Slash – Main Stage

Despite the cold and wet weather, thousands of people trudged down, through layers of mud, to the Main Stage to witness the magic that is Slash, Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators and I was one of these people. Ever since these guys partnered up to make music I have been an avid supporter. I think it’s safe to say that in my opinion, every song they’ve written has been great, and Myles Kennedy‘s singing voice leaves me at a loss for words.

With the inclusion of some Guns N Roses classic (of course!), such as ‘Sweet Child O Mine‘ and ‘Paradise City‘ and some hits from the ‘World On Fire‘ album, ‘World On Fire‘ and the ‘Apocalyptic Love‘ album, ‘You’re A Lie‘ and ‘Anastasia‘ they were guaranteed to please the thousands and get them singing along.

Unfortunately for me, this wasn’t the best I have seen of these guys. When I saw Slash and Myles back at Download 2010 there was a hell of a lot more energy on stage even if there were less original hits to be performed. Regardless of that, seeing these guys live is still an experience that any rock fan should take advantage of. (8/10)

Billy Idol – Main Stage

Billy Idol has been rockin’ the stage since the late 70s/early 80s and the fact that he is still up there in 2015 doing what he does best – with his famous peroxide hair – is just so cool. From the moment he got up on stage, I knew exactly what I wanted to hear – ‘White Wedding‘, ‘Rebel Yell‘, and ‘Dancing With Myself‘ , because they are all Billy Idol classics and if you see the Generation X legend live you HAVE to hear those.

Billy did not disappoint. He played all of these hits up on the Main Stage  to crowds of thousands as they sung along and waved their arms, although not as enthusiastically as I thought they might. Surprisingly, at the age of 59 Billy Idol was incredibly energetic as well and looked so happy to be up there.

If anything, this set wasn’t long enough but it’s definitely amazing to be able to see Billy Idol live. (7/10)

H.E.A.T – Encore Stage

H.E.A.T played their set quite early on in the day, but that didn’t matter to the audience – they were ready and waiting for the Swedish rockers to hit the stage. These guys were great at commanding the crowd and immersing them into the H.E.A.T experience with vocalist Erik constantly shouting to the audience and encouraging them to clap along and sing back to him, especially in the ballad ‘Tearing Down The Walls‘ and classic ‘Point Of No Return‘.

I’d never seen these guys live before, but their songs are great and they have SO much energy on stage that it’s definitely worth checking out. (7/10)

Like A Storm – Maverick Stage

Like A Storm managed to pull together a fairly good crowd over in the big blue tent, considering they were on stage so early! Vocalist Chris Brooks had a great on stage energy and kept the crowd entertained; singing back at him and waving their arms in the air. Judging from this performance alone I can tell that these guys have definitely written a bunch of songs that are worth performing live, all with great hooks and enough energy to engage the entire room.

The crowd seemed to particularly enjoy ‘Love The Way You Hate Me‘ and of course, the awesome cover they did of ACDC’s ‘TNT’ – unexpected but awesome all the same. It’s a shame that they didn’t manage to pack the tent out completely this time but I think it’s fair to say that these guys could easily be on the Encore Stage by next Download Festival. (6/10)

September Mourning – Maverick Stage

With her outrageous costume and extreme make-up, it seems that Sunday was the perfect day for Emily Lazar and her band September Mourning to play Download Festival, in the lead up to Motley Crue and headliner KISS. For those that hadn’t seen September Mourning live before, (myself included), it was worth heading over to the Maverick Stage just to see what they were all about – and they’re not your average rock band!

September Mourning is a story and that story was definitely told throughout the band’s set. Vocalist Emily Lazar has an incredible voice and her stage presence in that big blue tent was fantastic. As a group this band are seriously tight. (8/10)

Aaron Keylock – Jake’s Stage

Blues guitarist Aaron Keylock is young, and possibly the youngest person to be performing at Download Festival this year. At only 17 years old and taking to Jake’s Stage, Aaron Keylock slowly filled out the tent.

Playing his blend of blues influenced rock (think Lynyrd Skynyrd meets The Black Crowes), there is nothing new here but man, can this kid play. Now I’m not being patronising when I say kid, I’m just making the point that he is THAT good and not even 18 years old yet!

Whilst the vocals need a fair bit of work, the guitar playing is top-notch. I think it’s clear to see that Aaron Keylock is going to be a staple of the British blues rock scene. (5/10)