Download Festival: Friday Main Stage
Download kicks off in style...
Photographer: Sara Bowrey12 June 2007
Wolfmother’s retro inspired style set rocks so hard and fast that it’s difficult to believe they’re only a three piece. They sound like a post millennial Sabbath, but their roots are firmly embedded in the heavy rock drones of Zeppelin with a dash of AC/DC. ‘Woman’ is undoubtedly the highlight track; it’s the rumbling ode to classic artists of the past like Cream and Hendrix that drives their late evening slot forward, dragging the crowd up with them.
Revolver are here to raise hell from the outset. Their sensational front man Scott Weiland
brandishes the microphone to declare, ‘We are Velvet Revolver, and they play Rock and Roll,’ - and indeed
they do! With each layer of clothing that comes off the band crank it up another gear. The new material the band
showcases is as passionate and dirty as anything from ‘Contraband’.
‘She Builds Quick Machines’ is straight up classic Revolver, heavy bass and building drums train-crash into an incredibly catchy chorus with the kind of hooks Axl Rose wishes he could still write!
‘Fall To Pieces’ is the ultimate lighter waving ballad, built for these types of shows, and it effortlessly cools down the crowd allowing them to bask in the epic blue lights and beautifully clear skies.
Slash, as always, is on impeccable form running from one end of the stage to the other with boundless energy to deliver his note perfect solos. They end with the almighty ‘Slither’ sending the crowd wild before a siren sounds signalling the time for the band to leave, although nobody wants them to.
Despite screams for an encore the crowd are left wanting more – a secret of their success. Revolver coolly rock up provide the set of the day – sublime!
Things look bleak for headliners My Chemical Romance before they even arrive. The Velvet Revolver crowd don’t disguise their dislike for the Kerrang favourites and boo’s begin half an hour for MCR are to take stage.
Then they finally make it out, MCR must have thought they’d
walked straight into a war zone. A tirade of bottles, piss, apples and generally any kind of missile that can possibly
be launched head towards Gerard Way and his band from all directions.
Front-man, Way, jokes,‘It’s great to be back in the UK,’ which to be fair, in front of this crowd, takes some balls. They deliver a strong set despite the aerial attack and carry on for the kids, who themselves, fill the front rows and in turn take their share of missiles for their heroes - a courageous effort.
And the show is a triumph. Gerard Way stalks the stage like the wild cat who got the cream, purring to the audience in between collosal version of songs taken predominantly from their millions selling album 'The Black Parade'. By the time 'Welcome To The Black Parade' and 'I Don't Love You' are performed back to back the crowd are totally won over and My Chemical Romance are enshrined in Download history.