LIVE: Download Festival 2014 – Sunday

By Tom Aylott

Missed what we got up to on the Friday and Saturday?

Our Sunday morning at Download started in a rather over-filled hotel room (we may have chickened out of camping at Download this year, sorry punks). It proceeded into digging up the remnants of energy from our souls and getting ourselves to the festival in time for The Graveltones. The duo’s dirty rock and roll kicked off our day as we hoped it’d go on – with ears under assault and beers in our hands. The band can be a little samey to untrained ears, but we enjoyed it nonetheless. [TA]

We trundled over to the Zippo Encore stage next for a healthy dose of metalcore with We Came As Romans, and to be honest the best part was probably their cover of The Wanted from the punk goes pop compilation. Shameless as that may be, we just needed a bit of saccharine melody in our eyes by this point, and we felt much better for it. [JA]

Feed The Rhino are so loud it’s infectious and the turn out they inspired sure weren’t afraid of getting sick. Lead by Lee Tobin, the hardcore five piece make childsplay of performing to what is essentially a sold out show. This knack they have of riling you up from the off is something special and with this swift six song set at Download 2014, little doubt can be left in the minds of spectators that this band are on a trajectory for very great things over the next few years. [JA]

After a short break to get some interviews down (including a quick chat Against Me!, which was wonderful), we headed to the Pepsi Max stage for a bit of nostalgia. All we wanted was to lose our minds to ‘Butterfly’ and ‘Revolving Door’ with the other bodies who had sardined themselves alongside us in the Pepsi Max tent, but apparently it was a bit too much to ask early in the set. We just about made it through Crazy Town’s latest single ‘Lemonface’ before realising they’d probably do those at the end. The set was a little underwhelming in general, but it did bring back some teenage memories that were left unspoiled regardless. [JA]

Next up on the Pepsi Max stage was more metalcore in the form of Aussies Memphis May Fire. The sub bass almost proved a bit too much for us at the start while we got some photos, but we endured and enjoyed most of a charismatic set before starting preparations for what we hoped would be the set of the weekend. [TA]

To be honest, the return of Against Me! to UK soil seems a little strange in the surroundings of the Pepsi Max Stage at Download. It’s a scheduling thing for them, truly, but there is little doubt that the band are just happy to be back. Songs from ‘Transgender Dysphoria Blues’ sound monstrous live, and the classics are out in force across their short but sweet 30 minute set. ‘Black Me Out’ was absolutely amazing, and we can’t even begin to cover how much fun we were having singing along. They’re back, and better than ever, but we just couldn’t decided whether we were happy being left wanting more or not. [TA]

Very shortly after the end of Against Me!, we were standing at the Jaeger stage enjoying another acoustic punk half hour in the form of Oxygen Thief. Like most of the bands we’ve caught there, they seem a little out of place – but that’s probably down to our perception of Download rather than anything else. It was a nice warm-down from shouting singalongs at the top of our lungs, and Oxygen Thief remains one of the UK’s most interesting singer songwriters. [TA]

Heart In Hand Right after that, we hopped over to the Red Bull Studio stage for the first time on the Sunday for a blast of Heart In Hand. They remain an absolutely fantastic live band, and the band tore through a fine set to a decent Sunday night crowd. It was all over a little soon for our liking, but they really deserve to be shifting up the stages at Download next time out. Get this band in your life now… [TA]

It’s never certain which way The Used are going to swing – either they are totally on form and deliver a medley of insatiably catchy tracks, or they fall entirely flat with disappointing vocals and an often lacklustre performance. Fortunately for those cramming into the busy Pepsi Max tent, The Used are bringing their a-game today. Treating the crowd to a setlist with key moments of their back catalogue, including ‘Take It Away’, ‘I Caught Fire’ and the newer ‘Cry’. It’s set closer and rare live track ‘A Box Of Sharp Objects’ that truly blows the roof. [BT]

Dillinger Escape Plan are one of the most unpredictable live bands that we’ve ever seen. We decided this evening that we’d watch as much as possible before checking out tonight’s main stage headliners (we’re massive fans of the epic rock bands at heart – sorry punks), and weren’t disappointed at all. Greg Puciato commanded a solemn atmosphere in the Pepsi Max stage, and the band were on gripping form to close things down on the noisey blue tent from what we saw. [TA]

Following their altogether wetter yet equally triumphant appearance at Download Festival 2010, Aerosmith are once again showing the young upstarts who underpin the line-up just how it’s done. Steven Tyler is an immediate powerhouse of big stage performance, undoubtedly a result of years of commanding stages that dwarf even this, the festival’s monolithic main arena. Delivering a wealth of show-stopping megahits, and the occasional treat for the die-hard fan, it’s their slower numbers (see ‘Dream On’ in particular) that allow Tyler to demonstrate his unrivalled vocal ability. The lack of the rarely played ‘Crazy’ can be forgiven, as Aerosmith ultimately dominate this year’s festival from the start of their set to the final notes of ‘Mama Kin’. [BT]

Overall, Download 2014 was a fine success. We saw pretty much every genre of rock music over three days, and had a fantastic time trying to figure out what the hell was going on once it hit about 7 O Clock each night. For punk fans, there were big gaps in the lineup that may have left it feeling a bit weak, but we filled the gaps by taking chances on some bands, and always felt happy that we’d made the effort. Download is, year in year out, one of the UK’s finest festival experiences, and it was all over far too soon.