The UK’s biggest rock’n’roll party is just a matter of weeks away. Download Festival 2015 sees the thirteenth consecutive instalment of the festival, and looking at the line-up, it won’t be unlucky thirteen. We’ve already plucked a few names from the line-up for our ‘Ones to watch’ list but with the weather brightening up and the gates at Donington Park getting so close to opening again… it got us all nostalgic.
We’ve picked out a few musical moments from the past that make us all fuzzy inside when we think of Download. Half of the best moments at festivals are about just spending time with your mates though. All you need is you and a couple of mates, a ring of fold-up chairs (in various states of disrepair) and some cans of warm Strongbow and you’ve got yourself a pretty great time.
So here’s just a few of our band highlights from Download’s gone by. We’re sure there’ll be plenty more to add to the list after this June…
5. Faith No More ‘Reunited’
Hiatuses, splits and reunions come by on a weekly basis in the rock world. Download has seen its fair share with awesome shows from the likes of RATM, SOAD and even the Backyard Babies will be making their comeback this year at the festival. Faith No More was a little bit more special though. It was one of those reunions that was never guaranteed and as with every trip down memory lane, it wasn’t always guaranteed to work.
Download stuck them straight in the Friday Headliner slot at Download 2009 however and the band took care of the rest. From the opening rendition of ‘Reunited’ through all the hits and obscurities it was one hell of a show. Over half a decade on we’re now looking forward to seeing them again with some new material too!
We recently caught up with Ginger Wildheart and he said that this was his favourite Download moment. It’s definitely one of ours too. Sunday afternoon, blazing sunshine and The Wildhearts were making their long-awaited return to Donington…
When they played they were fantastic but most of the set was made up of Ginger talking and the crowd throwing anything and everything towards the stage. In a rare display of punk attitude at a big festival Ginger told everyone to throw sh*t at the stage which made for an interesting show as the band dodged everything from eggs (expertly caught by Ginger) to toilet seats.
At one point Ginger looked up and saw an aeroplane come in to land and thought it was coming for the stage; such was the chaos.
Anyway, a combination of that and Ginger’s rambling crowd interaction led to the security guard at the side of the stage having a mental breakdown and cutting the set just a few notes into ‘29x The Pain’
One of the greatest metal albums ever recorded played live and in full across Donington Park. If that doesn’t wet your whistle then you’re probably reading about the wrong festival.
It started out as just a normal Metallica gig but after a couple of songs, the video screens switched to ‘Master Of Puppets’ mode and we were treated to the full thing. In true Metallica style, they went on for another hour after the album show too. The best of the many legendary Metallica shows at Donington, in our opinion.
2. AC/DC ‘Long overdue return to Donington’
There’s a buzz about AC/DC that is pretty unique. Everyone loves AC/DC, right?
After their storming show at Monster Of Rock 1991 which has been preserved on DVD for us to relive every Friday night; just about every year they’ve been on the wish-list for everyone. In 2010 it finally happened.
They had to have their own stage, all the other stages were shut down, they wouldn’t even appear on the official merch but it was the most special of shows. CB managed to scramble down close to the front for the show but looking back at the crowd in attendance was mesmerizing. There were people for as far as you could see. Monstrous!
1. Down ‘Secret opening slot’
Okay so it wasn’t 100% a secret. As we queued up at about 10 o’clock in the morning to get into the arena, most people were there early to see… Down. Fresh off the back of a reunion tour it would have been rude for them not to call in at Download on their travels. At this point Down hadn’t toured together for yonks, but this year would kick start their career well-and-truly back into full swing.
It was early, Phil looked as though he didn’t know what the hell was going in… “I woke up this morning, took a shit, smoked a spliff and came out here..” We’re paraphrasing, it was a long time ago, but it was a truly memorable gig.
It’s amazing to open up a festival day with a massive band like Down.
Get your Download tickets here: http://downloadfestival.co.uk/tickets