LIVE: Download Festival 2014 – Saturday

By Tom Aylott

After Friday turned into a blur, we were looking forward to the biggest night of every Download Festival – Saturday. With the added “bonus” of England’s opening World Cup game after the headliners, we knew it was going to be a long old day.

After missing the somewhat flat and weird PR stunt that was Iceman Thesis (still not really convinced on what that was all about), we got tucked into our interview schedule and then some of us headed out to the fields to see what was going on as the rain threatened to return in the afternoon.

With only enough time for a handful of tracks, South England based melodic metallers Bury Tomorrow quickly demonstrate their ability to push up the bill. Opening with ‘Man on Fire’ from their most recent ‘Runes’ LP, each track sounds more explosive than the last. Bury Tomorrow have been building their fan-base for some time, and it’s evident just how far they have come. It’s easy to see how they could emulate the success of fellow UK main-stage metallers Bring Me The Horizon and be drawing in even bigger crowds in the very near future. [BT]

Heading over to the Pepsi Max stage after a couple more interviews, we check out a band who are on their breakthrough year. We’ve gone on and on about these guys for a long time, and it’s finally got to the make-or-break for Marmozets. Today they’re masterful and confident where there used to be chaos and surprise. Today they show Download exactly why they’ve earned their place, with new songs sounding big from the noisiest tent at the festival. [TA]

Ducking Punches are up next on the Jager stage, and the not-really-that-stripped-back set sounded fantastic from Dan & his merry men (and lady). It’s hard to say they fit perfectly on the line up at Download today, but songs from the new album are sounding excellent, and everyone watching is having a great time. [TA]

We catch Bowling For Soup whilst strolling between the previous two bands we’ve mentioned above, and it’s pretty safe to say that they haven’t changed a bit. After “sort of” stopping international touring (festivals are fine), the band seem to be enjoying their short bursts rather than extensive times abroad, and today they’re playing to a crowd that’s been very kind to them over the years. Loads of fun, and a great afternoon band. [TA]

Lonely The Brave are somewhat of an anomaly on this weekend’s line-up, but that is certainly not a new thing for them. Having found themselves picked up by a whole range of press, their exposure is unlike any other upcoming band. Packing the tent on hype alone, it’s obviously not everybody’s cup of tea as punters begin to fall out of the sides, yet it’s still impossible to argue that they don’t offer something different – not least at Download. Their atmospheric sound captures the Pepsi Max tent even in the middle of the afternoon, and frontman David Jakes is beginning to look more and more comfortable on stage. It may not be your typical Download sound, and at times it does feel like a slightly odd addition, but Lonely The Brave are going from strength to strength in their live delivery. [BT]

Regulars on the Download Festival line-up, Killswitch Engage, fronted by returned original frontman Jesse Leach, tear up the stage with their trademark mix of heavy breakdowns and melodic interludes. Perhaps somewhat tame in their between-song banter when compared with previous years, the band sound as strong as ever with Leach at the helm. ‘My Last Serenade’ draws a predictably large cheer from the crowd during a set that takes in their biggest tracks. [BT]

Love them or loathe them, Bring Me The Horizon are an exceptional band to experience live, especially on such a huge and significant stage. A businessman who takes his trade extremely seriously, Oli Sykes has honed his skills to become one of the most captivating front men in modern metal and there isn’t a soul here who can help screech along to the likes of ‘Chelsea Smile’ and ‘Sleepwalking’. [JA]

If anyone was guaranteed to make us hoarse, Fall Out Boy were the guys for the job. Armed with their phenomenal back catalogue, Fall Out Boy pulled out all the stops with an inimitable hit parade kicking off the ‘The Phoenix’ from 2013 smash, ‘Save Rock n Roll’. Under the evening sun, Stump and co hold the dancing crowd in the palm of their collective hand, holding everyone close and making it their business to bring the party and keep us jubilant and moving. Seeing as they performed one of our favourite sets of the weekend, it’s safe to say they succeeded with buckets of signature FOB style. [JA]

Tonight’s headliners Linkin Park come straight out and do what they threatened and promised – ‘Hybrid Theory’. It’s one of the most important modern metal albums, and the band today prove that every single song is a hit. There’s jubilation throughout the set and everyone’s having a wonderful time. After that, though, and things go a little bit flat. After delivering that kind of album, muddling through some new stuff and some of the less exciting tracks from the albums that follow it just doesn’t quite fit, and today everyone gets a bit distracted for the most part. [TA]

Plenty more to come tomorrow mind…