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Barking Spiders

Any BCers off to Download this weekend?

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I'm not a metalhead as such but I have a fair sprinkling of crunching guitar bands in my collection including System of A Down who are headlining Friday. Off there with me ladee who's a huge fan. Mastodon ought be pretty good too. But being the wusses we are we're not camping.

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Aye, I'm there for the full 5 days. Should be good, hoping for less hurricane like conditions than last year though!

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Went last year. I'm too old (early thirties) to sleep in a tent next to an active runway, get soaked to the bone with security guards actually pulling and pushing me and others out from under cover in to the rain for no reason, have my tent moved and made inaccessible by other people who wanted the space... Saw some great bands and would love to see Aerosmith, System and others this time round but without a guarantee on the weather I can't part with the cash.

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I wondered why the weather was turning colder and wetter this week. Never seen Aerosmith but they would be pretty much the only band I'd be interested in seeing so I'm not paying for a day ticket just for them even though i can get the bus to the site from where i live.

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I'm off to it, and have been a non-camping person for as long as I've been going (I did once kip in a mate's car the night before back in the Monsters of Rock days when it was one day). My mates that used to taunt me about missing out on the full festival atmosphere are now all converts to my preferred option of a hotel in Derby where there is a bus service to and from the festival each day, you have your own bathroom and somebody cooks you bacon in the morning. Too many war stories of people getting gear nicked, sleeping in puddles of mud, and generally feeling miserable after three days in the trenches when it rains. This weekend looks just as miserable weather wise so it's off to the pound shop to pick up some plastic ponchos on the way home...to be worn under what claims to be waterproof clothing but turns out not to be on days when it doesn't stop raining...

OK line up this year - love System, hate Biffy Clyro so that would have been an early night had Rob Zombie not been on the second stage while they're playing. Aerosmith always seem to play on a Sunday night so whether I see them this will depend on how "festivalled out" I am after four days of relentless drinking and standing in a muddy field by then.

Quite a lot I like on the under card though - Prophets of Rage, Slayer, Krokodil, Mastadon, Hacktivist, and the Lounge Kittens, and plenty to discover in the smaller tents (trickier if it does solidly rain all weekend).

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Will also be going (7 years now) but as per every year, not camping either - too old for that. Will be bussing in as well.
Not so fussed about the headliners to be honest (although unlike Steve, may see Biffy as don't mind them) but looking forward to Mastodon, Slayer, Alter Bridge, Clutch plus a few others that don't know much about but have heard songs on Spotify.
My DL buddy is always way ahead of me in terms of new bands, so I wager he's been doing his usual investigation work.

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Anyone going remember there will be extra security searches on so expect it to take longer than usual to get on site.

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I'd like to see Aerosmith again (probably one of my favourite 'rock' of that type) but I can't be bothered to travel, get wet, and spend about 3 days at work knackered afterwards.

I love gigs and I'm off to see a lot over the next 9 months, but I'm losing interest in more than 1 day outdoor events.

I kinda wish Aerosmith played Manchester...as their own solo gig, and I'd 100% go!

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Just got in - Sunday only ticket , taking 15yr old daughter to first concert .

I've no idea who does the sounds for this (especially the main stage) - dreadful .

Airbourne sounded crap - just all bass drum mush .

Steel Panther had a decent mix .

Then Alterbridge started OK , then dissolved into more mush . Nifty bass work was seen , but no chance of hearing a note . Who'd of thought that a EBMM SR5 can't cut through - woeful mixing .

Then Aerosmith came on and I thought were great - still a bit drum heavy at times , but pretty good mix .

I know there have been live gig/festival sound threads before , but I was genuinely shocked at how bad the sound was .

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Moved all over place .

Anyway , aren't these massive line array jobbies supposed to enhance dispersion?

It was just a crap sound

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My experience of these modern line array systems is that they just don't sound as good as the older stacked PA systems we had years ago. They may be technically better, but don't sound as good. The older systems has a sound that you could feel as well as hear , good bass response. Most of the gigs I've been to in the last few years with the line array systems have sounded pretty poor , lack of punch and decent bass , just a middy and drum heavy sound.
i know there are technical reasons for using these modern line array things , but from my experience , gigs just don't sound as good as they used to in the bigger venues.

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I was there Friday and felt very sorry for Mastodon, who I'd been particularly looking forward to. For around half a dozen numbers their sound was fooked by a mix of sound desk issues and strong gusts. The drums and bass drowned out the vocals and guitars. Not Mastodon's fault at all. The sound got somewhat better as the day went on. Five Finger Death Punch were fun but there were too many long gaps between songs. Best of the day were Prophets of Rage aka Rage Against The Machine with Chuck D from Public Enemy and B Real from Cypress Hill. Feckin excellent with Tom Morello on toppermost form. A big up to Sabaton, who I'd never heard of before but they left a very positive imprint.

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OK disclaimer I am not a rock/metalhead and get tickets cheap through a festival trader friend of mine but got back yesterday from my third download that I go to in order to meet up with two very old school friends, one of which is a complete metalhead.

[b]Weather -[/b] it was not glorious but compared to previous downloads I have attended it was like being in the tropics and as a result the 4 days of camping was actually fun rather than just a necessary evil. Actually the download fest goers are great fun (one of the reasons I am persuaded to go back) and so even in the mud there is still a party atmosphere.

[b]Live mix -[/b] Never enjoyed the sound at download (I usually end up calling it the festival of the kick drum) but this may be a taste thing thing as it appears when I talk to others in attendance they do not seem to see the issue, so perhaps the genre expects/demands a heavy kick drum bias. I.e The mix for system of a down, which I though was reasonable, shows the rig is capable of more clarity.

Even the smaller stages (large tents) had a heavy kick drum bias where the engineers are not fighting the elements (i.e. no wind issues etc) so again suggests that sound is desired.

[b]The line up -[/b]

[b]Biggest surprise[/b] for me were Mastadon who I did not expect to enjoy more than the standard fare. I had intended to see the beginning of their set and then head over to watch Suicidal Tendencies. Instead (despite of the sound) I watched the entire set and think the arrangement quirks would have held them in good stead at an All Tomorrows Parties festival, great stuff and I will try and catch these guys in their own right.

[b]New Find - [/b]Idles - shame about the kick heavy mix but still enjoyed enough to be looking into their music.

[b]Best of the rest -[/b]

System of a down
Suicidal Tendencies (only caught the later part but reliable as always)
Slayer
Tax The Heat
Prophets of Rage

[b]Worst Moment[/b]

The mainstage line-up on sunday was always going to problematic for me but Steel Panther was painful. I have seen them before and I did laugh (as is the intention) but the show has not really not moved on, the humour seems even more out of date, bordering on distasteful. I put them in a place similar to how Benny Hill fell from glory.

[b]Will I go again[/b]
Probably a year off before I can be persuaded and it will be line up dependent but yes.

Edited by NowVertical

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i had a great time, and I've found before that the line ups that don't inspire me very much tend to be the most fun as I'll spend more time wandering around listening to new stuff. Also ticked off a lot of bands that I'd heard of but didn't know their music and having done so I'm in no hurry to see them again...mostly the somewhat dull, slightly operatic "prog metal" brigade like Opeth, Coheed and Cambria and Anaethema.

Didn't experience any particular sound issues with the main stage, a few windier moments but everything i watched was from right next to the mixing desk/tent and it all sounded good from there. Same on the second stage - a few moments where the wind took charge but didn't hugely affect the sound from where I was. Also noticed that when at our meeting up spot (sat at one end of the second stage field outside the Motley Brew tent, who provided tea and cakes to one of our party) there seemed to be a point about half way through the afternoon where the volume suddenly went up and you could hear the second stage sound much better wherever you were. the only one who had noticeably terrible sound was Raven's Eye (I think...there was another band called Raven Age who I didn't see, pretty sure i got the right one) where the guitar was largely absent for most of the set, like the sound man had popped to the loo and hadn't noticed that the guitar slider was at zero.

Highlight for me was Prophets of Rage, with the Lounge Kittens a very close second. Honourable mentions for Slayer (back on form after a terrible, lifeless set at last year's Bloodstock), Hacktivist, Sikth (me alone in my party in liking them), Dinosaur Pile Up, Mastodon, Ministry, System of A Down and Steel Panther (though I agree about the humour getting a little dated...basically it's the same jokes they told the other times I've seen them at a festival, but they do know how to play to a massive crowd). I'll need to check the posters to remember half of the bands i saw in the tents.

Best surprise of the weekend was a band we only watched because they were described as "satanic space vikings"and went to see what the hell they would be like - Kverletak (I think). Great fun, and really enjoyable.

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Agree with most of these comments, the kick drum was very evident throughout, particularly on the main stage, sometimes wondering if any other instruments were being played at times.
Having never seen ROTM live, very much enjoyed Prophets of Rage (nice tribute to Chris Cornell as well), Mastodon were excellent.
Agree with Steve, that Kverletak were a surprise, as knew nothing about them and only saw them to escape from whoever was playing the main stage.
Saw Brian Marshall (Alterbridge) struggle against the sound, as I could see on the screen that he was flying up & down the fretboard - not that I could tell from the sound.
Very impressed with the bass players from Coheed & Cambria and Clutch.
We went to see Devilskin in the tent (basically because the singer looked very easy on the eye) but very enjoyable as well - she had a great set of pipes on her (and the guitarist & bass player looked like the Mitchell Brothers with red chin beards).
Overall, nice weekend and more enjoyable as you could actually have a sit down and not have to wear a rain jacket all day. Also, they had spaced the site out a bit better this year.
The only thing I was surprised about was that none of the stages got named after Chris Cornell as a tribute (no Crumble Shack this year, gutted :o().

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Also noticed that during the Mastodon set, it took them ages to figure out where to point the camera when Brann was singing - they kept moving the camera shot to Troy, Brent & Brian and couldn't work out why none of them were singing. Eventually they found him :o)

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[quote name='Patster1969' timestamp='1497455993' post='3318338']
Also noticed that during the Mastodon set, it took them ages to figure out where to point the camera when Brann was singing - they kept moving the camera shot to Troy, Brent & Brian and couldn't work out why none of them were singing. Eventually they found him :o)
[/quote]

I remember watching Ash at the NEC supporting The Darkness years ago, the cameras were filming Tim's stationary fingers for the first few solos until they realised it was Charlotte Hatherly in charge of the shredding bits! A girl playing lead whatever next? :)

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Had a great weekend, all the bands were pretty good. The sound engineering was quite shocking at times. No bass at all for the first song by Airborne. This is inexcusable. Too much bass drum most of the time. Dissapointed by food this year, normally excellent but just a bit meh. Made loads of new friends and drank lots of cheap beer, so a brilliant weekend...

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[quote name='NowVertical' timestamp='1497358863' post='3317506']


[b]Biggest surprise[/b] for me were Mastadon who I did not expect to enjoy more than the standard fare. I had intended to see the beginning of their set and then head over to watch Suicidal Tendencies. Instead (despite of the sound) I watched the entire set and think the arrangement quirks would have held them in good stead at an All Tomorrows Parties festival, great stuff and I will try and catch these guys in their own right.


[/quote]

I saw Mastodon at an ATP a few years back, and yes, they went down a storm. It did help that it was the year curated by Melvins and Mike Patton!

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