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Review: Download 2013 – Sunday

Beki Kidwell


By Sunday, my legs were partially dead, my face was sun burnt and my head was pounding – but the best was still yet to come, so I powered on. We started the day off by getting in close for the Cancer Bats. I hadn’t heard much from the band before, so this was a first impression for me, and I was quite surprised to enjoy their set. I wasn’t a huge fan of their sound, I figured it was a little fast and somewhat over the top. I didn’t appreciate the Americanisation of the lead singers repetition of ‘you motherfucker’s ROCK’ and ‘can I get a hell yeah?!’ However, I did appreciate the energy and found the crowd to be one of the most enthusiastic of the whole weekend.

We decided to take a breather for Swedish hard rock band Graveyard and sit at the high end of the Zippo stage for their set. Favourites such as Hisingen Blues created a glorious moment in the weekend. The crowd wasn’t all that extensive and we sat down the whole way through, but it didn’t stop us from appreciating their amazing show. After an afternoon nap and a long break to stretch my legs ready for the evening, we decided to watch the last ten minutes of Thirty Seconds to Mars. I am not a huge fan of the band, but the multi-coloured balloons, the blow up fish and crocodiles and the amount of fans allowed on stage at the end of the set got even those at the back of the arena on their feet.

However, it was what came next that made my heart race. As a huge fan of German heavy metal band Rammstein, I had been excited for their set even before I arrived at the festival. The rumours of their fantastical pyrotechnics and fire-blazing shows had me on the edge of my seat from the beginning of the day – but what was to come was nothing short of insane. Front man Till Lindemann arrived on top of a dropping metal block into the arena with oil dripping from his face, newly bleached blonde hair and a fluffy pink jacket. The crowd went crazy. His voice was even better live than recorded, if that’s possible, and the heat from the pyrotechnics could be felt from half way back in the crowd. Hugely popular songs like Du Hast, Benzin, Ich Tu Dir Weh and Feuer Frei proved to wow the audience, while Till’s take on graphic sado-masochism, cooking his keyboardist alive and sporting a massive foam-spitting penis machine just made jaws drop to the floor.

By far the most intense set of the weekend, Rammstein created a night that I will never forget – not only because of the bands obvious enthusiasm, extreme professionalism and absurd, shock-inducing songs, but because the moment I got home I went to A&E to be treated for head-banging related whiplash. A battle wound I will never regret.