There was so much going on at Download Festival 2017 we don’t know where the three days disappeared to, and from the glorious weather to the fantastic music main stage hosted some of the best parts of the weekend.
We hate to play favourites but here are five of our favourite non headline acts which graced the main stage.
If you’ve been somewhat keeping up with the scene in the past 12 or so months, you would be more than aware of the way Creeper have sky-rocketed from a Southampton gothic punk band to a band who fit right at home on the Download mainstage. The band’s iconic patches often flood live gigs across the country, and the weekend at Donington was no different.
Creeper are no regular old band – they’ve always come across as “strange” but they have never been afraid to show it. Frontman Will Gould shared how he’s no stranger to Download, having attended the festival for the first time at 13, catching iconic acts like Slayer and Ozzy Osbourne. Sure enough, the band seemed no strangers to playing such a big stage – embracing all corners of their massive space with passion and dramatics.
There were fists pumping in the air and circle pits, but there were also more emotional moments. Closing their set with the crooner ‘I Choose To Live’ is a risky one but at the end of the day it shows exactly what Creeper are capable of. There’s a massive sense of community in the air, and you really feel like you’re witnessing the start of something truly special. Surely it won’t be too long before the band become festival headliners themselves. 7/10 SW
Of Mice & Men
Of Mice & Men have enjoyed a consistent rise since their formation in 2019. It seemed that they were continuing their ascend when at the end of last year they announced the departure of vocalist Austin Carlisle. For many, the band’s Download set might have been the first time seeing the band since and of course there is uncertainty of what to expect. However, the band are unfaltered and come out on top form as they take the main stage on day 2.
With an impressive back catalogue the band have plenty of choice and they tackle songs both old and new with such raw ferocity that’s welcomed by moshes and sing alongs. Complete with a dominating stage presence, we can’t help but admire the band’s confidence and ease performing to such a massive crowd. So much so that you quickly believe this is a band made for festival main stages, and we don’t doubt they will continue their rise in the years to come. 8/10 SW
A Day To Remember
Anyone who has seen hardcore superstars A Day To Remember live before wouldn’t be surprised to hear that they’re set on the main stage of this year’s Download Festival was absolutely massive. Even on an outside stage, the breakdowns are earth shattering, and the beats and guitar riffs accompanied by front-man Jeremy McKinnon’s sometimes aggressive and sometimes melodic vocals soared into the skies above Donington.
Throughout the set, crowds took every opportunity to surf their way to the front as much as they could, and with songs like ‘The Downfall Of Us All’, and ‘Naivety’, there were plenty of chances to seize. The thing about A Day To Remember that never fails to impress is the way they move seamlessly from heavy, hardcore beats to gentle acoustic songs without losing the crowd. ‘If It Matters That Much To You’ prompted a singalong of epic proportions, before the band put away the acoustic guitars and got right back to the self-proclaimed ‘heaviest pop-punk in the world’ that they’re famous for. A Day To Remember’s performance at this year’s Download Festival delighted fans, and probably made them quite a few new ones in the process. 9/10 ZS
Opening the main stage at 11am on the final day of a festival isn’t an easy task for any band but Fozzy take it in their stride as the band attempt to wake everyone up who may still be sleeping. The weather was glorious and there was a very healthy crowd piled into the area to watch front-man Chris Jericho in his ‘other job’ accompanied by a band of super talented musicians. Accompanied by fire dancers during newest single ‘Judas’ very few bands would use flames at 11am, but Fozzy aren’t your usual type of band. Jericho is as charismatic as ever riling the audience up to scream and sing-a-long to the stomping riffs and heady vocals. 7/10 RW
Now they may not be everyone’s cup of tea and we can admit that. there’s no denying that Steel Panther pretty much own the main stage on Sunday. Everything Panther do is thought about meticulously to ensure that the crowd have the best possible time from the four piece’s outfits and on stage banter to the transition between songs and their passion. There’s crude jokes about f**king hookers and there’s a lot of swearing but that’s what Panther do and there’s no denying that it makes everyone standing by main stage smile, and there was an awful lot of people.
Despite their hefty band introductions and banter between songs they still manage to rattle through so many tracks that we almost forgot there were bands to play after. ‘Eyes of a Panther’ is a welcome introduction with less of a crude nature while ‘Death To All But Metal’ makes everyone sing along about camel toes and jerking off. Obviously newer tracks like ‘Just Like Tiger Woods’ entice the same sing-a-longs and humor as anything the band have done before. And of course there’s a mass female stage invasion during ’17 Girls In A Row’, we’d all be disappointed if there wasn’t.
There’s a full on 80’s vibe to the day but there’s considerably less people dressed up in the Panther get up than we usually see, although that’s probably for the best no one wears spandex, leopard print and twenty tonnes of hairspray better than the band themselves. Love them or hate them Steel Panther steal the show on Sunday and show that they’re not a novelty band they’re just a band you can laugh and smile to. 9/10 RW