On Friday afternoon we finally got in to the Arena and had a look around before we started listening to a few bands. Mostly we wanted to see Papa Roach and HIM on Friday, everyone else was incidental.
The first band we heard, at least a little bit, was
Emperor Chung on the Pepsi Max stage
This band is a heavy rock five-piece from the Midlands.
I quite liked what I heard, although we didn’t stay long, because even outside the tent the bass made my chest hurt. They definitely lived up to their description ‘heavy rock’. They’re very heavy, but in a way I like.
Eventually we retreated to the main stage.
At the main stage we got ourselves comfortable on the grass under our ponchos, and settled down to listen.
And fell asleep.
And that is a mark of how unimpressed we were by the acts on the main stage on Friday.
About three in the afternoon we decided to join the queue for the HIM signing at the Kerrang! tent, and watched
Papa Roach on the Main Stage while we did.
Jacoby Shaddix gave a very good impression of an over-excited child, just to be at Download Festival. He kept calling everybody ‘Mother fuckers’ and bouncing around. The crowd didn’t seem to respond well to his attempts to get circle pits opening up. They played a mix of songs from their new album and some older songs that everyone recognised.
Later, after some wandering around, tea, collecting a further friend, we returned to the Arena to see
HIM on the Pepsi Max stage
I’ll be honest, HIM were one of the main reasons I decided to go to Download this year. They packed out the tent, despite the competition of Slip Knot on the Main Stage. But then I suppose if a band disappears for three years then their appearances will be popular. It was only their second show in the UK since they came back with ‘Tears on Tape’, (the first was at the London Barfly on 26th April 2013). They performed a mix of songs from the new album and their classics, including ‘Wings of a Butterfly’ and the ever-popular ‘Funeral of Hearts’.
As ever, from what I’ve seen – I’ve never seen HIM live – HIM’s stage show is not showy but enjoyable. They looked like they were having fun; Ville made jokes with the audience, Linde, Mige and Gas had fun with each other on the stage.
Ville’s acoustic guitar has been making an appearance at recent gigs and Friday night was no exception. It was pretty much constantly in hand, and when it wasn’t he was clutching his mike stand. Something has to replace his old crutches of cigarettes and booze, now that he can’t smoke on stage and has had to cut down on the drinking. He was even sober, as far as I could tell from a distance.
One thing I did notice was that Ville couldn’t quite hit some of the notes these days. It was still a great set, and I wish it had been long.
They are touring here at the end of October. I’m going to see them at Rock City in Nottingham, I can’t wait.
I had a good time on Friday, especially in the evening, I soaked up a few bands though I didn’t exactly take in names. It was an experience, being surrounded by all the different bands, hearing bands I’ve heard of but never listened to. I now know what bands I don’t like, as well as the ones I do.
Back tomorrow with a review of Saturday and Sunday’s bands.