Here’s the good news first; the sun is out and the weather is looking far more agreeable. The bad news is that there aren’t many people around to appreciate this as Pop Evil  take to the stage.
And they don’t do much to make the stay-aways regret their decision either. This is pretty standard American radio rock that, whilst not utterly disagreeable, isn’t going to inspire any kind of mass devotion. Their, sort of, hit and most recognisable song, Deal With The Devil, does get a few heads bobbing, and frontman Leigh Kakaty does get a few whoops for calling the Download massive “The real, true rock and rollers!”. Other than that, this is just an inoffensive and casually enjoyable way to open proceedings on the main stage.
36 Crazyfists , on the other hand, fair far better. There is certainly a much healthier crowd for them, and a much more tangible feeling of goodwill emanating towards these veteran road dogs… and they don’t disappoint. They sound much tighter and focussed than they have during any point in the last half a decade or so, which is probably helped by this year’s excellent Time And Trauma album giving them a shot in the arm creatively.
Brock Lindow is one of the most relatable frontmen in this sphere of metal, and as he bounds around the stage, with his half lumberjack, half excitable labrador puppy persona, you’d have to be a stone-hearted bastard not to feel pleased to see them commanding a stage like this again. Even though they are clearly better suited to smaller clubs, an out of their element 36 Crazyfists pull off somewhat of a victory with the closing Slit Wrist Theory prompting a fairly sizeable a capella sing a long. Good work.