With summer right around the corner, it’s time to get psyched for festival season. In the UK, there is no event bigger or more venerable than Download. As the feisty offspring of the legendary Monsters of Rock concerts at Castle Donnington in Donnington Park that lived in the imagination of rock and metal fans the world over for two decades, Download is as value packed as ever with bands. This years lineup shows a willingness not to be intimidated or outshine by the competition of other big festivals, the UK or elsewhere in Europe.
Held over three days, 13-15 of June at Donnington Park on five stages daily, the 2014 lineup is a bold one that promises something for everyone to enjoy. Bands of note for Friday include the much talked about headliners Avenged Sevenfold, Opeth, Anathema, Rob Zombie, Within Temptation, Black Label Society, Quicksand, Skindred, Miss May I, Huntress, Bloody Hammers as well as Bad Religion and Offspring.
Saturday blends the catchy, more mainstream fair with the best of modern underground metal. Linkin Park is playing all of their Hybrid Theory album and for fans of a certain age, that will sure bring back a few things. Among the main bands that our readers would most be interested in Killswitch Engage, Fozzy and Dying Fetus play along with Bring Me the Horizon and others. I kind of feel bad for everyone that has to follow Dying Fetus actually, so #WhyNotDyingFetus indeed. The other big band of import this day is Behemoth, who is coming of a sizzling run of shows in the UK and the USA recently. Other big bands include the reactivated American Headcharge, The Black Dahlia Murder, Orange Goblin, Monster Magnet, Battlecross, Anathema doing a special second unplugged set, Skid Row, Chevelle, and Sikth. Also for the more rock motivated Twister Sister, Status Quo and Ginger Wildhearts solo sets are are worth seeing.
On the final day Download has brought out the big guns, quite literally in Aerosmith. While their recent music is nothing to write home about, they always step up big live and play all of their hits brilliantly. Other worthy bands on Sunday include Alter Bridge, The Dillinger Escape Plan and their insane stage antics, Trivium, Volbeat, Philip Anselmo and the Illegals, Sabaton, Sepultura, Suicide Silence, Red Dragon Cartel, Avatar, Thy Art Is Murder, Kill Devil Hill, Monuments, Polar and Nick Oliveri (Kyuss, QOTSA, Dwarves) solo acoustic.