Here they stand, appreciative to be able to do so
When a band performing at Download states their gratitude for being able to play at the renowned Donington festival, you are often able to detect a variable degree of sincerity. However, as vocalist Nathan Leone extended his message to the sodden fans braving the British weather, this particular heartfelt message could not have felt more genuine. With bassist Matthew Leone's life having hung in the balance after being violently attacked in 2010, it comes as no surprise that Madina Lake appear to be counting every day and every gig as a blessing.
The band, who in Matthew's absence have previously played gigs with his bass parts pre-recorded, now thankfully seem to have returned to full strength. Driven by the excitement surrounding their soon-to-be-released third studio album, 'World War III,' the Chicagoan four-piece offered a sturdy set to warrant their invitation back to the festival.
Beginning their main stage appearance with 'Let's Get Outta Here' and 'Never Take Us Alive', the quartet thrust into life with the act of prematurely "getting out of there" definitely not on the agenda. The half hour set was packed with variety, not only performing expected singles such as, 'Here I Stand,' but using the opportunity to advertise the imminent release of their new album with the exhibition of new material, much to the delight of their die-hard fans. The Leone twins have always appeared to be two of the nicest men in rock and this was backed by their decision to throw most of their opened water bottles out into the crowd. Yet, considering the appalling weather, it seems unlikely that the fans wanted to have more cold water showering over them. It was a kind gesture, though.
Madina Lake have clearly begun to savour the new era that they have been directed into. Their passionate set at Download illustrates that their love for making music together is stronger than ever. For some bands, it is quite identifiable that touring is a wearisome chore, but for the Leone twins and their bandmates Mateo Camargo and Dan Torelli, nothing could be further from the truth.