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Download 2017 – Friday

After negotiating the queues and thorough security checks and finally making it into the arena, I headed straight over to stage 2, just in time to catch Blackwater Conspiracy.   I reviewed their new album recently and was blown away by how good it was, so I had high expectations for their set. They kicked off their set with “Waiting on Hollywood”, and it was clear they’re just as good live as they are on album.  Their set was made up of songs from the new album (Shootin’ the breeze) including “Hanging Tree” and “’85 rock star”.  They drew a large crowd that grew steadily as more people entered the arena. A great way to kick off the weekend.

After Blackwater Conspiracy, next on stage 2 was The Raven Age.  This is their third year in a row at Download, having played stage 4 then stage 3, and now onto stage 2.  They too drew a large crowd and demonstrated why they’ve been moved up to the bigger stage – they’re damn good live.  Their set was based around songs from their latest album (Darkness will rise).  It’s another great set.

As The Raven Age were finishing their set, Sabaton were kicking off their set on the main stage.  Sabaton are always great live, whether it’s on a small stage or a huge one, and know how to put on a great show.  They’ve brought their famous drum riser – a giant tank which works well with the military themes to their songs.  The crowd watching them is huge, and with the way they seem to be growing in popularity, I’m sure they’ll be much higher up the bill next time they play Download.

American alternative rock band Red sun rising were next up.  While the music wasn’t really my taste, I have to say they did put in a great performance and seemed to go down well with the crowd.

Venom prison brought death metal to the Dogtooth stage with a blistering performance.  They drew a good sized crowd and got a great reception to their high energy set.  As with so many bands this weekend they deserved a longer set.

Krokodil were next.  Their guitarist Daniel P Carter presents the rock show on Radio 1 which can’t hurt in terms of getting attention for the band, but they’re here on merit and because of the crowd they draw, and there are certainly plenty of people in the tent this afternoon to justify their spot on the bill.  It’s a good solid set of quality metal.

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About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.
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