Last night, the heightened state of excitement hung in the air as tens of thousands of fans had waited through the rain all weekend for the final act at Download Festival.
The stage set for Iron Maiden showed a Mayan temple ruin, complete with fire and smoke – everything needed for an adrenaline induced festival finale. However, the spectacle was not enough to give the performance that everyone was hoping for.
Bruce Dickinson leaped around the stage with as much energy as ever showing his unmeasurable power as a performer, however, the novelty soon wore off. Old classics were recycled and new material was given that sadly didn’t deliver the same bite as they may have in the past. The performance was an opportunity for the band to flex the same muscles.
Photo: Ross Silcocks
‘Powerslave’ and ‘Fear of the Dark’ delivered the goods early on, and prompted the entire festivals worth of hands in the air. The encore offered up ‘The Number of the Beast’ and ‘Blood Brothers’ that were good, but showed no sign of improvement or difference.
Widdly-diddly solos, head-banging and screams were in full swing, offering the same atmosphere that was to be expected. But, I guess, why were we expecting anything more? There has been a great dose of nostalgia offered up by Download with this year’s headliners, although fresh blood is needed.
Iron Maiden Played:
If Eternity Should Fail
Speed of Light
Children of the Damned
Tears of a Clown
The Red and the Black
Death or Glory
The Book of Souls
Hallowed Be Thy Name
Fear of the Dark
The Number of the Beast
Photo: Jenny Lyne
Perhaps one of the most memorable performances of the weekend was given by Halestorm – a band name fit for the weekend’s weather. “Do you want me,” lures Lzzy Hale as she vaults into a hypnotic performance of ‘Mz. Hyde’, arguably off their best studio album to date.
The band gave a heavy dose of song off their most recent album ‘Into the Wild Life’ by opening with ‘Apocalyptic’ and going onto ‘Amen’ and ‘Mayhem’. Despite their new material being no match for the classics, they left fans with nothing to complain about. Breaking up the set, Arejay gave an astounding signature drum solo that delved into a plethora of classic rock cameos.
The penultimate act of the day was symphonic metal band Nightwish offering their longest set at Download to date. Operatic symphonies and shredding guitar riffs were executed as they performed old classics such as ‘I Want my Tears Back’ and ‘Nemo’. Well chosen as a prelude for Maiden, they did themselves justice.
Other acts such as The Temperance Movement and Monster Truck were such a fantastic choice to kick off the final day at Download by giving a much needed dichotomy from start to finish. Bluesy rock act The Temperance Movement were something different for this year’s line up and they didn’t shy away from being the odd one out. Whereas Monster Truck started the day off with a powerful live performance including ‘Why Are You Not Rocking?’ The weekend rounded up with another day of pure entertainment.