Download 2014 Announcements & Aftermath

Posted: 07/11/2013 in Blog, Concerts, Metal, Music
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Early this week, Download Festival announced it’s headlining acts and their main support for the 2014 event.

download-2014

Avenged Sevenfold will headline the Main Stage on Friday night, preceded by Rob Zombie. Saturday night features Fall Out Boy subbing to Linkin Park, who will be playing their much acclaimed Hybrid Theory in it’s entirety, while on Sunday, the ever growing Alter Bridge playing before 70’s rock legends Aerosmith bring the curtain down on Download for another year. 

These announcements were received with… ahem… mixed opinions… to put it politely.

Now, I can fully understand why some people may not like the bands announced thus far, each to their own etc. but I, for one, am finding the negative reaction from some completely overboard and think that the line up is in fact quite a good one.

The bands causing the most controversy are, I suppose, the usual suspects. Avenged Sevenfold, Linkin Park and Fall Out Boy, but despite whether you like them or not, each band is their on there own well deserved merits and successes (Yes. I did just state those 3 bands names and success in the same sentence. Deal with it.).

Starting off with Avenged Sevenfold, the band whom the phrase “Hated, Adored, Never Ignored” was almost made for in the music world. Avenged Sevenfold are currently at the forefront of modern Metal. Like it or not, they are, and such was their aim with the making of Hail to the King. With an album that has gone Number One worldwide and a sold-out UK Arena tour they are prime candidates to step up and be the first in a new generation of headliners. Something that is badly needed. With most the major names having played recently, we need newer and fresher bands stepping up to the top spot on the main stage. If Metallica, Maiden, Sabbath etc. played every single year the festival and the scene itself would stagnate. New talent needs to be bred to take their place, and this starts with Avenged Sevenfold.

A7XLogo

Their live show is also an absolute spectacle. The band has a dominant stage presence and charisma out the wazoo, which combined with plenty of material, both old and new, that will pander to a big outdoor crowd and LOTS of pyro (No pyro, no party, eh?), Avenged Sevenfold will look every bit the part on that Main Stage come June. Give them a chance, even the greatest of detractors I can put money on being surprised.

On to Linkin Park. I’m not the worlds biggest Linkin Park fan. In fact, apart from their first two albums, I find them audibly insufferable. They went from banging nu-metal ragers to mind-numbing radio play seeking nonsense. But hey, that’s just my opinion, what do I know? However, Hybrid Theory played live in it’s entirety? Mouthwatering. The album is an absolute classic, and the biggest selling debut album of the 21st Century, having sold over 24Million copies worldwide.

lpHT

Download often prides itself on hosting sets that become parts of Rock/Metal history, once in a lifetime events for many. Joey Jordison drumming for Metallica, Black Album in full, Black Sabbath reunion, Slipknots headline set in ’09, to name a few. Linkin Park playing Hybrid Theory in full will be one of these memorable events.  Whatever you think of Linkin Park, this set has the potential to be a whole bundle of fun for anyone who loved this album, which is a whole lot of people. Show me a person who didn’t like at least one track off of Hybrid Theory, and I’ll show you a liar.

Fall Out Boy. Where do I start? The announcement was a surprise, yet at the same time, not. Yes, we know, they’re not metal (I’ll get to that in a minute), but them playing makes a bit of sense. Like Avenged, Fall Out Boy have recently sold out gigs in the UK and have a dedicated and increasing cult following, especially since their revival. Fall Out Boy led the 2000’s Emo scene along with My Chemical Romance and Paramore, both of which also played at the Donington festival in previous years. And let’s be honest, most of us had that guilty pleasure that was one of those 3 bands at some point in our youth. Like Linkin Park, with the right setlist, Fall Out Boy have the potential to put on an extremely fun show and get Download hopping to their classic pop-punk/emo anthems.

The one argument against these bands that I inherently detest with every fibre of my being is “That’s not metal”. First off, Download is NOT a metal festival. It is a rock festival, as defined by festival organiser Andy Copping, and as metal is an evolution of rock, Download tends to host many metal bands. However, this does not make it a metal festival, a misconception many seem to hold in the wake of these announcements. Download has previously hosted bands across a wide variety of genres, from metal, to rock, to EDM, to rap. Heck, Big AC even said he’d be willing to book Dizzee Rascal! Bands like The Prodigy, Chase & Status, Pendulum, etc. fit right in at Download festival. Why? Because it is not strictly a metal festival. That’s Bloodstock you’re after, lads.

Dizzee Rascal for Download 2015?

Dizzee Rascal for Download 2015?

Secondly, what is “metal”? Over time, music has evolved and is constantly evolving. This also applies to genres, especially ones as unspecific and broad as metal, or pop, or rap. With the increasing number of subgenres, hybrid-genres and a general evolution in music over time, metal becomes harder to strictly define day by day. Bands like Avenged Sevenfold, Bring Me The Horizon, Asking Alexandria and many other bands that made their break in the 2000’s are subjected to being categorized as “not metal”. I’ve even seen it said about Metallica and Slipknot on occasion. And why are these bands “not metal”? Because the person saying it in particular, simply doesn’t like them. It’s an all too easy way for more elitist fans of metal to write off a popular and successful band that they do not like, more often than not while playing Dying Fetus albums on repeat. Yes, they may not be as heavy and “br00tal” as a VikingBlackDeathNecroMetal band singing about decapitating a flock of goats, and if you rather listen to that over the previously mentioned bands then fine, but they sure as hell ARE metal. Again, if that’s what you’re after, Bloodstock.

#WhyNotDyingFetus

#WhyNotDyingFetus

In conclusion, if you still really really really dislike the Download announcements so far, remember there will be another 100+ bands across various stages and a whole 3 days. There will plenty for any rock/metal/music fan to enjoy over the weekend, and Download rarely fails to impress with it’s support billing. Even the Download campsite atmosphere is almost enough to warrant a trip to Donington. Afterall, what beats seeing some live music during the day before getting absolutely badger-eyed with 80,000+ people with the same idea?!

Download Festival takes place June 13th-15th 2014 and tickets are on sale now. See you there.

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