The Download line-up is shaping up and, as usual, it is setting itself up to be one hell of a weekend. While the headliners all felt a bit same old, same old the real joy is usually to be found on the lower stages, where you can see the bands that will hopefully be headlining in 10 years ripping it up in front of a handful of fans.
Before we get to those, though, let’s start on the main stage. Where to be honest, there isn’t much we haven’t seen before. Beartooth appears to be the only interesting choice. Despite that, if you can’t enjoy bands like Korn and Deftones then you are more miserable than me. While that Lemmy tribute has the potential to leave everyone with a tear in the eye.
The second stage is where things begin to get interesting. Alongside usual suspects like NOFX and Don fucking Broco, there are some genuinely exciting bands here. There are alt-rock heroes like Jane’s Addiction and hardcore royalty like Glassjaw. Once again, though, there is a lack of anything genuinely new. These are all bands who have been releasing music for a long time and unless you haven’t been trying, you’ve probably encountered them before.
You have to go to the third stage to find something new. Where alongside The Wildhearts and Pennywise you can find exciting new talents like Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes and Neck Deep. Two bands that couldn’t be further apart on the punk rock algorithm but are both in a position to have bright futures. While if you haven’t seen Heck live before, then you are seriously missing out.
If you really want new talent, though, the fourth stage is where it is at. Milk Teeth, Counting Days and Cane Hill are all bands currently being clocked as bands that you need to keep your eyes on. The fact they are sharing the stage with bands like Municipal Waste and Napalm Death is all the more exciting.
So yea, there is plenty to enjoy at Download and if you are happy to sit on the mainstage and watch the big bands do their thing then you will probably have a great time. But if you want to go and find something new and exciting then you need to tramp across that field and check out those little bands that are all set to be the future. It is worth giving a go because you might just find your new favourite band.