Download Festival, one of the biggest festivals the UK has, is in a bit of a weird place. There’s no denying that a lot of the bands that were once headliners are dying off. Black Sabbath called it a day this year, Kiss have said they’re not doing any more festivals, and bands the size of Metallica and Iron Maiden aren’t getting any younger. With Green Day and Foo Fighters yet to have taken up the mantle (amongst others of course), we had a think about some of the bands who aren’t quite there yet that we’d like to see at the top of the bill at Donnington.
Come on now. This one should be a no-brainer. The Newport Helicopter has become a thing of legend, a piece of Download Festival history and whether you’ve seen it live in the flesh (especially this year) or simply seen a video of it you cannot deny that 80,000 people going absolutely mental whilst spinning their shirts in the air would not be a thing of beauty. Benji Webbe is one of the all-time most charismatic frontmen to have ever existed, and even though much of the popular rock music press seemed to completely ignore Volume when it came out, Skindred have the tunes to already be deserving of a space at the top of Donnington.
Paramore are now at a strange point in their career. Are they big enough to headline Download? Are they still a “rock” band? Surely if Muse can headline Download then Paramore have enough rock credibility to be in with a shot? One to watch, but perhaps if we see the old headliners all die off one-by-one then Paramore may yet see their chance.
Despite being placed criminally low down in the 3rd stage this year, Gojira are destined for better things. Anyone who watched them play a literally perfect show at Hellfest can attest to the fact that they are ready for this, they’re just waiting for everyone else to catch up with them. This year’s release Magma is not just arguably the best one of their career, but one of the best metal albums released over the last couple of years, and if they can continue to unite fans of the heavier ends of the spectrum in the way they are doing, it will be an almost criminal act for them to not get at least 2nd stage headline or main support status.
Billy Talent’s set at Download this year was lauded by many as one of the best sets of the weekend. They already have four albums full of absolute gold, and if Afraid Of Heights goes down the way it already deserves to (and it hasn’t even come out yet) then rock fans the whole country over would be remiss to not back them absolutely tearing the main stage apart.
Already massive on the continent and in the US, Volbeat’s modern attitude to heavy, groove-laden classic rock has captured the hearts of many and the money of many many more. They have already headlined Graspop Metal Meeting in Belgium earlier this year, and there are some people clamoring to have them at Donnington either next year or the year after in a headline slot.
30 Seconds To Mars
It’s actually kind of amazing that they haven’t headlined already when you think about how big they are. Say what you like about Jared Leto (no really, go ahead) we think it would be one hell of a spectacle for him and his pals to bring the whole stage show to Download. If they turned up and played The Kill 15 times then even better.