Slotted in before heavy weights Dillinger Escape Plan, Chicago’s Kill Hannah looked set to be the victims of bottles. Continually lumped too easily into the emo bracket, the five piece on paper didn’t seem to fit the Download credentials and so it comes as a bit of a surprise when the tent they are playing is relatively full and what’s more most of the crowd look like they should be over watching Judas Priest instead!
As Kill Hannah’s guitarists take to the stage there is an uncontrollable urge to burst out laughing as green lights shine from the Chicago band's instruments. But luckily such childish urges are soon slapped aside as ‘Life In The Attic’ charges its way onto the tiny Gibson stage. Dressed in a white military style jacket, from man Matt Devine sweeps onto the stage to a wave of cheers stealthy covering the stage as he delves into the dance inducing ‘Boys And Girls’. Commanding your full attention, Devine soon whips the crowd into a frenzy as ‘Believer’ gives way to ‘The Chase before the unweilding infectiousness of ‘Kennedy’ causes the tent to explode into a surge of jumping bodies that even sees so hard edged metal fans nervously glimpsing around before surrendering and simply joining in with the fun.
Wrapping himself in a banner taken from members of the band’s dedicated fans, the Kill Hannah Kollective, Devine proceeds to wind his slender body around the stage, pausing to only to spray the crowd with water before sauntering off once more. It is left to an old favourite to truly blast the crowd into a frenzy though as Devine dedicates the track to all the Chicago bands on the bill before breaking into an energetic eruption of ‘Welcome To Chicago Motherfucker’ that pounds and thumps with ferocity. But Kill Hannah still have one song to unleash and as ‘Lips Like Morphine’ blazes through the tent the place vibrates with riotous enthusiasm as bodies jump, words are sung and the Chicago band reveal a beast of a track that refuses to have anyone standing still.
Today Kill Hannah proved that if musical prejudice is pushed aside people may just find a band they never thought they’d like. From the die hard metal finds who eventually surrendered to the Chicago band’s infectious beats to the Kill Hannah Kollective who clung to the barrier to cheer their boys on, this was a show that united all, reinforcing that the true Download spirit is very much alive and kicking. A triumph for Kill Hannah and more importantly a triumph for music.