Another year, another Download festival... Even though I wasn't performing this year, which always sucks of course, I can still say that I thoroughly enjoyed myself! I must also admit that most of my weekend was spent backstage instead of watching bands. Unfortunately networking for Monument kept me from watching all the bands I wanted to watch but the ones I did manage to watch really made up for it!
Uriah Heep, featuring their new bassist Dave Rimmer, who also happens to be Monument's original bassist, gave an amazing performance and seeing Davey up there with a band I have been a fan of since I was a kid was an amazing feeling! It gave me a similar feeling to watching Judas Priest with Richie Faulkner, there's something really cool and fresh about it when you are there to witness it live.
Next I have to mention Rise To Remain. The guys opened the main stage on Friday and after watching the band closely since their very early days, it was a proud moment watching them perform at this level and totally holding their own!
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I have also had the pleasure of watching Voodoo Six in the company of Mr Mark Taylor and Mr Dave Ling. Excellent set from these veterans of British rock n' roll who are currently on tour with Iron Maiden in Europe.
Slipknot were amazing as always but I must admit that by this point I have come to terms with the fact that I will never 'get' this band so I have simply stopped trying to and just try to appreciate it for what it is.
Iron Maiden, what can I say... they had an actual bloody WW2 Spitfire flying over our heads at tree level just before opening their set!! For a moment there I felt like I was 15 again... unmatched performance, unmatched showmanship and songs, quite simply, the best band in Heavy Metal history. End of.
The backstage area was the same as usual, a few tents for bands and guests to chill and have some refreshments, bands, people from magazines and management companies, booking agents, PR people all enjoying the festivities, talking business, doing interviews, or simply getting hammered!
I could write about 'famous' people who I saw, spoke to and hung out with but name-dropping is lame and should be punishable by ten years in a Turkish prison.
Well, there you have it, my Download 2013 experience! Let's hope that Monument will play it next year and add some much needed true British Metal to the line up!