And so, the end is near, and as we face….
Yeah, that. Download Festival 2015 is entering its final day. Already we’ve had Muse beefing up to match their audience, Creeper living up to the hype and – obviously – Baby Metal Dragon Force. Today sees a closing headline set from Kiss, a possible arrival of Josh Homme with Eagles of Death Metal, FIDLAR going out to prove they can bring their west coast punk rock to Donington and Enter Shikari picking themselves up after a roller coaster few days.
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.
22.20: FIDLAR create chaos
“Download Festival, you look tiiiiired man,” tease FIDLAR halfway through their Donington debut. It is the last night of the festival and the crowd have been throwing themselves about to FIDLAR’s gnarled beach punk since they crashed onto the stage, but there’s no sign of anyone slowing down as the Californian four-piece bring Download to a riotous end.
As their anthems of cheap beer and reckless abandon are rattled out, the faithful create chaos while the band tumble about the stage, egging on the madness. Songs from their forthcoming album chug with the same boundless energy but head for new sunrises. The pogo of ’40oz On Repeat’ drags everyone forward while its haggard skip is punk rock at its most playful. FIDLAR are well versed in igniting a party. Theirs is just getting started.
20.24: “Who cares if Motley Crüe have pyro?”
“Who cares if Motley Crüe have pyro,” asks Ryan Key as he raises his fist in the air. “We have this,” and the crowd roars. That united front lights up Yellowcard‘s sugar coated punk, making each arching chorus and swirling hammer that much more instant and devastatingly beautiful. The band are at their swinging peak tonight headlining The Maverick Stage as the crowd before them reacts to every demand with vigorous enthusiasm. Tonight the whole joyous affair flows with effortless agility. ‘Oceans Avenue’ remains a faultless hunk of songwriting but it’s only the glitter sprinkled over Yellowcard’s decadent, heartfelt parade.
18:43: L7. Not dead.
“Download this’ snarl L7 as they walk onto a heroes welcome. Reunited after thirteen years apart, this evening is about discovery as much as it is celebration. Two kids tentatively step into their first pit as the four-piece gallop through their lip-curling back catalogue. Sliding about the stage and clearly loving being back in each other’s company, L7 are rocksteady with every aspect of their performance. Vibrant and charged, their influence is given a second wind and a new generation to inspire. With a clenched fist to one side, beaming with pride, they haven’t lost a drop of their venom during their time apart. Today feels like a moment that could change things all over again.
16:54: Eagles of Death Metal. With no Josh Homme. Booo.
Eagles Of Death Metal didn’t know if they’d make it to Download today, but as the gunshot start of ‘Bad Dream Mama’ fires upwards, boy are Donington glad they did. Homme-less despite circling rumors, the band are still in full-effect. Frontman Jesse ‘Boots Electric’ Hughes, an excitable force of nature, wields his position with charming polish. Hip-shaking, knee-knocking, he strolls about the stage engaging every section of the crowd before breaking away into a frenzied dance that sees his sunglasses go flying. Eagles Of Death Metal are seriously good fun. As Jesse squares up to Darlin Dave Catching for a mid-song guitar battle, the band cement their victory
15:56: The Darkness are still ridiculous
There’s a time and a place for The Darkness‘ flamboyance, and mid afternoon at a festival, surrounded by strangers screaming about believing in love, is almost certainly it. Taking to The Maverick Stage the band are in fine, ludicrous form as they thread new with nostalgia under pointed enthusiasm.
Justin Hawkins hasn’t mellowed with age and neither have his fashion choices. Growing into his position as the English dandy of rock, his twirling pantomime performance is charming, colourful and silly.
As the band frolic about the stage, dancing through their jukebox back catalogue, the crowd wear out the remaining scraps of voice. It may be the worst kept secret of the weekend with swathes of people unable to get near the tent, but The Darkness still have it in them to bring the best of fun live.
15:30: FIDLAR chat about their fave picks on the line-up.
In the run-up to the festival, we hit up FIDLAR for their fave picks on the line-up – they had some interesting tales to tell… Needless to say, their set tonight is gonna be a ripper. Get ready.
“We play Sunday. And the day we are playing, you have to see Eagles Of Death Metal. Because… They the real fuckin deal. One time, I saw Boots Electric at a Hives show (FIDLAR was opening for the Hives). Boots was talking to my buddy which also had a handful of adderall I’ve been nabbing from him. I went up to my buddy and asked for a 30mg popper and Boots heard me. The dude called me a pussy, whipped out a bag of speed and said “try some real shit”. It was a long… week… Seems like every time I see that dude, he is on a different level and embodies sex drugs and rock’n’roll.
When I first saw Eagles Of Death Metal, it changed the way I thought about music. A mix between desert rock/garage rock/punk/sass, those old dudes know how to write amazing songs and perform. Hats off old dudes… hats off… respect…
Muse will be awesome too. So will Kiss. and Marilyn Manson (that new record rules). AND HOLY FUCK SLIPKNOT IS GONNA SLAY IT! TOO MANY GOOD BANDS AT DOWNLOAD FEST!
Stay tuned for a report from FIDLAR’s ripper of a set.
14:59: Code Orange reign
“Bring it in, bring it in,” demand Code Orange at the curtain drop of their set. Winding the audience tighter, the band explode and the crowd follows suit. Setting off a chain reaction, they crash from destruction to anarchy, building up jagged walls of noise for the audience to climb as they go. Ominous moments of calm and an undeniable sway of rhythm makes way for guttural screams. This shattered combination cuts through the tent; Code Orange are precise with their hacking hardcore. “For heavy music” they cry before the stop-start apocalypse of “I Am King”. For thirty minutes, Code Orange reign.
13:16: Sunday brunch with Beasts
Sunday by name, Sunday by nature, for the most part anyway. We’ve just about recovered from Muse’s return to form last night, and we’re very excited about waving Download off with Fidlar tonight. There’s still time for brunch, but that doesn’t stop Beasts kicking up a storm on Jake’s Stage.
Striding about like they own the place, the band refuse to let the ceremony of the occasion interrupt their unrelenting desert march. Stomping between howling guitar and moody groove, Beasts’ travels through the sparse and the dark are knowing. ‘Crying Blood’ is a slower stroll, allowing the doubled up vocals to sink deeper while the rich, closing yell of ‘Annie’ is a deft collision of hook and abandon.
It’s early. It’s Sunday. There’s no sensible person venturing onto a stage any time soon, so we may as well take the opportunity to catch up with the last couple of days. You can find all the updates, photos and various ‘stuff’ from Friday here, and Saturday here, and every photo, review, news story or article run from Download Festival 2015 in our special section here. To make sure you miss nothing today, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.