked but never admitted it to anyone over the age of 40. Although fifteen years ago, my eldest son thought his dad was cool because he liked them. Let’s just say right away that they were brilliant from start to finish. In the early minutes of the set, they got three people out of the audience to view the show from back stage. No, I wasn’t picked. They did play a good combination of material and a crazy mosh pit opened up near me. One lady went especially crazy but after the show, she said she had waited fifteen years to see this band, so one can’t really blame her. In the middle of the set, they played some covers. They began playing Maiden’s classic, “The Trooper” and were astounded when the crowd sang the lyrics back to them. They also played a little of Metallica’s “Master of Puppets.” Lead singer Deryck Whibley played the opening chords to the first two songs he learned to play on the guitar, “Smoke on the Water” and White Stripes’s “Seven Nation Army.” Sum 41 ended the covers portion with one of Queen’s famous “We Will Rock You,” played very similar to the way it’s done on the “Live Killers” album. At one point, the band left the stage to see a skeleton inflate behind the drums. When fully inflated, it was making the ’41’ hand gesture. Deryck also told about the time he spent in hospital and what got him through it was a picture of himself playing a gig in the UK. I thought that was touching. The brilliant night ended with their two best known songs, “In Too Deep” and of course, “Fat Lip.” That ended things very well.

Sum 41 under the lights

This young lady was really into them

A good shot of the band

They disappear under the lights

Only for the skeleton to emerge

Sum 41 finish in a flurry

After Sum 41, I did venture past the main stage to watch a little of System of a Down. I stayed long enough for hear “Chop Suey” but didn’t stay too long, not my thing. For me, Sum 41 was the best end to a thrilling first day.

Hopefully, Rock and Roll Children will have its own link again soon. It is still available on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Download 2016: Thursday

Posted in Concerts, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 13, 2017 by 80smetalman

The Campsite village

The most difficult thing for me not to do with these next four, possibly five posts is to make constant comparisons and contrasts between Download and Bloodstock. In the hopes of avoiding this, I will sum the two festivals using a quote from my stepson’s girlfriend, Gemma. She states that the two festivals are siblings. I can see that, some of the bands I would see at Download over the weekend I had seen previously at Bloodstock. However, Gemma reckons that Download is the calmer elder sibling while Bloodstock is the angry younger one. She certainly has a point.

We left Stroud just before one in the afternoon and our journey wasn’t too bad as far as traffic goes. The Disturbed and the tribute to Twisted Sister album provided the in flight entertainment. What we did realize shortly into our journey was that I had forgotten to pack a pan to cook all our wonderful gourmet meals in over the weekend. There were a few other things as well. So, we had to make an unplanned stop a few exits before the one we needed. That added forty-five minutes to our journey. Still, we managed to get Donington Park by quarter to four.

Learning our lesson from Bloodstock, we packed our gear into to small carts and followed the procession to the main gate. Once we got there, we had to wait in a large queue as all bags were searched. I was expecting this after the recent attacks here in the UK. With security not able to find drugs or explosives on us, we began the long walk to the campsite village. This seemed to be a trek and there was a second gate where some of our stuff was searched again and we exchanged our tickets for the weekend wristbands. After more walking, we finally got to the campsite village where we met our friend Joe. Only instead of heading into the campsite, after some queries with the stewards, ended up taking us back the other way to the caravan site. It turned out that Joe had some friends who let us pitch our tents by their camper van. That would prove to be a distinct advantage over the weekend.

Once all the campsite necessities were completed, including drinking a couple of cans, which I sorely needed to do, we headed back to the campsite village. Lots to do and see and there was a band playing at one of the tents when we arrived, though they finished shortly after. So, we headed for the Comedy Tent to catch the last three comedians of the night.

The first comedian was an American lady called Abdiliah, I didn’t catch her last name. She was quite funny and like so many American comedians in the UK, make funny comparisons between the two countries. As normal, this put a tiny number of people off who left but for the most part, she was very funny.

Next up was a British man named Andrew O’Neil. What I remembered most about him was his ripping on Saturday’s main stage headliner, Biffy Clyro and his impression of System of a Down, which he got the audience to assist him with. One side of the tent did the bass bit while the other side impersonated the lead guitar. Obviously, I can’t show it here but it was pretty hilarious. All his material was very funny.

The final comedian of the night was a Canadian by the name of Greg Campbell. He talked about his trip to Russia and how the Russians, unlike Americans or Brits, don’t have a word for getting people to hurry up. Americans use ‘pronto’ and Brits use ‘stat.’ He did an impression of a Russian who stated that when they want something done, they expect it to be straight away and don’t need buzz words. I know it doesn’t sound funny here but the way Greg Campbell told it, had me rolling on the floor.

When the comedians finished, I ventured back to the tent the band had been playing. The band had left but there were two young ladies on stage dancing with flaming batons. Unfortunately, with all the lights, I couldn’t get a decent photo. However, most of the action in the late night was in the cinema tent. No films being shown but many people were gathered around the screen as the news of the General Election began to come in. Let’s just say that if the election had been decided by metalheads, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party would have been elected by a landslide. I didn’t stay to long into the night knowing that I needed my beauty sleep for the day’s metal which lay ahead.