Aaron Rosa, the drummer for electronicore (their word, not ours) band Palisades, is the happiest man at Download festival, and quite possibly in the world. The grin never leaves his face as he enthusiastically pounds out beatdown after beatdown.
In fact, the only person in the tent for the New Jersey quintet who doesn’t look utterly delighted to be here is frontman Louis Miceli, but that’s probably because it wouldn’t sit well with his hardcore tough-guy persona; he even manages to sound vaguely threatening while tossing out free t-shirts into the crowd.
An enthusiastic performance – all synchronised jumps and pirouettes with hockey-stick guitars- raises the energy level in the already packed-out Dogtooth tent, and the audience are eating out of Miceli’s hand from get-go, acting on demand and losing themselves in the moment.
Sure, Palisades’ pre-recorded trap/dubstep synths and rather impressive multi-part harmonies lean heavily towards cheese and work wonders in disguising the lack of complexity at play but there’s a charm to the whole ridiculous endeavour. At one point Miceli asks, with apparent sincerity, whether the crowd are “ready to get crazier than Russia”. He’s referring to the enthusiasm of their crowds, but given Vladimir Putin’s penchant for macho posturing, it’s a strangely appropriate choice.
It might be direct and a bit silly but there are smiles all round. As the saying goes, Palisades are simple but…