The final night of Bloodstock 2018 is here, and there’s a distinct chill in the air, closing the main stage are symphonic metal heavyweights – Nightwish. From the moment they were announced last year, Nightwish have been a controversial pick for fans on the forums and social media, a band known as much for their ongoing drama as for their music. Indeed tonight’s showing will be the third lead vocalist BOA has seen with the band (Tarja Turunen; 2003, Anette Olzon; 2008) as Floor Jansen takes to the, ahem, floor.
A giant flip-clock on the stage video screen suddenly appears, and begins counting down from one minute, and as the timer hits zero the band burst on stage in a cloud of smoke, straight into ‘End of all Hope’. Jansen energetically jumps around in a leather jacket, but for some reason her mic seems to be criminally quiet for the first half of the song and gives the impression that she isn’t a strong vocalist.
Thankfully, as the backdrop changes to an icy waterfall reminiscent of those hilariously kitsch moving paintings you stare at whilst waiting for your Chinese food order, ‘Wish I had an Angel’ has Jansen’s mic issues fixed and we get our first real chance to compare and contrast. Let’s not pretend we aren’t all doing it, and of course Jansen isn’t hitting the notes of Tarja, but she brings a strong, raw quality to the song. It’s different that’s for sure.
In ‘Come Cover Me’, Tuomas appears to be well and truly locked in a love affair with his keyboards and there are a whole host of expertly choreographed pyrotechnics accompanying the entire show, makes a change from the seemingly random barrage of flames some other bands seem to employ. Jansen asks “…there’s so much energy here after 3 days and boozing I hope?…” and lets us know we’re in for a trip Floor headbands. Looks like she’s having a great time. Studded dress?
Wearing a studded dress that looks a bit like a portcullis, Floor is headbanging and wind-milling her hair for all she’s worth, and gives ‘Amaranth’ a decent effort, but if you’ve spent nearly a decade getting used to Annette Olzon’s high notes, it does feel a bit weird singing along.
‘Devil in the Deep Dark Ocean’ is beautiful, with Marco calling out “Dear citizens of UK… I bring you greetings from… Finland. You deserve something nice… a love song!”, but it’s the firm fan favourite ‘Nemo’ intro that garners the biggest crowd roar. With a white curtain of rain as the backdrop and visuals of the iconic Once album cover, it’s the epic pinnacle song we’ve all been waiting for – and their prowess as one of the slickest metal bands out there is clear.
Closing out with ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ and ‘Ghost Love Score’ to a huge explosion of blood red fireworks above the stage and a billowing CGI Decades banner on screen, Nightwish leave with a wave and a quick plug for their UK tour dates. Notable omissions from the set included ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ and the huge ‘Wishmaster’ – but I suppose the point of the Decades tour is to play a lot of stuff that normally doesn’t see the stage. I get it, but at a festival – I think it’s fair to say, we appreciate the hits more than the obscurity.
BLOODSTOCK are excited to make their first band announcement of 2018!
Tickets for 2018 are flying out the door, with less than 50 VIP tickets remaining. Do not delay if you’re planning on joining us in the Serpent’s Lair! Standard tickets, as well as the very popular Deposit Scheme and the last few camper van pitches are all currently available in the ticket store. So, about those band announcements…
JASTA & FRIENDS are set for a Ronnie James Dio main stage slot on Sunday! As a great friend of BLOODSTOCK, we’re thrilled to welcome Jamey Jasta, frontman of Hatebreed, Kingdom of Sorrow and Icepick, back to the festival with his solo band, JASTA. However, this is not just JASTA, this is JASTA & FRIENDS, so expect some special guests to jump on stage for various songs, just for the BOA faithful at BLOODSTOCK 2018! Guests will be revealed in due course, but we can tell you that the mighty Kirk Windstein (Crowbar, Down, Kingdom of Sorrow) will be one of them! Jamey says, “I’m beyond excited and honoured to have my first UK show with JASTA be at the mighty Bloodstock Festival! So many legends have graced the Bloodstock stages, we will channel their energy and give the fans a killer set with some special surprise guests!” Check out JASTA’s recent video for ‘The Same Flame’ here – https://youtu.be/P7PnbooaTOE.
VENOM INC also join Saturday’s main stage bill! With new album, ‘Avé’ released via Nuclear Blast last year, the seminal British metal icons will be bringing both classic tracks and new to BLOODSTOCK next August. Check out the lyric video for ‘Avé Satanas’, taken from that album here – https://youtu.be/Xt_yGt0ET0U and get ready to welcome The Demolition Man, Mantas and Abaddon to Catton Park!
Our Saturday night Sophie Lancaster stage headliner will be ORPHANED LAND! The ground-breaking band’s new album, ‘Unsung Prophets And Dead Messiahs’ is set for release later this month via Century Media and features guest appearances from Blind Guardian’s Hansi Kürsch, Tomas Lindberg from At The Gates and Steve Hackett. Check out the epic album teaser here – https://youtu.be/GNm20DFCO7Y.
Also joining the bill are the hotly tipped Danish prog metal outfit VOLA, who join the Sophie stage bill on Saturday. The band are hard at work on their new studio album, set for release through Mascot Records this year. Get a taster of their sound via the video for ‘Stray The Skies’ taken from 2016’s debut album, ‘InMazes’ – https://youtu.be/EipdyUZfrG0.
If you haven’t grabbed your ticket yet and are a bit stretched post-Christmas, BLOODSTOCK’s payment plan helps ease the ‘lump sum’ shock of paying for your ticket by breaking it into five smaller, more manageable amounts. Sign up in the ticket store any time before 28th Feb for an initial deposit of £36.00. Thereafter, four additional instalments of £29.00 will debit your bank account on 3rd April, 1st May, 1st June and 2nd July respectively. Find out full details and sign up over at https://bloodstock.seetickets.com.
If you already know you can only attend for one day, sign up for a day ticket reminder email as day tickets will not go on sale until next summer. Register your day ticket interest here – https://www.seetickets.com/register/bloodstock.
With Friday night headliners, JUDAS PRIEST, Saturday headliners, GOJIRA and Sunday’s bil toppers, NIGHTWISH already announced, as well as EMPEROR, DEVILDRIVER, WATAIN, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, WEDNESDAY 13, FOZZY, COMBICHRIST, BLOODBATH, MR BIG, KAMELOT, DORO, ORDEN OGAN, SEPTICFLESH and MEMORIAM so far, 2018 is shaping up to be another stellar year for BLOODSTOCK.
BLOODSTOCK is excited to announce four more spooktacular bands and add the 2018 Rock Society tickets to the ticket store.
We’re excited to announce that WATAIN will bring their black metal ritual to headline Sunday’s Sophie Lancaster stage in a UK festival exclusive. Frontman Erik Danielsson tells us, "Our last performance at BLOODSTOCK in 2012 was also the final date on the ‘Lawless Darkness’ tour. The sun was setting while we played and the crowd was getting louder and wilder the darker it became. A very charged atmosphere. Eager now to return and see what the eventful years that have passed and the force accumulated since then has done to both us and the BLOODSTOCK crowd. Furthermore, England is of course sacred ground when it comes to Metal in general, so when performing there, the stakes are always high. May all those that doubt be impaled upon them." Look out for the band’s long awaited sixth studio album arriving on 5th January 2018!
German power metallers, ORDEN OGAN also land a Ronnie James Dio main stage slot on Saturday. The band released ‘Gunmen’, their fifth studio album, this summer via AFM Records. Check out the video for ‘Gunman’ here and get a taster of what’s in store for their set in 2018 – https://youtu.be/JPm46Qgyn24.
Atlanta aggrotech outfit, COMBICHRIST also join the main stage bill for an early slot on Friday. The band have been working on new music after the release of their eighth studio album, ‘This Is Where Death Begins’ which landed in 2016. Check out the new track, ‘Broken:United’ at the following link – https://Combichrist.lnk.to/BrokenUnited.
Also landing an early main stage slot on Friday are British death/grind four-piece, MEMORIAM. Combining ex-members of Bolt Thrower and Benediction, MEMORIAM’s pedigree is high. The band of scene veterans are hard at work on the follow up to their debut, ‘For The Fallen’ released via Nuclear Blast earlier this year. Check out ‘Reduced To Zero’ taken from that opus here – https://youtu.be/Nmucoieg2Lc.
BLOODSTOCK’s Rock Society tickets become available in the store on Halloween morning, 31st October at 9.00am! The ‘Rock Society’ is effectively the festival’s ‘Members Club’, offering not only a 10% discount on your weekend ticket (on top of the early bird discount if you purchase the Rock Society membership + ticket bundle option), but all sorts of other cool benefits like priority signing tent access, a Rock Society laminate, access to the VIP Serpents Lair bar, a tour of the backstage & production areas to see ‘behind the scenes’, the chance to meet with the festival organisers, a dedicated hangout area in the Rock Society tent on site, a Rock Society Facebook community where you can make friends and get to know your fellow RockSoc members and plenty more besides. Full details can be found at http://www.bloodstock.uk.com/pages/rock-society. Memberships are priced at £75, limited to 300 and sell out almost immediately, so don’t delay if you want to pick one up.
Also now in the store are tickets for our new VANAHEIM campervan field. Due to increasing demand each year, we've made some site adjustments to allow for more pitches. As such, the new VANAHEIM site is located across the road, directly adjacent to Serpents Lair VIP parking, allowing an increase in size to accommodate 240 campervans, as opposed to just 130. Campervan pitches always sold through very rapidly, so this allows for more of our metal brethren to join the campervan club. Tickets for campervan pitches will remain at this year's price of £60.
With Friday night headliners, JUDAS PRIEST, Saturday night headliners, GOJIRA and Sunday headliners, NIGHTWISH already announced, along with EMPEROR, DEVILDRIVER and NAILS, 2018 is shaping up to be another stellar year for BLOODSTOCK.
As we creep through October, BLOODSTOCK is very excited to announce three more bands for 2018!
Joining Friday’s bill in the Ronnie James Dio main stage special guest slot are black metal legends, EMPEROR in a UK exclusive appearance. Frontman Ihsahn tells us that they’ll be performing a special set based around one of their classic albums. “We're finally bringing the 20th Anniversary show for ‘Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk’ to the UK! We’ll be performing the album in its entirety and look forward to celebrating with everyone at BLOODSTOCK!” Check out a stream of the atmospheric opus here and get excited for next August – https://youtu.be/Jmlhq5rtFXw
Also stepping into a main stage slot on Sunday are Californian circle pit kings, DEVILDRIVER. Frontman Dez Fafara tells us “DEVILDRIVER is playing BLOODSTOCK in 2018 and we couldn’t be more fucking ready to bring the heavy and get the whole festival moving! We are thankful for the opportunity and can’t wait to see everyone there! Get ready to get the fuck in the pit!” Check out the band doing what they do best in the video for the title track of their current studio album, ‘Trust No One’ – https://youtu.be/XuVibnWHoLA
Hotly-tipped, super brutal three-piece, NAILS land a Ronnie James Dio main stage slot on Sunday in a UK exclusive show. Frontman Todd Jones informs us, “I've been following BLOODSTOCK and looking at their advertisements online for the past few years, admiring how great a job the festival does having a great mix of underground bands and some of metal's biggest and finest. We're proud to finally say we're part of what BLOODSTOCK is doing to fight the good fight! We'll see all you motherfuckers at BLOODSTOCK!!!” Not familiar with NAILS? Melt your face with 91 seconds of hardcore intensity via the video for ‘You Will Never Be One Of Us’ – https://youtu.be/hGGGh03jN4w
With Friday night headliners, JUDAS PRIEST, Saturday night headliners, GOJIRA and Sunday headliners, NIGHTWISH already announced for next year's event, 2018 is shaping up to be another stellar year for BLOODSTOCK.
BLOODSTOCK is excited to announce their third and final headliner for 2018 will be JUDAS PRIEST! The metal icons are one of the most-requested bands by the festival’s loyal fan base and finally make their BLOODSTOCK debut at Catton Park in 2018 on Friday night, 10th August.
The legendary band tell us, “JUDAS PRIEST are thrilled, honoured and primed, ready to unleash Priest-style metal fury into the headbanging heart and home of heavy metal at BLOODSTOCK 2018!”
With Saturday night headliners, GOJIRA and Sunday headliners, NIGHTWISH already announced for next year's event, 2018 is shaping up to be another stellar year for BLOODSTOCK.
Before we focus more on 2018, we’re very proud to reveal that BLOODSTOCK raised £11,686.88 in 2017 for the very worthy TEENAGE CANCER TRUST, bringing the total to over £60,000 since our partnership began. A giant thanks to everyone who has contributed over the years for their generous donations!
Get tickets now for 2018! The first wave of Serpents Lair VIP tickets (priced at £290) and Deluxe VIP packages (Luxpads, Bellepads, Podpads, etc) are available now for those who want their VIP spot guaranteed. A smaller second wave and a limited amount of VIP upgrades will then become available on 16th December at 9am. Don't delay if you want to join us in the VIP Serpents Lair, as they’re moving faster than ever before!
Standard weekend tickets are currently available at ‘early bird’ prices (just £125 for four days of metal fun) so grab yours now at the ticket store if you want to save £20! In order to keep up with inflation and extra costs in 2018, standard weekend tickets with camping will increase from last year's £139 to £145 once the ‘early bird’ allocation is gone. The limited allocation of VIP upgrades (for those who've bought early bird tickets) will cost £145.
BLOODSTOCK will take place at Catton Park, Derbyshire on 9th-12th August 2018. Get further information over at www.bloodstock.uk.com.
You can’t deny it, something out there really has it in for Download Festival. It’s the same story every year – burnt for the first two days camping and then incessantly soaked for the rest, it’s like… metal is the music of the devil… or something…
Campers have been steadily pouring in since Wednesday, setting up epic tent-collectives with all manner of décor (bra-bunting is a particular favourite of mine) and it’s set to be a belter of a weekend, even though we’re probably all going home with trench foot and hypothermia. The Village, the hub of the camping area, is home to weird and wonderful acts such as The Wall of Death, The Inflatable Church, The Circus of Horrors, Zorbing and the fire-wielding Area 51. Oh and hilariously British pursuits like Bogan Bingo, a quiz and five-a-side football, if that’s more your speed. Head over there at night for after-hours bands, DJ’s and even catch a movie in the Cinema or laugh your arse off in The Side Splitter comedy tent.
It’s clear Download’s commitment to becoming a bit more of a well-rounded festival is working, the out of hours entertainment, things to do and see and the much improved food options mean a nicer festival experience for all, without taking the emphasis off the music at all. With the now extensive shopping and food outlets you’d better have cash on you this weekend, as despite last years’ ‘breakthrough’ technology claiming to take all the hassle out of on-site payments (which of course did not go to plan) Download have well and truly ditched the idea of RFID tags and have gone over to… er… all normal methods that you can do in the real world.
Friday sees a dry start and Alien Ant Farm are failing to get anyone interested in anything other than Smooth Criminal, and Babymetal (half an hour late) draw a massive crowd for their J-Pop inspired metal, which is frankly just about the oddest thing ever. They’ve stuck to their goth-loli look and eardrum piercingly high vocals for Gimme Chocolate but actually the new album tracks seem a bit more developed and musically interesting rather than gimmicky. We do wish Herman Lee could have popped up for Road of Resistance, but the two girls down the front who have made a massive effort to dress like the band seem to be loving it, alongside some very big bearded men who appear to know ALL the words.
On the Encore stage, Christian rock band Skillet are killinit (see what I did there?) but the Lemmy/Motorhead tribute video on the main stage is in all honestly a bit lame. We all know Lemmy partied hard, but is it really necessary for people to recount exactly what variety of drug he offered them? Only Brian May appears to talk about him in a painfully honest way, saying “I miss him very badly”. Apart from a stage naming and a tshirt on the merch stand, it’s weirdly unspoken for the most part… maybe it’s all a bit soon for most of the bands.
Grabbing possibly the most English food available for lunch (Duck fat roast potatoes with gravy, followed by apple crumble…) we hit up the absolutely packed Maverick stage for Geordie rockers The Wildhearts who have everyone jumping to I Wanna Go Where The People Go. Over on the main stage we’re treated to a dose of Jonathon Davis’ chicken dance (hold mic, flap arms) as Korn blast out the likes of Coming Undone and Freak On A Leash. The rain is absolutely hammering down now and it kinda fits the grungy nu-metal feel, the arena is full of swamp-people whipping their hair everywhere. Amidst the seriousness of purpose that Korn portray, it’s hard not to giggle at the Lebowski-esque rug that has been laid down to stop Davis stacking it in front of everyone.
Finally it’s on to the main event, and the bedraggled but excited masses have gathered for the ever sinister yet playful German powerhouse that is Rammstein. Running through scores of hits like Sonne, Du Hast, Ich Will and Feuer frei there’s nothing missing from this incredible set. The expected but always insane pyrotechnics just keep coming, with fire breathing face-cages, firework body suits and a giant pair of angel wings, there’s just nothing these guys won’t do for a show.
Entering the arena today it’s obvious some effort has been made in the way of soaking up the sludge, using a ton of hay and woodchips, there’s a much boggier/safer quality to the underfoot feel, but it probably won’t last.
Over in The Kennels area, a queue is already forming for new addition WWE NXT stage, live wrestling shows hosted by Triple H, whilst self-proclaimed Swedish circus freaks Avatar are bringing some life to the main stage. Wearing what I can only describe as resplendent outfits inspired by the Vatican Guard and yelling “Bang your heads English men!” they put on a rowdy first set of the day, and gain a few more followers with their tight riffs and synchronized hairwhipping.
Beartooth’s punky tones soar across the arena to a decent sized crowd for In Between and Black Peaks are totally smashing the Maverick stage. Turbowolf take the baton next yelling “For the next half an hour, this is our home” before tumbling headlong into the likes of Rabbit’s Foot and Solid Gold.
Danko Jones starts out with classic Play The Blues which actually gets kind of a cold reception from the crowd, but soon he’s telling us “…everybody at Download gets to call me… delicious” and saying “I am a whore for that sound you make with your hands” everything starts to get lively. A fan in the front row passes up a flag requesting Sex Change Shake but Danko goes on to play Cadillac instead citing “…it’s the same three chord structure anyway… so this is like, Shake Change Sex”. There is something ridiculously fun about Danko Jones, in an overwhelmingly cheesy way. They are so uncool they’re cool. They’re the Fonz of rock.
Lawmower Deth however, are exactly the kind of godawful rubbish we should (and do) love, this time with an added Brucey Bonus of being joined by… and I can’t believe I’m writing this… Kim Wilde for Kids in America. It could not be more bonkers and everyone LOVED it.
Rival Sons bluesy cali rock has the arena up and dancing with their beers, soaring vocals and a stellar set – we loved closer Keep On Swinging. On the Encore stage Juliette and the Licks hit hard with Hot Kiss and Credence Clearwater Revival cover Proud Mary, J-Lew is just as enigmatic on stage as on screen. Megadeth are joined on stage by Nikki Sixx for Anarchy in the UK before Nikki steps out with his own band Sixx: AM for a completely different sound. It’s a strong set and a hell of a lot of people have come out to watch. Despite the sea of hair and black tshirts this weekend, it’s clear the pop-punk kids have been hiding in plain sight as the hoarde heads towards the Maverick stage for rowdy Welsh band Neck Deep, but they aren’t even going to win Taffy of the day with Skindred tearing it up over on the Encore stage. Despite the now constant rain, Skindred have drawn a huge crowd for their completely-weird-but-totally-works reggae-metal and the whole crowd is getting down and dirty for Doom Riff and Pressure. With an unsolicited play of Bieber’s ‘Sorry’ mixed into Trouble, they’ve singlehandedly outlined exactly which people we should push in the mud later, but not to worry as there’s an epic and extremely wet swirling of tshirts for Warning. We love a bit of a Newport Helicopter we do.
The rain is now unashamedly heavy and regardless of the plastic ponchos, raincoats and really fucking annoying golf umbrellas, pretty much everyone is soaked through. The crowd is built right up the main stage hill and the anticipation is palpable. Fan or not, there’s no denying that seeing Black Sabbath on their last ever tour (no really, it will be the last this time… right?) is pretty special and important. Though it’s clear throughout the set that Ozzy’s voice isn’t the best (was it ever?) the songs are heavy and hit the nerve of nostalgia so hard. Snowblind, War Pigs, Iron Man and Paranoid are obvious highlights, but no less great because of it. With the downpour drastically thinning the crowd, the views are spectacular and it’s the kind of closing show you hope for – full of hits, none of the new stuff. They will be missed.
With the early morning news that GHOST have cancelled their set today and nightmarish state of the main arena (seriously, it’s the kind of goop bodies arise from in the Walking Dead) today’s bands have to compete with the drowned-rat temperament of all those who’ve camped. Luckily there’s crepes for breakfast, a champagne tent and… hold up, what? I’m down with crumble but there’s no place for Moët in Metal. Come on.
Looking about as country as you can get, Whiskey Myers ease us in gently with Early Morning Shakes on the Encore stage before Amon Amarth give us growly Viking battle tunes from their dragon longship style stage set-up and giant fire canons. It’s even more awesome than it sounds, honestly. Whiplash back to bluesy rock with an inexplicably American sound for Glasgow vocalist Phil Campbell and The Temperance Movement. It’s an unrelentingly great set with a few tracks from the new album but finishing up with Ain’t No Telling from their first, we’re glad to see them back at Download.
On the Maverick stage, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes are, well, doing what they do. There’s a huge mosh pit and lots of people seem to be enjoying themselves, but lots of other people seem to be screwing their noses up and walking away. So we head on over to the main stage for the eponymous Halestorm who have grabbed a massive crowd and are belting out Amen, I Am The Fire and I Miss The Misery. There’s no doubting Lzzy Hale’s vocal prowess but there’s something very Nickelback about them, massively produced and clean, it’s hard to put your finger on it.
Shinedown have that crowd-participation approach that we Brits love to hate, like panto – they want us to jump, so at first we do it sarcastically… then again to reinforce the joke… before you know it everyone is pogoing like a complete tosspot to a band they don’t even really like. Either we’re a very very susceptible nation, or Shinedown are actually doing a good job. I’ve no idea at this point. Delain on the Encore stage have drawn all the raven haired goth girls for a good old headbang but there’s a bit of power missing behind it all. On the Maverick stage Electric Wizard are heavy in a way that makes your stomach drop but it's Gojira who really make our skin crawl, in the best kind of way.
Disturbed are actually forcing joy out of otherwise non-fans today with the likes of Simon & Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence – a stalwart of their tour repertoire. In an epic hit-to-hit continuous play we get; U2’s I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For with Lzzy Hale, The Who’s Baba O’Riley with Blaze Bayley and RATM’s Killing In The Name with Benjamin Burnley of Breaking Benjamin. Where else are you gonna see that kind of mash up? Let’s be honest though, we’re all waiting for Down With The Sickness, and Disturbed give it to us with a cry of “I think it’s apparent the entire United Kingdom has been infected with sickness…”
Nightwish are plagued from the off with the heaviest downpour of the weekend but that’s never done anything to quiet this truly epic band before. Lords of the symphonic circuit, Nightwish have been the subject of more drama than any other band, public shamings and bootings aside – they seem to have bounced back each time. In Floor Jansen they’ve found a vocalist capable of traversing Tarja Turunen’s operatic realm and the rock sound they’ve been moving steadily towards over the last few albums, and she hits the stage dressed like a Valkyrie, which I guess, is the point really. With giant bursts of fire from stage canons, Nightwish (and the now extraordinarily drenched fans) power through some of the strongest numbers of the entire weekend. Nemo’s the one everyone has been waiting for, and though it will never quite be the same without Tarja, it packs a punch and remains a fan favourite. It seems Download loves Nightwish, no matter who’s fronting. Especially that dude vogue-ing the shit out of it at the back.
Headlining the Maverick stage Saxon get more than they bargained for – the tent is bursting at its seams with the soggy and groggy, warming themselves up for Maiden with the Yorkshire boys. 747 (Strangers in the Night) is melodic-shreddingly amazing, And The Bands Played On is the perfect description of what Saxon seem to intend to do… forever… and Wheels of Steel has every single person singing along. Biff’s voice and determination is as strong as ever.
As is typical of Sunday headliners at Download, there is very little crossover of other stages, and Iron Maiden also joining us a little later than intended means the arena is absolutely COVERED in bodies. Thankfully the rain has stopped just in time for the screens to switch over to Eddie TV and Bruce Dickinson to emerge from centre stage for If Eternity Should Fail. Through a Book Of Souls heavy set we are well and truly smacked with the fact that Bruce’s throat cancer surgery has done nothing to dull his vocals or his enthusiasm, he races the stage with the same wild abandon he has always had. In the wake of Black Sabbath’s ending, it’s sort of comforting to know that Maiden have no plans to quit any time soon. Hell, they just got a new plane.
Old favorites The Trooper, Hallowed Be Thy Name and Fear Of The Dark are every bit as heart-stoppingly brilliant as we’ve come to expect, the stage sets and animatronics just can’t be rivaled. With an epic encore of The Number Of The Beast, Blood Brothers and Wasted Years, Maiden came, saw, conquered. With a long speech regarding this weekend’s tragic events in Orlando, an incredible set and more energy than any one of us can muster after three days in a field – Bruce may as well have done an actual mic drop.
So what to make of Download 2016? As always controversy over headliners is rife for this sort of festival. With a genre so diverse, with arguably warring factions – there’s always going to be something you love, and something you hate. That’s kind of the point right? If you loved the whole lineup everything would clash. If you hated the whole lineup, you wouldn’t buy a ticket. This year, Download seemed to have secured bands from a whole heap of genres without one heavily dominating the others and let’s be honest – seeing Rammstein, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden on the same bill is really pretty incredible when you think about it. But who the hell is going to top this? Roll on DL2017’s announcements and the ensuing forum arguments we will inevitably be part of…