So I just got back from Download Festival and can officially confirm that it was immense. There were some real career defining performances from some genuine legends of Rock and Metal across the three days. There was also a good deal of guff, a pinch of terrifying and a great deal of the downright bizarre. It’s my intention to write about the experience in more detail in the next few days but before that I wanted to talk about a subject that always excites me about going to any festival; new bands!
It’s always very easy to play it safe at a major festival. With minimal effort you can find a comfy spot in front of the main stages and just sit there like some Roman Emperor or Tudor King, exclaiming “impress me” as band after world famous band appear on stage in front of you to whizz through their greatest hits. But far more exciting is the opportunity afforded you by the numerous smaller stages and tents to discover something you have never heard, and which can be that new thing that you get to tell all your friends about and earn ‘cool’ points for.
Well that’s what I’m doing right now.
I’m very happy to say that I was impressed with pretty much every new band (i.e. new to me) I saw at the festival, but there were a couple that stood out as being very special indeed. The kind of bands that blow the stage apart and leave your jaw hanging long after they’ve left the stage.
The first at Download 2013 for me was Monster Truck.
This band literally opened the festival and did so in amazing fashion. Most definitely a head nodder, a foot tapper and would make one hell of a soundtrack to a coast to coast journey across America (despite coming from Canada). The sound is totally authentic and the band plays like they are having the time of their lives, which in turn means the crowd will always be partying right there with them.
Standout tracks not yet available on Soundcloud are Old Train and The Lion, both of which can be found either on Spotify or by purchasing the band’s debut full length effort Furiosity.
My other incredible discovery at this year’s festival were Red Fang.
From what I can gather having listened to Red Fang’s recordings since the festival, they very much added some extra ‘heavy’ to their Download set. That’s not to say they don’t still carry plenty of dirt and aggression on wax because they most certainly do. Combining elements of Mastodon and Queens of the Stoneage gives Red Fang a great sound that veers from jamming desert rock riffage to complex, intricate guitar lines that both compel and intrigue.
So give both of these bands a good old listen and come back here to let me know what you think in the comments below!