5. There’s Something For Everyone
Horrible cliche, but looking through the line-up there really is a sense that the organisers have consciously built it to cater for most mainstream rock fans’ tastes. There might only be a far smaller representation of things like industrial, math rock or death metal, but for the most part they each translate better in arenas anyway, rather than open air concerts. And while accusations will continue to be thrown about that Chase & Status don’t belong on the bill, they will offer a good warm up for The Prodigy (who were accused of the same thing not so long ago), and will no doubt take heart from how well Pendulum’s appearances at Donington have gone down so far.
4. The Burritos
Forgive me – I’m a fat guy.
3. “The Final Countdown”
A couple of years ago, the presence of Journey on the schedule, just before every Glee fan able to squawk a few notes fell back in love with their easy blend of riffs and romance led to the singularly unifying moment of thousands of metallers united in a chorus of “Don’t Stop Believing”, and Europe’s inclusion in the 2012 fest should lead to something very similar. The very thought of a heaving mass audience joining the Scandinavians to bellow their most famous song at Donnington is almost worth the admission price alone.
Love him or hate him, Chris Cornell remains one of the most accomplished rock singers of his or any generation, and to see him reunited with grunge godfathers Soundgarden, and the consequent possibility of hearing “Black Hole Sun”, “Spoonman” and “Fell On Black Days” live will be an absolute unadulterated joy.
1. Metallica Playing The Black Album In Full
Along with Biffy Clyro, Metallica put on the best show at last year’s Sonisphere festival (which you can read reviewed here), and you can’t fault the production quality of a live show which has been long in gestation and bears every mark of professionalism. In terms of their usual set-list, the thrash metal icons are again difficult to criticise beyond trivialities, so it will be intriguing to see the change in dynamic that comes from playing a whole album. Something tells me it’s going to be just as impressive.
The only problem I can foresee at the minute is choosing between seeing the excellent Rise Against, and the iconic Black Sabbath in the Sunday night headline slot. In terms of personal preference, it has to be Rise Against – they are invariably among the bands I look for every time the year’s rockier festivals are announced, but the opportunity to see Black Sabbath live anywhere is still enough of a head-turner to make me think twice.
I will be heading to the festival myself next week to cover for WhatCulture, intent on seeing as many bands as possible: if you see me upside down in the tent fields in the middle of the day, please give me a kick – there’s work to be done. And equally, if you’re happier seeing the so-called smaller bands on the bill and want to share your own experiences of the festival and reviews of the bands, don’t be afraid to send them my way, and we will gladly host them on the site [email@example.com].
Are you heading to Download Festival? What are you looking forward to most?
This article was first posted on May 26, 2012