Download Festival Friday Review

By Tom Aylott

We kick off our full Download Festival 2013 review today with Friday’s Tom assisted shenanigans, with Jess Acreman and Lais MW fully at the wheels for a long day of rock.

Up early to beat the M1’s notorious pre-Download traffic, we hit the tarmac for the most rocking of all the UK road trips, headed to Castle Donington with excited chatter dissecting everything from Ronnie Radke to Miley Cyrus. By the time we get ourselves through the front doors via the hotel (not punk) and a small palava to get to gate B, nothing could really dampen our spirits (even the damp). Soon enough we edged our way inside, dodging the raindrops in time to catch the tail end of Rise To Remain, who were on top form. [JA]

Next, Asking Alexandria had some opinions to change, and I can’t deny they managed to be utterly brilliant live this afternoon. They have the energy, some rowdy bangers and stacks of charisma today, and they could well be headlining this stage one day if they play their cards right. [LMW]

Next up, we tussle over to the Jagermeister stage where Rob Lynch treats us to what may be a slower paced set, but it’s full of people cracking shapes and our esteemed editor even goes about topping a human pyramid. A true sight to behold that has left me feeling good about feeling bloody good. [JA]

Over on the main stage around now is Papa Roach, who are up there with the highlights of the weekend for us. This is largely down to the fact that Jacoby Shaddix is an insanely good frontman, but the rest of the band are fantastic as well. Today they crack out all the hits like they know they had to – ‘To Be Loved’, ‘Getting Away With Murder’ and then ‘Last Resort’, delivering the good in particular. The crowd lose their minds to the latter, and it’s an unbelievable moment. [LMW]

Spreading our time between dodging raindrops and catching all the rock we can get our mitts on, a triple threat of Korn, Blood Command and We Are The Ocean meets our requirements. Korn bring back the best of 00’s nostalgia and some very questionable fashion choices, but it’s fine performance from the nu metal legends, who do and should feel right at home in the Donington mud. [JA]

Despite vocals being the overly nasal side of pleasant, Blood Command dictate the Red Bull stage effortlessly today. Their brand of punkcore/deathpop madness is catchy and brilliant, and is hard not to love. Front woman Silje Tombre is every inch the leading lady: talented, dressed to perfection and oozing gothic Norwegian charm. Give it a few months and she will have the fashion pack beating down her door. On her terms, naturally. [JA]

Back to the Jagermeister stage we catch up with indie rock Londoners, We Are The Ocean, commanding a swlled large crowd with hits like ‘Runaway’ bringing huge singalongs which pump up the volume around the smaller, neon stage. They’re between dates with Muse right now so this semi acoustic jaunt must feel like a tiny slot compared to their second stage position last year and the shows either side of this, but it’s great fun nonetheless. [JA]

Topping off our night with Slipknot – oh please, as if anyone else competes! – is perfect. Enormous production and even bigger sound, the forever ninesome show no signs of ever slowing down and bring every decibel to mosh our socks off. Not too near the front, we particularly lose ourselves during Wait And Bleed, Psychosocial, disrupting our semi-static neighbours with a mosh pit of bodies who probably should know better. But just give zero shits. it’s no patch on their emotional Sonisphere 2011 closedown but this is so, so fun. [JA]

When it all comes to a halt, there is nothing left for us to do except party some more with Last Resort DJs slamming us into the early hours, and how we’re planning on sustaining this for another two days is anyone’s guess. A successful day one of Download 2013, and one to remember.