Download Part 2.:-
The Review Begins
After queuing for a while we got in and raced to… the toilet, pristine toilets, what could be better?? After that anyway we strolled around the vast Download site finding where the main stage, second stage, Pepsi Max stage and the others where around the sites, we also decided where our food money was going to be spent on this weekend. Anyway after Vodka Redbull wake up shot it’s time for band one the main stage and the actual beginning of the Download Review. First band on are CKY. I’ve never been a fan to be honest, and I barley know the first line to ’96 Quiet Better Things’ but after their showing at Sonisphere the year before I was sorta looking forward to seeing them again. This time however they don’t manage to even mutter a smile on my face and just seem to turn up, play and leave. And of course the riff for ’96…’ got the heads banging but that’s 
Now we head over to the second stage for a band that we were quite excited about, Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows, also known as D.R.U.G.S have been pretty much everywhere commercially, Kerrang! Have put on endless features about them, they’ve even been mentioned in Metal Hammer a number of times. Even contemporary media sources such as Twitter and Facebook have been advertising them. Also this will be the debut of the band at a British Festival, adding to the buzz around them, Craig Owens is the frontman, so if you’re a fan of Choidoes then I’m sure you’d be excited. Unfortunately I’d only ever heard the name and left it at that. I liked their set at the festival, Craig Owens came out looking all the ‘rockstar’ he appeared to be. And his voice at times was spot-on. I don’t expect a flawless performance from anyone singing that style of music so the lack of screams didn’t disappoint me too much. 
Next up on the second stage were the Young Guns there a weird band for me. I listened to their album last year a few times and loved a number of songs and felt it was a strong album. But then forgot about it, until it came to picking my albums of the year were I remembered just how strong it was so I was looking forward to seeing them and they didn’t disappoint. A good strong performance from the band 
The next band that we saw was Anti-Flag who were making their Download debut, a personal favorite of mine and had then everyone who went to see them singing and jumping, evening throwing in a cover of the Clash at their own show went down well. 
We went on to watch The Damned Things! A band we had been looking forward to marked the third consecutive year that we’ve seen Scott Ian at a festival in three years. They start off slowly and eventually build to a rock stomping finally. The band aren’t on great form and are actually disappointing. 
Next up after a failed attempt to watch Asking Alexandria and one song from Hyro, stand in the crowd for probably the most anticipated sets of the Weekend. Bring Me The Horizon, yes them, finally with the ridiculous hate that is slowly dying down and people realizing that ‘Suicide Season’ is a fantastic album, they are finally getting the credit they deserve. Expectations are high for them, after seeing the at Sonisphere the year previous, and also seeing them support BFMV in Cardiff and pretty much destroying the place on both occasions and being total monsters at their own show. and today there is no difference. At this stage Bring Me! Are playing to their crowd and their skull crushingly heavy songs go down massively, the most repetitive chorus ever of ‘party till you pass out, drink till your dead…’ still goes down massively and everyone knows ‘Blessed with a Curse’ The Friday of Download 2011 belonged to Bring me the Horizon and if you try to take it away from them, I’m Sure ether the band or the people that were there would gladly rip your head off. 
Next up are the band that I’ve secretly been looking forward to all weekend, The return of The Darkness! I don’t care, I Lover ‘Permission to Land’ and I even think ‘One way ticket to Hell… And Back’ has its moments of greatness. So seeing them is something I never thought would happen and so getting as far forward as possible for them excites me as for 45 whole minutes I stomp my foot, bang my head and sing every lyric to every song.  I had a great time.
Bizarrely Def Leppard are playing again this year. I am happy. Granted they played two years previous and to be honest they have a greatest hits set that can’t really be messed around with too much and pretty much writes itself. There I guess, is the problem with their set. How do we give people who saw us two years ago something new whilst playing a greatest hits set to our diehard fans and the fans who have turned up to see the Def Leppard greatest hits set? Their resolve is to play new songs, greatest hits song and also some lesser known cult classics. I enjoyed the band but I feel that a little longer time should have been set before their return as headliners. 
Day two, Saturday: Again its too hot. So hot I woke up in my boxers and had to race outside to get some air. We have a new member now. Again, the brushing of the teeth is a highlight of the morning. We get to the site a little late and miss the Devil Wears Prada who seem good, however I noticed they still manage to thank ‘God’ for their appearance today. I am not a religious bigot, but I think there is a time and place to thank God and I don’t think it should be to rock fans. Not the stereotypical idea that metal fans are Satanists. But it just seems that that never goes down well and feels as though it isolates members of the audience.
We go to see TRC for the first time, obviously the captain is up for it, and it’s a really good performance from a ban, and captivating especially seeing that we only know one song.  we stroll over to see half of Escape the Fate, who despite negative feedback from most reviewers, I found them to be pretty good and enjoyed what I saw and heard. 
Next up, probably my band of the weekend, and if you’ve ever seen them you will completely understand why. Skindred. Nothing more needs to be said at all. In all honesty a fantastic showing from the most under-rated band on the planet who are finally getting the push they deserve. Benji is a fantastic front-man and has the crowd there bang in his hand. 
Now is the time of devastation. I’d like to thank Gill and Beeze at the former Metal Hammer Podcast for introducing me to Letlive. We just get in in time to see Ed McRae from Your Demise jump off the stage and another band member yell ‘Ed’ followed by Letlive. Fontman Jason Butler come through the crowd to get on stage, and then get almost get dragged off by a security member. That’s how the set opens with Carnage, and nothing changes, with an insane opener of ‘Renegade 86’ and an emotionally charged ‘Muther’ and ending with ridiculous rendition of ‘Casino Columbus’ it’s one of the sets if not the set of the weekend.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZYfOsTljeE
After that we are shattered and don’t see how any band could match what we’ve just seen, which is unfortunate for Your Demise, another band I was really looking forward to seeing, but despite standing back to catch my breath it’s still a strong set from the hardcore mob who are joined by Jason on stage and the Devil Wears Prada singer. 
The final band we see this weekend in the ‘Pepsi Max’ tent stage thing are a band that just breed devastation. Trash Talk too me are a dangerous band, and I love it, ‘Eyes and Nines’ was one of my favorite albums last year and when I watched them in Cardiff I thought I was gonna loose a few teeth. Her is No different, if not, more lethal, frontman Lee is pissed because the Download security won’t let him in the crowd, so instead he spends the entire set on the rail. The place is carnage, there is even a girl in the front row who is bleeding. The set ends with Lee getting people to run up and down the center of the tent. It was funny to watch the crowd part. Mental show. 
Before we move on I would just like to point say that on the way out of the tent we saw journalist Terry Beezer and and when my mate mentioned the word ‘Let…’ and broad smile followed by the words ‘Were fuckin insane’ and a thumbs up. Just letting you know how manic it was.
Next up for us were Avenged Sevenfold, I have a love hate relationship with Avenged, I loved Nightmare and consider it to be their best album, seeing as I only like a few selected sons from the self-titled album and ‘City of Evil’ and consider ‘Sounding of the Seventh Trumpet’ to be one of the worst albums I’ve ever heard. So I’m really looking forward to seeing them. And the set is full of the main songs I like from avenged’s catalogue. But there’s just something that’s stopping me from saying that this is a great performance. M. Shadows actually surprised me with how good he actually was as a singer but for me the vocals still seem detached from the actual music. That said I sang along to every word and found a new level of respect for the band. 
I can tell you that I was excited to see every band this weekend, and I was, but probably none as much as tonight’s head liners. System of a Down. A brief history, the first ‘Metal’ album that I got that wasn’t an Ozzy or Maiden album was ‘Hypnotize’ Until then I had only been listing to 80’s maiden, Black Sabbath, Ozzy and then Boom ‘Attack’ came on my stereo, it was so loud, so fast, so heavy that I instantly hated it. But gave it a few more listens to it and found that System were a band that scared me. ‘Holy Mountains’ made me fear for nuclear war whilst ‘Soldier Side’ was a harrowing song that upset me to listen to. and since then I’ve gone on to Love System of a Down, Toxicity is with me as well as many thousands of people one of m is with me as well as many thousands of people one of my favorite albums of all time. And when they broke up I was gutted and when I saw they were playing Download I decided right there and then I was going despite what other bands were playing.
And they were not a let-down, I know that things between the band are strained and sometimes looking up and seeing them half the time not even interacting as a normal band do sort of diminished the mood. But people just didn't care, this was the first time in 5 years people were going to hear these songs live (and what could be the last time). Serj is a great frontman switching between vocals with seemingly little problems and his little speech at the end of ‘Aerials’ brings a shudder to the spine. Shavo is having a hell of a time whilst Daron is being Daron, dressed in his finest suit and hat. And a excitable version of ‘Toxicity’ has people arm in arm singing along. 
The night ends and everyone is happy with the day, we decide that for us there aren’t many bands we want to see so choose to get drunk instead which leads to a stupid amount of pizza consumption. At this time its worth mentioning that me phone is a trooper, it is a year and 6 months old, held together with tape so the back doesn’t fall out and usually dies within 3 days, now it’s in its 4th day of use and is needed on the 6th day to wake us up to catch the bus home. Tomorrow the strain would be felt as my mum rang and rayer and his dad decided to have a nice little catch up on it as well.
Day 3, Sunday: We awake on Sunday to rain, and not just rain, a fuckin shedload of it, seriously if you told me it was a monsoon I would have totally believed you, so we get dressed hoping it would pass, and head to the arena, drinking tea to warm up and nachos with spicey sauce in a vain attempt to increase body heat, that fails miserably. Suicide Silence on the other hand don’t seem to have any trouble and at 11 in the morning make me feel as though the day may not be so rough after all 
We try and sit through Biohazard but were cold and decide to stand in the game room and wait for Malefice. Who despite the weathery conditions put on a good show and try to get the crowd moving. I’ll admit I'm not a Malefice fan so my first view of them is probably not the best especially seeing as they play most stuff off the new album. 
And now we give up, Ray decides to go home and we go back to the tent for heat which leads to us sitting around for a while. We are drenched, and it takes close to an hour just to change clothes, lose track of time and accidently miss Kvelertak which is gutting as we turn up to see the frontman bare chest trying to get in the crowd. We wait and watch Gwar who are funny but just bad, I don’t know what it is with me and comedy in music, I just don’t think it should go together unless it is specifically designed to be comedy music, if you understand what I'm saying, Gwar at times entertaining though. 
We then go see The Gaslight Anthem, a band my mate is a fan of but I can take or leave and at the time I don’t care if I see them or not. But after the show, I realize missing them would have been gutting, they are a rare gem in a day of mediocre bands playing to day. But that’s my opinion. Interation with the crowd is amongst the best I’d seen and the singer, you could tell, really wanted to be there, which instantly gained the respect of the stone-cold crowd. 
And in a 180, Disturbed, again I don’t care too much for the band, but on a day like today I was looking forward to them. The thing that spoiled them, besides the weather, were the band themselves. There was just nothing, the band members played their instruments and David Draiman, tried and I enfersise the word tried to sing his part. They are a massive let down and my most disappointing band of the weekend. Seeing that I left after a few songs it would be unfair for me to rate them, but I will say disappointing. So I went back to the tent and sat and dried off. And got warm with extra, extra layers of clothes.
I get back in the arena to watch the end of BFMV and then go to see Rob Zombie, the only real reason I’m still here on the Sunday. And by fuck the band are class. There are lights, insane stage set up’s, Zombie himself is a hell of a lot more energetic than I would have ever imagined. The set is probably the brightest thing I’ve ever seen and the back drop and sections of the movies are class. Zombie songs are simple, but t doesn’t matter, there huge with massive choruses that anyone can sing along to, a fantastic way to end the weekend. 
My top 5 of the weekend
5. System of a Down
2. Bring me the Horizon
1. Rob Zombie