Last night, Slipknot owned Donington. You can read all the updates from yesterday here. Tonight, it’s Muse’s turn. We’ve got a team of scribblers and snappers at Download Festival 2015. They’ll be updating throughout the day, or for as long as they’re still breathing, at any rate. Keep refreshing this page – and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – for more.
22:41: Muse. Download. Done.
Freed from the shackles of concept, Muse show off just what ‘Drones’ can do. No, not kill you. Their new album has, against all the odds, breathed new life into the band’s already phenomenal live show.
From the opening one-two of ‘Psycho’ and ‘The Handler’, Muse find the big red button marked ‘heavy’ and push it with both palms. From the gunshot drums to the roar of the guitar, this is the most vicious they have ever sounded.
They know Download Festival is one of the few challenges left to overcome – there are crosshairs on the screen for a reason – so they pull out all the stops to conquer it. And they do so in triumphant fashion.’Mercy’ and ‘Reapers’ stand tall like off-kilter cousins to the familiar snap of the hits, while a devastating trio of ‘Micro Cuts, ‘Dead Star’ and ‘Citizen Erased’, with a hunk of ‘Agitated’ for good measure, act as a two-fingered salute to all who doubted their rock credentials.
Muse have headlined festivals around the world, and for good reason. They know exactly what a crowd wants and, despite the naysayers (and Matt falling over within the first few minutes – “let’s hear it for Dave Grohl”) tonight at Donnington is no different. As the explosive conclusion of ‘Knights Of Cydonia’, all fireworks and flames, rings out, Muse can tick Download from the ever shrinking list. ‘Drones’ finally has a place within the Muse universe.
21:43: Faith No More, some flowers, and a whole lot of white, in photos
21:08: Party hard
The prime minister of partying, Andrew W.K. brought the uhh…party to Saturday night of Download. It was everything you’d hope for and more.
Bounding around the stage like a possessed gym instructor, Andrew W.K. cares about two things, partying and… erm… partying some more. Pounding beats and unrelenting charisma, he turns Download into a feel-good rave. Beyond the ‘getting wasted’ mantra, there’s a bigger more important one message of acceptance and feeling good.
“Tonight is the start of a brand new life and things are going to be better. We’re going to grasp it and live with it for the rest of our lives,” he promises before launching into an explosive ‘Party Hard’. Whether they know it or not, those words will stick with the crowd through the hangovers of tomorrow.
20:41: A Day To Remember conquer Download in photos
20:23: Hello, Andrew W.K.
20:15: Roam prove pop-punk can work at Download
Roam were worried about how their sugary pop-punk would go down with the Download crowd. With people struggling to get into the tent, those fears never materialised.
On a high, the Eastbourne gang bound around the stage, looking like they’re on top of the world. Their straight to the bone pop-punk is predictably infectious, but there’s surprising charm to their beaming smiles and relentless attack. As their set progresses, as does the experimentation with what they’re capable of. As they come to a jubilant finish they still can’t find a ceiling.
19:50: Rise Against peak at Download
Rise Against have been in this game a long time, but today is their most recent peak.
Reflecting the struggles of the world with articulate growls and emotional resonance, they achieve something few bands manage. That beautiful marriage of punk and poetry allows Rise Against the freedom to soar while still giving them a face to face connection. Empowering, vital and sounding absolutely massive, the Ohio band bask in their message, but there’s a simple desire to create community through music too. With frontman Tim McIlrath in a playful mood (“Where are the dancers in the crowd?”) he holds the Main Stage field in the palm of his hand.
19:17: Northlane take flight
All eyes are on Northlane as they make their return to the UK with new vocalist Marcus Bridge, but there’s no sign of hesitant nerves; they relish the attention.
The band jostle about the stage, comfortable with one another and the new shape of the band after only seven months together, quickly getting the audience up to speed. Songs new and old bounce with a youthful desire to explore and the band, in playful spirits, allow every turn to shine.
Harmony circles deliberate refrain before it all gets too much and Northlane strike with deadly precision. There’s a hint of sludge about new single ‘Obelisk’ but under the dynamic watch of Marcus, the melodic swipes take flight.
18:53: Creeper: believe the hype
There’s been a lot of talk about Creeper this week, but before anyone gets the chance to mention ‘the h-word’, Creeper strut onto Download’s Jake’s Stage and prove why they’re more than worthy of attention.
With emblems adorned to jackets and screens, Creeper are a band with a vision. If that vision includes a tent full of exciting people giving their all, it’s coming true.
Opening with ‘We Had A Pact’ and ‘Gloom’, it’s wonderful business as usual. The Southampton crew know when to square up and when to stand down. Taking pause for moments to sink in before tumbling into the next act, Creeper are a dramatic presence. New song ‘The Honeymoon Suite’ and recently released ‘Lie Awake’ expose another level of brilliance from the band. The last drabs of self-doubt fall away and the real Creeper, all grand theatrics and soul grabbing resonance, emerge unshackled. As the band tear, twirl, and in Will’s case leap from stage to barrier to reinforce a connection, there’s a sense that Creeper’s tale of grand romance and grander unity is only in its opening throes.
18:04: Muse clues
We’ve not gone AWOL – there’s just so many bands to see. Expect more updates soon. However, until then – some clues about tonight’s Muse headline set from a source close to the band. “Expect some heavier, older songs,” they told us earlier. “They’ll be alright as long as they get off to a nice, heavy start, which I think, remembering the programme, they do.”
15:30: When it’s time to party…
We’ve been asking people, if they could collaborate with anyone on the Download bill, who would it be. Matt from Funeral For A Friend has the right answer. You can find out who he’d pick here.
14:11: Mallory Knox go out to prove a point
Throwing themselves into their first appearance on the Download Main Stage, Mallory Knox act like they’ve got something to prove.
Having grown into a forceful live presence, the Cambridge fivesome are constantly on the move. Whether jumping about the stage or flipping between the soar of ‘Lighthouse’ and the gloom of ‘Ghost In The Mirror’, Mallory Knox hook the crowd at every turn. Mikey Chapman, leading the charge upwards, is a joy to behold. Spinning about the space before slipping into flawless vocals, he is a commanding frontman. “Let’s make this a day to remember,” he suggests before ‘Getaway”s inspired crowd echo.
Carefree fist-pumping makes way for the inspirational anarchy of ‘Bury Your Head’ before the demand of “Chase your dreams and make them a reality,” leads into ‘Shout At The Moon’. “Smile Download,” Mikey offers. How can we refuse?
12:48: Funeral For A Friend get… erm… moist?
Today marks the ten-year anniversary of ‘Hours’, Funeral For A Friend‘s second album, but that doesn’t mean the south-Wales mob are looking back.
“Let’s continue to get a little more moist,” offers vocalist Matthew Davies-Kreye. Yes it’s still raining, let’s say no more about it. Playing the same slot as they did in 2003, the band claim they’ve come full circle, but that doesn’t do their journey justice. With a back catalogue threaded through the past fourteen years to delve into, Funeral For A Friend have retained a powerful relevance. From the forward thinking ‘1%’ to the uniting hammer of ‘Roses For The Dead’, today is about the present.
The band sound incredible and, with something to say, their set is a friendly nudge that they remain a band to be reckoned with. Their no frills, all thrills approach is underlined with sincere passion. “Somebody’s got to have faith,” Matthew says before the pit ending ‘The End of Nothing’, but Funeral For A Friend’s has never wavered.
11:32: Creeper on Funeral For A Friend: “That big stage, that’s their natural habitat.”
Creeper are all set to play Download Festival later today, finishing off what has been an incredible week for the band. But apart from playing an amazing set and hanging out with Marilyn Manson, vocalist Will Gould has something else he wants to do.
“I want to se Funeral For A Friend. They’re quite obvious for me to choose because we were on tour with them in January but I want to see that band play the mainstage at Download. I can’t wait for that, they’re just incredible every time you see them. They’re brilliant musicians and Matt is such a charismatic frontman, I haven’t seen them since February and I’m so excited to see them. That big stage, That’s their natural habitat and they’ll kill it.”
Read our chat with Will about Creeper’s insane week here.