Ask Anton OyVey



opeth download festivalHello, my Metalsucks children.  I write you on this day of rest from a flat in London as I recover from 3 days in Donington where I witnessed this year’s Download Festival.  I know a lot of you probably saw the live streaming on the festival site, so I won’t waste your valuable internet surfing time with bad Youtube clips (well, just a couple).

Antony OyVeyWhy is Anton OyVey in the United Kingdom you ask?  Three words: FAITH NO MORE and three more words: AMERICAN EXPRESS POINTS.  Years ago, I had the chance to go to the holy land of Israel for free and turned it down.  But when my musical deity, Mike Patton, got back together with (most) of Faith No More, I couldn’t miss it.  Unfortunately after I had booked my flight they announced a pre-Download play at Brixton Academy, which everyone here tells me was one of the greatest concert experiences of their life. But I did get to see their first festival show in over a decade along with some other amazing (and not-so-amazing) bands.

So, on to my latest metal gospel.  If you don’t know about Download, it is the biggest UK rock and metal festival that started in 2003 and takes place at the same legendary location as the “Monsters Of Rock” Festival (back before most of you ended up being the lord’s little mistakes).  This year’s attendance was said to be over 75,000 people and had a very diverse lineup of metal, rock, classic rock and even some electronic. Three days, four stages and 120 bands, so I obviously was not able to see them all.  Here are two sentence reviews of each band I had the chance to witness (or that people were buzzing about):

FRIDAY (arrived and energized)
Hollywood Undead – They went on at 1pm and my train got in at 1:30pm.  Thank god. (0 out of 10 – but a 10 out of 10 for me missing it)

Staind – Played a heavier set than expected with the usual two ballads.  Pretty good even with Aaron looking constipated when singing. (7 out of 10)

Billy Talent – Whiny Canadians.  Reminds me of a certain band manager I know. (4 out of 10)

Lauren Harris – Daughter of Steve Harris from Iron Maiden.  She’s hot, but music is not really (5 out of 10)

Killswitch Engage – Killed it as expected.  Will give Roadrunner the free plug by saying I can’t wait for new album June 30th. (8 out of 10)

Limp Bizkit – Brits really, really like this band, really.  You will all hate me for saying that they actually put on a decent show, sorry.  (7 out of 10)

Opeth – Another great set from these Swedish gods, even being outdoors.  Mikael made fun of Motley Crue fans the whole time. (8 out of 10)

faith no more reunion shirtFaith No More – I waited 12 years for this reunion.  Worth even penny/pence spent on this trip. (9 out of 10)

*Bands I would have liked to see: Meshuggah, Backyard Babies, Lacuna Coil, Voivod

SATURDAY (overslept and socialized)
Five Finger Death Punch – Just like Hollywood Undead, I missed them.  God likes me again today. (10 out of 10 for me)

Down – Even at 3pm in the afternoon, they killed it.  Makes me wish I smoked the lord’s favorite plant. (8 out of 10)

Devildriver – Two circle pits going at once.  I missed it, but was told the show was amazing. (8 out of 10)

Dragonforce – They still play lots of guitar solos.  Really, they play lots of guitar solos. (5 out of 10)

Pendulum – Really f’ing good Drum ‘n Bass metal.  America is missing out. (8.5 out of 10)

Marilyn Manson – Kind of boring, unlike the past times I saw him destroy. So boring that I went and got Yorkshire Pudding during his set. (5 out of 10)

The Prodigy – Fans in Amon Amarth shirts dancing like it was a rave.  12 years since I saw them and they haven’t missed a beat. (9 out of 10)

Slipknot – Ridiculous production that I only caught 30 minutes of because of watching The Prodigy.  Definitely Top 10 live bands in existence today. (8.5 out of 10)

*Bands I would have liked to see: Devildriver, The Answer, Architects, Anvil, Lawnmower Deth, In Case Of Fire

SUNDAY (hungover and pulverized)
Skin – Disappointed to learn it wasn’t singer from Skunk Anansie.  Middle-of-the-road 80’s/90’s hard rock. (5 out of 10)

Black Stone Cherry – Did you know a member is related to the Kentucky Headhunters?  Good Southern hard rock. (7 out of 10)

Journey – I won’t stop believing that their 6th (yes, 6th) singer kicks ass.  Again, more guys in Amon Amarth shirts going nuts for a non-metal band. (8.5 out of 10)

Dream Theather – Played my two favorite songs off Images And Words.  Rest of set was just ok, but I did eat the can’t-be-Kosher concoction of potato wedges covered in baked beans, cheese and mayo. (7 out of 10)

ZZ Top – Three old guys rocked harder than most bands the entire weekend.  Their beard is longer than mine. (8 out of 10)

Steel Panther – 5000 people were watching a fake hair metal band.  They sounded better than most real hair metal bands. (7.5 out of 10)

Whitesnake – David Coverdale looks like he’s had more work done than a 50 year-old Long Island Jewish woman.  Saw 30 minutes of set and liked it, even the new stuff. (7 out of 10)

*Bands I would have liked to see: Therapy?, The 69 Eyes, Tesla, Trivium, Clutch, Volbeat, Karma To Burn, Sevendust, God Forbid, Attack Attack UK (not the shitty US band)

Today it is off to the Metal Hammer “Golden God” Awards where I get to ride a boat down the River Thames with performances by Anthrax, Clutch, Malefice and Trigger The Bloodshed.  Then it is off to the O2 Arena for the awards with performances by Trivium, Anvil, Amon Amarth, DevilDriver and Saxon!

download festival 2009 crowd

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