Download Festival 2009 - Castle Donington, England, 12th June 2009

Event: Download Festival 2009
Written by: Baz Anderson
Published: 16.06.2009


Download Festival - Castle Donington, England, 12th-14th June 2009 by Baz Anderson (145)

Donington, the home of rock. Download Festival has made its home here now for seven years continuing on from its predecessor, the Monsters Of Rock. As David Coverdale stated on stage, they may have changed the name but the spirit is still the same.

Forecast for rain and mud, festival-goers packed their boots and waterproofs in preparation for a drenching but little did anyone know that by the time of the end of the festival the 70,000 to 80,000 people that attended each day would leave sunburnt and bone dry. The Download Festival set-up keeps moving around each year, and this year was no exception. The main stage just as large as ever towered over everyone who stood beneath, this year the hill starting further back which made viewing bands a little more difficult but accommodated for a stretch as far back as the eye could see for people to watch the large screens from a distance. The second stage had been drinking its milk and saying its prayers because it had grown into another massive stage, not quite so big as the main stage, but also with two screens either side and sitting in a large field for itself it was surely the best second stage in the festival's history. Tuborg and Red Bull stages were housed under large tents and at times were a little too crowded, but still they did their job.

The campsite opened on the Wednesday and for the people that made the effort to get there extra early the heavens decided to open and drench them. By the time of Thursday however the place had dried up and the bulk of the campers arrived. Car parking and bus services were organised very well, although the walk from the car park to the campsite may have been a little soul destroying, as was the walk from the campsite to the festival grounds. Download Festival is the worst festival for walking long distances to get places.

Alas, midday on the Friday and the arena gates opened for the public to step into their wonderland for the next three days. An hour later and the bands were off. Hollywood Undead kicked off the main stage but provided nothing worth watching, Sleepercurve made some nice rock sound waves from the third stage and Tripswitch kicked a tent of people into shape with their slightly different take on metalcore with some insane vocals to match. Over on the main stage Staind played their nu metal to a filling and warming festival arena. Nothing new was gained from this set and illustrates why they have been falling further down the bill over the years. Sylosis provided some extreme metal leaning more towards melodic death metal, but although getting the audience moving were musically nothing special. Billy Talent gets the award for the worst noise in the history of the universe, ever. Those screams were enough to destroy your soul.

Tripswitch / Staind / Sylosis

Over on the second stage Dir En Grey shot through the best set of the day so far. The Japanese dolls were greatly receipted but although they were the most enjoyable band thus far, they did start explosively but loose their edge as the set went on.

Dir En Grey

Most enjoyable set of the festival so far was about to be taken away however by none other than the reactivated Limp Bizkit. Anything could have happened, Fred Durst isn't many people's favourite person so he could have been on the end of one of Download's famous bottlings, but the band came out and got down to business playing well and appealing to the audience. Hardly anything from after the "Chocolate Starfish..." days appeared in the setlist, it was mostly the best material from the "...Starfish..." and "Significant Other" albums that everyone wanted to hear. The audience loved it, especially the guys from the audience Fred pulled onto the stage who looked just like him wearing red caps and sporting bald heads. Who would have expected Limp Bizkit to come out and give as good of a set as the band have probably ever given.

Limp Bizkit

Although the appeal of the hilarious comedian of Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth was tempting on the second stage, it was Korn on the main stage that drew most people. Following the great Limp Bizkit set couldn't have been the easiest thing and it showed. Korn blew hot and cold and by the end it felt like something was missing. There wasn't a lot of communication was the audience, but hearing the older songs brought the energy to Donington. They played near enough a couple of songs from each album, highlights being "Freak On A Leash" sounding fantastic live as well as "Got The Life". Closing with "Another Brick In The Wall" the band gave a set that was enjoyable, but neither fantastic or awful.


For headlining slots on the first day, Download Festival gave a lot of people a lot of trouble trying to pick between Meshuggah on the third stage, Mötley Crüe on the second stage and of course Faith No More on the main stage. Before Faith No More, there was enough time to catch the start of the Mötley Crüe set however. The band kicked the set off fantastically with "Kickstart My Heart", "Wild Side" and "Shout At The Devil" and sounded great doing it. Unfortunately that was about as much as could fit before Faith No More and so over to the main stage it was for the spectacle of the festival.

Mötley Crüe

The main stage had a huge red curtain backdrop with curtains either side for these guys to come out very quietly and kick off with an appropriate Peaches & Herb cover of "Reunited" and then into "The Real Thing". For a set like this with a band like this, everyone wants to hear his or her favourite songs and this set delivered just that from "We Care A Lot" over to "Midlife Crisis" not forgetting "Epic" on the way. Mike Patton is crazy but that is part of the appeal of watching Faith No More wondering what he is going to do next. Either he is making chicken noises to seventy-odd-thousand people, hiding in a curtain or doing his workout on stage complete with star-jumps and sit-ups with the microphone stuffed into his mouth. The Download Festival was broadcast over the internet and Faith No More must have pulled viewers from all over the world, but when Mike screamed into the microphone standing there in the flesh it felt like your ear drums were about to burst it was so loud. The band played perfectly bringing the sound of the nineties back to Download. The whole set had a relaxed and laid back nature to it, no rushing or pressure, the band did everything in their own time. The audience was not as big as it would be for some bands the next two days, but everyone present at the show Faith No More reunited to play, left feeling quite satisfied.

Faith No More



Written on 16.06.2009 by
Baz Anderson
Member of Staff since 2006.
More articles by Baz Anderson ››


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Comments: 7  
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BitterCOld - 16.06.2009 at 23:25  
Wtf is a star-jump?
Baz Anderson - 16.06.2009 at 23:58  
Written by BitterCOld on 16.06.2009 at 23:25

Wtf is a star-jump?

Hahaha, you know. Jumping like this. I wouldn't have thought it was a strange term.
BitterCOld - 17.06.2009 at 01:00  
Written by Baz Anderson on 16.06.2009 at 23:58

Written by BitterCOld on 16.06.2009 at 23:25

Wtf is a star-jump?

Hahaha, you know. Jumping like this. I wouldn't have thought it was a strange term.

ah, jumping jacks here (amusingly perhaps after the pattern on the Union Jack?) - figured that was what you were referring to, but the term was still foreign to me.
jupitreas - 17.06.2009 at 13:48  
Love the picture of Patton hiding in the curtains.
BitterCOld - 17.06.2009 at 21:20  
Only caught about 30 min of their show, but his antics were amusing.
The Shape 1973 - 17.06.2009 at 21:28  
Who is the guy in the suit, in the top left of Faith No More photos? looks like George Bush.
Baz Anderson - 23.06.2009 at 08:13  
Written by The Shape 1973 on 17.06.2009 at 21:28

Who is the guy in the suit, in the top left of Faith No More photos? looks like George Bush.

Haha, he's their keyboard player.

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