With weary heads and fuzzy memories of last night, Donington awoke to some unfamiliar sights as the second day of the monster rock festival kickstarted into action.
It’s a morning of curiosity at Download festival as Iceman Thesis take to the Pepsi Max stage (and the Red Bull stage) to open the second day of Download Festival. The tent is filled with confused onlookers as a manikin with a sack for a head stares into the crowd before five masked figures in black stroll onstage with middle fingers aloft. Anyone expecting a ‘secret band’ receives just that - a secret. They rush through their one bouncy metalcore track and leave quietly as the manikin is crowdsurfed out the tent. If rumours are to be believed we’ll never see them again. Ideas anyone? (6) (LM)
Another band no-one expected to see was Dying Fetus on the Download main stage. Thanks to the #whynotdyingfetus campaign (started by fan Barry Hames) that took over the internet, the death metal veterans conquered Donington in unimitable style. Sadly the drawback of brutalising beatdowns and blast beats on an outdoor stage is that it’s often lost in the wind, were Dying Fetus confined to the Pepsi Max tent you can’t help but feel the impact would have been greater than being twatted by a fat bulldozer. That being said, the unashamed heaviness and overwhelming technicality on display is not lost on the crowd who are more than happy to shake their hangover off in the midst of a dusty moshfest. Closers Pissing In The Mainstream and Praise The Lord (Opium Of The Masses) blow away any doubt that these guys aren’t one of the best names in death metal today and despite looking slightly out of place on the bill, their main stage slot is fully deserved. Why not next year too? (7) (LM)
Up next are a band who are rapidly becoming a staple of UK festivals - Chris Jericho’s Fozzy, who bring their balls-out heavy rock ‘n’ roll to the main stage with classic all-American bravado (despite Jericho himself being from Canada). This early on in the day it seems to do a pretty good job of getting people moving as they shake off their bangovers, and tunes like God Pounds His Nails are certainly big enough for the main stage. The charismatic Jericho is a natural born entertainer and can schmooze the crowd like no other, professing his love and gratitude for the festival and the UK crowd, who were the first to embrace them. It’s not quite the dangerous rock ‘n’ roll that it should be with the frontman’s nice-guy persona, and there are a few moments where the set lulls. But chants of “Fozzy! Fozzy!” (along with a couple of “Y2J! Y2J!”) from the audience shows that there will always be a place for Fozzy here. (6) (CM)