Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Download 2012 – bands, beer and sunshine... honestly!

Three days, 140 bands and copious amounts of beer consumed… yes, Download festival is over for another year. And despite losing my favourite pair of sunglasses down a portaloo (a vision that will haunt me for life) it was a hell of a weekend.

There is always one moment at any festival where you really know you have got your money’s worth and if I had to pick that one highlight that will stay with me forever it would be Refused playing New Noise – every bit as amazing as I had hoped and definitely worth the ten year wait.

Refused (minus that classic emo bowl cut)

There are also a few moments that disappoint you and for me that was probably Soundgarden. It’s not that they weren’t good, it’s just that it wasn't as special as I had wanted. Maybe this was simply due to the fact that we were miles away (having just trekked over from the second stage) but for some reason it just wasn't a highlight.

Still, there are plenty of other moments worthy of a mention, including Metallica playing the black album (although sadly in reverse order!), the superb sound of Slash and Myles Kennedy (seriously, Axl who?), the energy of Rise Against and Biffy Clyro, who effortlessly proved that extensive Radio 1 airplay hasn’t ruined them one bit.

As for the weather, I got one thing right; my Hunters definitely became my new best friends. Although by the end of three very muddy days they also became my worst enemies when they began to rub and somehow I managed to get mud inside one of them! (Don’t ask, I really don’t know how.)

Funnily enough, despite the ground being a sea of mud by the time we arrived on Friday, it was probably the driest Download Festival I’ve been to – by Sunday I was in shorts and cursing the fact I had a hoody and jacket with me!

Here are a few of my personal highlights in no particular order…

Four Year Strong
Biffy Clyro
Ugly Kid Joe
Billy Talent
Slash and Myles Kennedy

Other standout performances included:

    Rise Against
    Tenacious D
    Never Means Maybe
    Kyuss Lives!
    Rival Sons

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