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  • Download Festival 2010

    Giu 18 2010, 13:38

    Fri 11 Jun – Download Festival 2010


    Eugh, I haven't done a review for a gig in so long. Probably not the best idea to try and pick up the pieces with download festival, but I will anyway


    Unfortunately for myself, the dates of download this year and my exam timetable were pretty interwoven. I bought myself a 5 day camping ticket (thanks for charging me an extra £10 download, just great) and later found I had exams wednesday afternoon, friday morning, and the monday morning directly after.

    "No matter though" I thought. I'll get my mates to set up my tent, chill on wednesday evening and thursday morning, go home thursday evening, get a good nights sleep, ace my friday exam and be back in time for bands.

    Roll on wednesday. My exam didn't end till 4 and I'm not up at donington till 5. My tent is vaguely set up, but the outer has been ripped, and the whole thing is badly set up. I brought up the spare outer and sorted it all out. Good job. Down to the serious business of drinking and meeting our camping buddies. As ever, our welsh friends have shown up, and a group of new people are here too. Being the friendly sods we are, they are all welcomed under Gail (our Gazebo) TIme to check out the village. Looks kind of meh as usual.

    Back to the tents and time to sleep. I wake up at 4 and find the inner of my tent open. Suspicious. A cursory glance outside reveals my wallet open and penniless. The first time I have ever not kept my wallet in my pocket overnight, and I lose £50. Just great. It turns out they hit every tent in our area, and I was unfortunate enough to not wake up when they came into mine. Shitsux. I borrow a £10 off my sister for lunch, and go home that evening as planned.

    Roll on Friday, roll on music. I come back to download having (hopefully) done well on my exam, with another £50 in my wallet, and settle down again in our campsite for a few early morning drinks. Down to the arena with a can in each pocket (they never check right?) and the walk is bearable. Clip the apex on the corners for the sake of it. As I'm walking through the barriers into the arena I clang. Badly. So typically the security searches my pockets and takes my cans. I down them quickly, but I've lost my mates. Down to the front anyway, to watch my first band of the weekend

    36 Crazyfists
    A solid performance with a couple of new tracks thrown in there. The sound was bad at the side, but when I'm in the middle it's fine. They are never as good at a festival as their own shows though... [6]

    Apply suncream. It's sunnier than I thought it would be.

    I watch a little
    Killswitch Engage
    but only a couple of songs, before I head off to the second stage to watch (well listen to actually, I was lying down for the whole performance)
    Coheed & Cambria
    With a setlist boasting In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3 and Three Evils (Embodied in love and Shadow), it wasn't a setlist for the faint of heart. Great playing from the all though. [7]

    After a bit of ringing, I finally find one of my friends, and we watch the start of Bullet for My Valentine
    but I haven't really listened to them since The Poison, and we quickly head off to watch some of
    Them Crooked Vultures
    They seemed to get a lot of hate for some reason, but I thought it was great, and I was losing track of time during them, getting caught up in the playing [6]

    But I manage to drag myself away, to head down to the 4th stage for the first (and actually only) time in the weekend, and watch
    Devil Sold His Soul
    Last.fm recommened me these guys, with the promise of being similar to Rinoa. They were somewhat right. Less melodic, more heavy, but still great. Favourite band of the day
    [9]

    Back to the mainstage, and it turns out I missed the memorial slideshow (which was apparently not great) but I find a place to stand and patiently wait for

    AC/DC
    Who are AC/DC right? Great songs, a decent level of energy, and their own stage. It's fun, but it's not 10/10 worthy. I leave early (because I always do) and there is a guitar solo that lasts my entire walk back to the campsite. [8]
    I think I'm going to be the first of my friends back, but some of them have been there for half an hour. No matter, time to get down the the deadly serious business of heavy drinking. Only not, because it's fucking freezing, and everyone is in their sleeping backs already. Damn. Off to sleep then, and this time I don't get robbed overnight. We also have some new friends camping with us, but I we don't socialize heavily over that night.

    Enter Saturday.
    My friends are so lazy. Apparently they watched RATM on this day, and that was literally it. I have a good enough time anyway. First band of the day for me

    Rolo Tomassi
    Another Last.fm recommendation and also a great one. They have a habit ( like all bands of their type) to lose focus in the songs, and incorporate LOLSORANDUM type moments, but thankfully they come out of it a lot better than iwrestledabearonce. I was really impressed with them. A song is dedicated to hayfever sufferers. I don't suffer from hayfever. [8]

    Down to the mainstage again, meet up with my sister and a chicken wrap. Time to watch
    Atreyu
    or so the timetable would have you believe
    It was infact time to watch
    Flyleaf
    and I didn't pay attention because of this. They could've played the greatest songs on earth, and I wouldn't have cared.

    Five Finger Death Punch
    come on, and it's time to mosh. And go over the barrier. And get their set cut off early. Whoops. Decent band, decent songs. [5]

    Now the big guns are getting ready to come out
    Lamb of God
    Take to the stage like, well, Lamb Of God. Fists pumping, heads banging, pits moshing, walls deathing. You get the idea. I don't know if it's a sign of me growing up, or just being lazy (probably the latter) but I don't even go into the crowd. Solid performance though [7]

    Megadeth
    Show up on stage next. A few songs in, Dave announces they are going to play a few songs from Rust In Piece. I raise an Eyebrow. It's a pretty good set, I'm just not paying much attention still [7]

    And now I head down to the front for most of the next band

    Deftones
    This is when I started paying attention again. Opening with Rocket Skates, and blitzing through a mix of new and old songs (they do play alot from the new album actually) it's a blinder of a set, and thought the crowd seems a little lazy at times, when the right songs hit, it's just amazing. [9]

    Back up to the my sister again, since I don't feel like being crushed at all to watch

    Rage Against the Machine

    After initial crushings, everyone steps back. Damn. On the other hand, from my view at the back, I can see the funniest drunk guy ever, generally being awesome. He goes to the bar, buys the wrong type of booze, so I get a free pint out of it all. It's great song after great song with Rage though, Bomb Track, Bulls On Parade, Sleep Now In The Fire, and a cover of White Riot. I leave during Wake Up, because I always leave early, obviously. Also I need a cheeky shit. [9]

    Back at the campsite, I trade some water for a can of beer, and it's finally actually time to get down to heavy drinking. 100 minutes later, between 3 and 5 occasions of people chundering, we have finished a round of centurion, and we are all pretty damn wasted. A rousing chorus of Total Eclipse Of The Heart is given. And then another. Actually I don't think we stopped singing that much at all over the course of the evening. The silent disco is packed, so we go to bed instead.

    I wake up after a great nights sleep (thats the bonus of heavy drinking) and manage to force down a cookie. Someone has stolen my half empty crate, but I don't care. An hour later, my tent is strewn about, the fibreglass poles are looted, and ready to be taken home by my sister. My bag is also packed.
    After a bit, I head off into the arena. Mark comes with me (the rest of my friends are being lazy. Again.) We go our seperate ways, and I settle down at the second stage to watch my first band

    Napalm Death
    It's strange going from slick americans talking to you on stage, to a brummie. Nonetheless, this is still Napalm death, and they play a collection of songs, some normal length, some Grindcore short. They include 'You Suffer', which as you should well know is stupidly short. [7]

    The crowd thins as Napalm Death leave and the stage is set for
    The Damned Things
    A band consisting of members from Every Time I Die, Anthrax and Fall Out Boy. Suprisingly, the two Fall Out Boy members have some real chops, and playing with ETID and Anthrax members seems to bring them out. They play a handful of good songs to a mostly disinterested crowd who aren't quite sure whats going on
    [5]

    Next up,
    The Dillinger Escape Plan
    A glorious bottle fight occurs before they come on, and the rain starts to spit lightly on us. DEP hit the stage and it's mental. The rain starts to pour, bodies flail wildly and the floor becomes muddy. Playing a real storm of a set, with immense versions of Black Bubblegum and Sunshine The Werewolf. Closing with a resounding Farewell Mona Lisa, the band leaves the crowd thoroughly satisfied. My band of the weekend [10]

    After this the rain is just too heavy for me. I'm soaked from head to toe, and I left my waterproof at camp. I ring for a lift, and head out to home. A shower later and I'm warm and dry. I got a cold the next day. Fun.


    Overall, a great weekend, spoiled by weather at the start and end. Good bands, good friends, and less drinking than planned. Also less money than planned.
    [8]
  • AS Results

    Ago 20 2009, 11:56

    My AS results just came in

    Very happy with them

    Maths - A
    Further Maths - A
    Physics - B
    Music - B
  • Download Festival 2009

    Giu 15 2009, 21:26

    Fri 12 Jun – Download Festival 2009

    Ah Download, I do love you
    This was my third year camping, and 4th year going.
    The lineup was getting me very excited, so I was ready to go and very excited

    We went up on the Wednesday, and set our tents up early, getting a nice spot in blue. Later we came back with the rest of our stuff and had a struggle to carry all of our drink up. 13 crates, of which 3 weren't booze.
    The rain came down slightly later, but it all cleared up on thursday, so take that metcheck weather forcast.

    Before the bands there was the usual drinking and cheering. Buttscratcher got very old very fast however.

    But soon Friday dawned, and bands were starting.
    So we head down to the arena, and the walk wasn't as bad as last year. Distance wise, I don't know, but it was so much easier as it was basically on a path the entire way.

    First band we saw was
    Hollywood Undead
    Now, my immediate reaction to these was 'They're shit', but my friends like them, so I took a chance and watched. Surprising, I thought they were alright. Not good, but not as bad as I thought.


    I then took a chance, and saw a band on the 4th stage called
    Tripswitch
    And they are a right gem. It was brilliant seeing them, and I hope to see more of them in the future. An excellent show


    The other good thing about Tripswitch, was I got to miss The Blackout, who I know suck. Next band on were
    Staind
    Like most people, I had heard exactly 1 song by them, but they surprised me with a nice show, and some decent songs. Worth seeing.


    Some more friends turn up and
    Billy Talent
    come on.
    I dislike Billy Talent. A lot. I think I just blocked it out for most of the time.

    Killswitch Engage
    Adam D came out in a cape and a wrestling mask, and they played a nice set. All the classics, and their cover of Holy Diver. Also Adam D likes his pussy hair, like sushi that had been dropped on a barbershop floor.

    Then it was time for the one and only
    Limp Bizkit
    Opening on Break Stuff, and taking it from there. My Generation, Nookie, Rolling. Everything was there. Some guys up on stage for being awesome, and Fred Durst announcing Take A Look Around as being from their new album? But a great comeback, and a right laugh to see

    I pushed further forwards for
    Korn
    And frankly I was dissappointed. There was practically no crowd interaction, and the songs just didn't seem so good. Maybe I'm just maturing...

    Finally it was time for the Headliner
    Faith No More
    What a show. What a fucking fantastic show. If you weren't there because you were at Motley Crue, as far as I am concerned, you are borderline retarded.
    There were a few songs I would've liked to see which weren't there (Get Out for one) but the ones that were there were amazing. Land Of Sunshine, Be Aggressive, Midlife Crisis and of course Epic were all standouts. Despite them being split up for years, the band was as tight as if they hadn't. Definately my band of the weekend.

    Woke up the next day ready and refreshed for the Saturday
    Being lazy, I didn't get down until somewhat late and my first band was
    DevilDriver
    Fantastic band. A clear highlight for me. Good songs, and yet another world record attempt for the biggest pit. Although this time, they might have been able to make it. If they do, I was there and in it.

    Next on were
    Hatebreed
    I don't know much about Hatebreed, but they seem like one of those consistent bands who don't ever put on a bad show, but rarely put on a great show. They put on a great show. Sounded quite good from where I was

    Next were another band I didn't know much about.
    Down
    They played well, (I was reliably informed they played brilliantly) and we even met Kirk later in the day

    I had some wedges for munch, and then
    DragonForce
    were on. They played well, even though I know a lot of people don't much care for them. I still enjoyed them but they are starting to grate a little.

    Next band I properly watched were
    This City
    on the 4th stage. I really like these guys, and I wish I'd stayed for the whole set, but my friend was bugging me about getting in the crowd for slipknot, so we saw 4 songs.

    And then we saw
    Slipknot
    Introing with the self titled intro led me to beleive that they were going to do the whole first album. (sic), Eyeless and Wait and Bleed cemented this idea. Then they didn't
    After that it became a rather standard set, although I was happy they played Disasterpiece and Left Behind. The songs from the latest album , I don't like so much. Specifically Dead Memories. I wish they'd dropped it at least for this date. Then they could've done Liberate, or maybe even Heretic Anthem (which was a glaring ommision) but all in all, a solid set with solid songs. Pretty sick to watch also

    Final day came about, and I realized how few bands I was going to see.
    5 it was.

    First
    Journey
    Although I left these guys early. They have some catchy songs, and they have Don't Stop Believin', but thats really all I can say

    Next I headed to
    Karma to Burn
    Whom I was looking forward to seeing. It was pretty pummelling riffs, and even the Wasps (I think) enjoyed it. There was a huge swarm of them. I think they had a circle pit going (the insects that is). Although security was looking a bit worried about them, but they all eventually swarmed off back somewhere else.

    Back to the Mainstage for
    Dream Theater
    A good set, with very few songs due to their length, but the main complaint I have about these guys was James LaBrie's voice. When I saw them in Wolverhampton it was fine, but it just seemed a little off on that particular day. It's a shame, but the instrumentation was up to the usual par, including a nice long version of Metropolis Pt. 1 to finish the set. I also one £1 million on a bet due to them playing a song from the new album. My friend now owes me £16 million.

    I saw the start of
    ZZ Top
    and it was worth watching. Good fun, although they probably kicked in better in the second half, when they played songs I would've known. But I left early to watch my final band
    Clutch
    Because I love them. Neil Fallon's voice is even stronger live, and it was already impressive on record. These guys were basically my headliner for the day, even though they only had half an hour. By the end of their set I was exhausted and ready to head for home.

    After a shower and some food and a sleep, I was ready to sit my maths exam the next day.
    It went quite well thanks for asking

    Overall, the best download I've camped at yet. They really excelled with their middle of the day mainstage bands, and Faith No More were fantastic

    What a weekend, and one I won't forget for a long time.
  • 13/03/09 - 36 Crazyfists at the Electric Ballroom

    Mar 15 2009, 20:53

    Fri 13 Mar – 36 Crazyfists, Poison the Well, Gwen Stacy

    This was a night I had been waiting for for a long while. I love 36 Crazyfists, I see them every time they tour. When I first looked down the list of dates, i was a little miffed, as there were no venues I'd ever been to, or particularly close to me. So I chose to go to london which seems odd, but my sister lives in Guildford, so I could stop the night at hers.

    I hop on the 16:20 train from loughborough, and arrive at london on time, at 6ish. I meet my sister and Chip. Literally 2 stops on the underground and we arrive at camden, and head into the venue. We head up to the balcony for first support,

    Gwen Stacy
    I notice the hardcore dancers start up and sigh. Then from out of nowhere, some guy just rushes in and pushes one of them over. It was the funniest thing I saw all night.

    I suppose the band themselves were alright. Unfortunately they were just a bit too... generic i suppose.
    A point Chip and I hammer home by pre-empting breakdowns and guitar rhythms. Also the bassist looked a bit like Jack Black to me. [5]

    I seperate from my sister and head down into the crowd for

    Poison the Well
    A band I hadn't listened to before hearing they were supporting, I went out and listened to them beforehand and enjoyed it. Whilst I can't name the songs that they play, what I do hear is great, and every now and then I catch bits of songs I recognise. I had a good time watching these.
    [7]

    After a wait in the crowd, the band that pretty much everyone is here to see take to the stage, the almighty

    36 Crazyfists
    I think I noticed a couple of technical hitches during these guys, but nothing serious.
    The crowd is really piled up now, almost no room to breath during the first two songs, but it clears somewhat after a while.
    I love the CDs, but live, 36 Crazyfists are even better. Everything is faster, everything is heavier. It just makes more sense. They pull some guy up onstage to sing Destroy The Map, and he was pretty freaking immense. Halfway through the last song I break my belt, but thats easily fixed.
    36 Crazyfists have been boiling over for a while now. I've been saying it for too long, but sometime soon, they are going to explode. And then they will get the recognition they really deserve. [9]

    Heading back to my sisters ridiculously early (damn club night at the venue) and get some well deserved sleep in.
    Overall
    1 great band, 1 good band, 1 meh band
    [8]
  • 07/12/08 - Slipknot at the NIA

    Dic 12 2008, 18:11

    Sun 7 Dec – Slipknot, Children of Bodom, Machine Head

    A gig i've been looking forward to for some time
    My sister went to see one of the london shows, but had to go seating. She told me that it was a great show regardless, so my expectations are high.

    My friend gives us a lift to birmingham. We set off at around 6. After some odd turnings and some going the wrong way we come to the queue that goes towards the NIA. Hopping out of the car, we walk the rest of the way. Not the smartest move really (as I am wearing shorts) although it got us in much quicker. We get into the arena at around 7:00

    and are very confused to find
    Children of Bodom
    already on stage playing the last few songs of their set. No matter, i am not a fan and don't even pay attention to the set. Although this means that whoever printed the tickets fucked up as they said that the show started at 7:30.
    after COB leave the stage, we get ready for the entrance of
    Machine Head
    Which goes off in great style. After forcing the start of a small pit during the intro, I head off to a larger one, while my friend somehow finds himself on the barrier (apparently)
    I'm still waiting for machine head to headline their own tour, as I would love to see them play a longer set.
    What they do play is pretty predictable (Clenching The Fists Of Dissent, Imperium, Beautiful Mourning, Aesthetics Of Hate Halo, Old, Davidian as far as I can remember) but still just as good and loud as ever
    I love machine head, and whilst i would love to see them play different songs sometimes, they played a blinder as always, and get the crowd really going
    [9]

    I am never queueing for that bar again. After being at the front for 5 minutes, and about 10 people getting served before me,
    Slipknot
    enter the stage and play 2 songs before i manage to get my drinks and go into the arena again fighting my way forwards again, i somehow find my friend, but then lose him again during 'spit it out' with the usual jump the fuck up section included.
    A great set including an odd choice of 'prosthetics' (which i love anyway) and only 2 songs from the latest album (odd because they are touring it ) not including till we die played after the encore section. I don't know if it was just me, but as a band they seemed slightly subdued, although that might be due to recent injurys. None of this really shows through though, and high points include a spinning joey.
    overall
    [9]

    finally i head home for sleep and a drink
    woop
  • Meshuggah 13/09/08

    Set 14 2008, 16:07

    Last night I went to see Meshuggah.
    When i first heard they were touring, i was thinking to myself "I will go, i have got to be there", but my friends (idiots that they are) either don't like, or haven't heard meshuggah. So for ages i thought i wouldn't bother. It just turned out that my sisters boyfriend also likes meshuggah (I'm quite good mates with him as well), and he offered to go with me and drive. So i buy the tickets.
    Then i save £20 and keep it hidden. Good thing I did, as I spent all my other money on various other somewhat useless things.
    So the 13th of september come around, and we set off at about 5:40 for nottingham. It takes us half an hour to get there. This surprises both of us, as we thought it was further. We park up on a road, and find out we don't have to pay as it is after six. We walk off to find Rock City. A short time and a subway sandwich later we find ourselves in the queue to get in. Doors open and everyone piles in. The venue is pretty empty when support act
    Trigger The Bloodshed
    turn up on stage. They're fast, and somewhat technical, but they aint Meshuggah, so they get basically no response from the crowd. Most of their songs sound similar, and with the crowd against them, it shows. [4]
    After they leave, the crowd starts to pack out a bit, which is a good thing. at 8:30 the band everyone's been waiting for hit the stage. The one and only
    Meshuggah
    Wish I could remember the set list, but I just can't.
    From start to finish, it's pure metal. Every note spot on. As far as I can tell anyway.
    Ending the set with the simply amazing Future Breed Machine, everyone leaves with ears ringing [8]
    Surprisingly I am home by 10:15 and switch on BBC to watch the end of Last Night Of The Proms.
    Overall great show, but marred by a not particularly good support, and just not enough people there to watch [7]
  • Results day

    Ago 21 2008, 21:39

    Well, it's been 2 years of work, and (in many subjects) at least half that time was spent dossing off, but it's finally come to the day when i get my GCSE results.
    I thought it might be a good time to have a retrospective look at each of my subjects

    lets start with the Core Subjects

    Science A*/A*

    We did double science at my school which means we come out with 2 grades. One we did in the first year, and the other was done in the second. My class went through a lot of teachers in our first year. First we had celia, who was old and probably retired when she left. No-one cared, she was a boring teacher. After her we had Mr Malone, or as we preferred to call him, MC Maloney, on accout of the fact that we just took the piss out of him, so we might as well have done the same with his name. Highlight of his teaching was watching Starship Troopers on a portable DVD player, and him not noticing. After him came Dorian, who left aswell, probably cos we were just dicks. Then we got David Crossley. Who was the only teacher other than Azizah (who we also had through all of this) who could control our class.
    Needless to say through the second year, we just had Azizah. Through a series of in-jokes and just plain comedy with me and the people sitting near me, this was easily one of my favourite lessons, even if the subject isn't great

    Maths A*
    I started the first year in a crap group, because my high school didn't tell my college how well i'd done in SATS. So thankfully when they found out, they moved me into the good class. Now, i'm one of those people who actually enjoys maths, so this is one of my favourite subjects. My teacher was one of those maths teachers who really does love maths, and laughs at maths jokes etc, but he's a really good teacher for it, and because we were all the clever people, it just worked. I had a laugh here too, meeting some cool people and stuff.

    English A/B

    A in literature and B in language? I always thought i was terrible at Literature. The guy who sat next to me for this was pretty much in love with the teacher. She wasn't bad looking, but sometimes i wish he'd shut up about it.
    For lit in the first year we had the coolest teacher ever, Steve Room. I actually got poetry when he taught it. But second year we had a crap teacher, so i just sort of, thought i forgot it all. All through this i was bored during literature, and ok during language. There are much better subjects, but easily worse subjects

    Now the subjects my school said we had to take

    Citizenship C
    Pile of shit subject, and pile of shit teachers. The only thing that made this bearable was the fact that the people in the lesssons with me were actually semi cool.

    ICT C
    I'm reasonable with computers. I was limited to a C because my teacher made me do foundation. But it was a useless lesson, and we just played games on the internet all the time

    this was forced on us in the higher maths sets, but it was easy

    Stats. B
    we didn't actually have any lessons on this really, so i think i did quite well with a B. What we did do was just the maths class, so its all good.

    now my 4 options

    Drama D
    Ha, i was never going to pass this. I took it as a doss, and it was a failure. I didn't do any of the coursework for the second project, although my teacher said should get a C ;_;. only kidding, i don't really care about drama.

    Music B
    Music was one of the highlights of my years. I had a great group for composistions. We got good marks. I could've got an A, but i was really stumped on the test. Pete was a great teacher, and I know I did what I could

    Media A
    I hated media in the first year. I had no friends in the class, and I wasn't particularly good at it, probably because of that. I was invited into a group during the first project, which made me feel better, but it wasn't until the second year, when i sat with people i'd got to know well over the last term and holidays, that i really did well, redoing my coursework and frankly blitzing the exam. Easily one of the best subjects I did. Also good to doss about in when we did computer work

    and finally

    Graphics B
    Well, thats all i was hoping for. I was very behind on my coursework. We spent the entire first year messing about, as we were on computers almost every lesson. I knuckled down in the final term, and scraped myself a B. At least the exam wasn't too hard

    So overall, i came out with good marks, and can stay on at the same school to do my a-levels.
    It's been a good 2 years, and i hope the next 2 will also be good.

    you'll notice the lesson 'reviews' got shorter as i went on
    this is because i got bored of this as i went on. oh well
  • Download festival

    Giu 17 2008, 11:50

    Ah Download. The only summer festival i ever go to.
    I can only afford one, and download is literally 20 minutes up the road for me.

    So on Wednesday 11th June, directly after my GCSE science exam, i rush home with my mate, only to find that my sister and her boyfriend (who were giving me a lift) have gone off already, as there was too much stuff for one load. This means my other friends will get there first, so I ring them to make them save space.

    About an hour later, we arrive on site. Thankfully my friends have saved plenty of space, and we set our tents up in black 3. Then all my friends but one go home. I party till about 2 and then go to bed.

    Wake up on thursday, have breakfast, and wait for the guys to turn up. They arrive about midday, and we start drinking, and don't stop until 4 in the morning. We meet the guys we're camping near properly, theres a couple of welsh guys, and some people from (i think) the north. They look after our campsite,whilst we're out ripping it up. Mark passes out early on cheap tesco vodka, and other people go to bed, leaving 3 of us still at it at 4 when we call it a night.

    Friday. The first day of music. Thankfully i wake up hangover free, and we prepare for the first trip into the arena. Its a pain. The walk is too far, and we miss the first bands, but eventually we arrive just in time for
    Stone Gods
    This was my wildcard for the weekend. I had no idea what to expect, being as 3 of the 4 members used to be in the Darkness, although the drummer isn't there on the day.
    I'm extremely glad I went to check these guys out. They are well worth a listen. [6]

    We pass Seetheron the way to our next band, but we don't really see them

    The next band we properly watch is
    Firewind
    Having seen these guys at Rock City about a year ago, i was excited to watch them again. They were as good as I expected. The tracks off the new album are great, and there's some nice pit action. [7]

    We head off to the main stage, and find Kid Rock is not playing. Something about being rushed to hospital. As a result
    Disturbed
    Have extra time. This is obviously a good thing. David Draiman comes out in a straightjacket before breaking into the first song. A triumphant closer of Down With The Sickness (would they really end on anything else?) ends a great set. [8]

    Heading to the front section we go to watch
    Motörhead
    'We Are Motorhead' shouts Lemmy to the excited crowd 'And we play Rock 'n' Roll'
    They play a great set, obviously featuring 'Ace Of Spades' and closer 'Overkill', although not knowing any of the songs other than those two, my overall enjoyment was lowered [7]
    Thirsty and tired of standing, I head to the side to grab a pepsi, for a ridiculous £2. Next band on is
    Judas Priest
    Another gread band, unfortunately I don't know these guys songs either. This is something I have to rectify at some point though, as they play a blinder of a set, mixing old songs with the new stuff on latest album Nostrodamus. [8]
    I meet up with my sister, and have a very nice filled yorkshire pudding. Filled with sausage and mash, i'm stuffed by the end of eating it and ready for headliners
    Kiss
    I tell myself I'll leave at the fake ending before the encore, because to be honest, I'm not a huge fan of Kiss, I don't know the songs, but what I do watch is amazing. Surreal. The stage show is great, as it should be. Fireworks and pyro abound along with some guitar breaking. at 10:15 they play rock 'n' roll all night, which is the fake ending, and my cue to leave. What I did see gets a 9, but it would've been a 10 if I liked Kiss [9]

    Getting back to the campsite, I take my first shit of the weekend in a relatively empty campsite. Sometime later, my friends get back, and I go to bed, being extremely tired from 2 nights worth of partying.

    The next day dawns, and I only have one friend on my campsite, as everyone else went home for a shit and a shower. So i head to the arena with my sister instead.
    We wander around a bit, have some free muller rice, before heading to the mainstage to see
    36 Crazyfists
    Having seen these guys at the charlotte about a year or so ago, no gig can ever compare to that, but this show is great. They play 2 tracks from the new album (We Gave It Hell and The All Night Lights) and some of the highlights of the previous 3 albums, before the closing Slit Wrist Theory almost brings a tear to the eye, to hear everyone where I was screaming the chorus back. [9]

    We leave fast before Madina Lake turn up, eat some lunch and then head off collecting cups. Amazingly I find my friends by the second stage, and we sit and try to talk over Throwdown. Grabbing a milkshake, we head off to sneak some people in. We then catch the last couple of songs of Biffy Clyro, before we get to another band we actually watched
    Bullet for My Valentine
    Opening on Scream Aim Fire, i think to myself 'I might not enjoy this set too much' because i dislike the new album, but love 'The Poison' and 'Hand Of Blood'. Thankfully they play enough tracks from the two to keep me interested, and there is some fun pit action including an decent sized wall of death during 4 Words (To Choke Upon). [7]

    I sit down and watch
    Incubus
    Not expecting alot from them makes me pleasently surprised by the set. Its good to sit down and listen to, although nothing truely stood out for me. [6]

    My final band of the day is of course
    The Offspring
    and obviously I'm in the front section again for them. The stage is very bare bones, and they don't even have a backdrop, but I don't hold that against them, as they play 2 songs from the new album, and one other song I didn't know all the words to. This is one of my bands of the weekend, because it was so fun to be there, and Noodle's cry of 'I HAVE A MASSIVE BONER' caused many chuckles. [10] (thats right, more than kiss)

    After dancing and shouting for an hour or more, i'm tired as hell again, so its off to bed early again.

    Wake up late on sunday, and don't go down to the arena till about 1. On my own, because my friends want to see black stone cherry, and I don't. I watch
    Lethal Bizzle
    and enjoy it. Big props to the guy for soldiering on, even with the bottles, and even converting a large part of the crowd. I acutally like it and would probably have stayed till the end if i wasn't off to watch the next band [6]

    The next band is
    Exit Ten on the third stage. Having missed these guys at '06, due to waiting to meet Stone Sour, I was excited. I don't know the songs, but they are great. They are going to be huge if they get the breaks they deserve. [8]

    I then wander to the main stage and watch
    Apocalyptica
    Which is interesting, but good. Metal on cellos. They open on Sepultura's refuse/resist, which was an interesting decision considering who was headlining second stage (more on that later). They close on some classical music (Hall Of The Mountain King) and have Cristina Scabbia onstage for a song. What more can I say? [7]

    Next band on is
    Within Temptation
    Once again I don't know the songs, and I believe it was a mistake to play 'What Have You Done' without a guest vocalist to do the male singer parts, but a nice set to see. [6]

    After a delicious, but expensive pork and stuffing baguette, I settle down to watch
    In Flames
    This is another band I really should like more than I do. They play an immense set, and Anders is oddly comical onstage between songs, with quotes such as 'well, it says it at the back, but i'll say it anyway because some people are idiots, we are in flames' and 'theres a little sign here that says lost prophets, i want a sign with my name on'. [7]

    I head to the front to watch the next band I properly know
    Coheed and Cambria
    Although this is a little disappointing. The crowd doesn't really get into the set until the last song 'Welcome Home', but they have some hot backing singers. Overall, disappointing performance, even if the songs were good [5]

    I wander for a bit, before watching most of Jimmy Eat World, but as i'm at the back, I don't watch them properly. I'll give them a [6] for being catchy.

    Children Of Bodom head offstage before I arrive at the second stage to catch my final band of the weekend
    Cavalera Conspiracy
    These guys are my band of the weekend, featuring Max And Iggor Cavalera. Formerly of sepultura (although not max for a long time) which brings me neatly to apocalyptica playing refuse/resist. Obviously so did CC, but i'm not complaining. Playing enough tracks of their own album, and also playing some sepultura songs, and then even throwing in a nailbomb song (which was unexpected) makes for a great set. Ending on an awesome 'Roots Bloody Roots', which works almost the entire crowd into a single pit was an amazing finish to the weekend. [10]
    I almost run back to the campsite straight after in order to beat the rush, and I just manage it.
    Another early night, as all my friends have gone home and I wake up on monday, pack my stuff up, eat breakfast with my sister and I'm back home by 10. A shower and shit later I feel refreshed and ready to type this up, but got bored and finished it today.

    Woop woop

    Overall a great weekend, and I still have £40, but that shrinks to 20 after I buy my t-shirt online. Absolutely brilliant, and well worth the cash

    Overall Score:[10]
  • Defenders Of The Faith

    Apr 25 2008, 16:33

    Wed 23 Apr – Metal Hammer Defenders of the Faith Tour

    Few day ago i went to a gig, Defenders of the Faith. 4 bands i like, none i know well, so unfortunately this ends up being a little vague, but oh well

    Walk home from school, and get in the car with my friend at around 4

    Due to some ingenious travel plans, we arrive at Birmingham airport at around 4:50.
    from there, its the free skyrail to Birmingham international, and we catch the 5:20 train to New Street.
    get a little lost, but we find our way and we stop off at mcdonalds for a little food, in the queue by 6:10

    get inside about 6:45 i think. props to the guys on the door, everything seemed to be moving smoothly as possible.

    arrive inside, swift transaction with the merch guy upstairs, 2 arch enemy t-shirts bought, before going downstairs as quick as possible, before joining the slowly forming pit for 3 Inches of Blood.
    Not sure what song they were playing when we arrived, but heard forest king, deadly sinners and finally Goatriders horde before they go off, and for the 3 songs we heard, i give them [7]

    Next a short wait in the same spot for DevilDriver, before realising that this area is no longer a pit, and just a crush. fight backwards a few meters, and find a pit. From then on, its pretty brutal in there, with the biggest circle pit i saw, and some average attempts at a wall of death. A couple of instances of feedback was bad, but that seemed sorted by the end. A great performance, and some awesome pitting [8]

    A longer wait here, but its all good, because the next band is Arch Enemy. Somehow i get forced even further back, but i'm still in a pit. Almost lose the ability to stand during the 4th song. Some solo sections from drums and both guitarists are all decent, but i would have prefered more songs, but they play the 3 I do know (We Will Rise, Dead Eyes See No Future, Nemesis) and some others i'm going to look up. Love arch enemy, great performance, no hitches as far as i know [10]

    At this point I go and buy a drink. My years of aggresive queueing at school helped me here, managing to get served before quite a few people who were there before i even started to queue. Although the drinks are overpriced, by this point i don't care. I go sit down at the side and wait for opeth to come on, in the meantime, i gather up some cups and make a nice tower out of them.

    Opeth come on. I do not know any of their songs, but they all sound pretty good from my spot at the side. Apparently they play some new stuff, and some old stuff. I find my friend through sheer luck, and we sit and listen for most of it. Great performance, great band, but I'm not a major fan [9]

    at 10:55, we get a little bored, leave in the middle of what I assume was the last song, and head of to KFC, because my friend is hungry. again.

    Wander down to the station again, picked up by my dad, and there is an uneventful drive home.

    Overall, a great gig, great bands, great crowd, great songs. Loved it, would go again if I had the chance
    Overall,[9]