Bullet For My Valentine
With Avenged Sevenfold's stunning set on the Saturday evening, all eyes were on Bullet For My Valentine to prove their worth as possible future headliners of such a festival as Download in the same slot the following day. Sympathy would therefore have to go out to band with the weather steadily depleting the crowd and causing them to play to around half of what Avenged played to. The always cock-sure buggers weren't going to let that phase them though and delivered a great performance that shook off a lot of the day's wetness.
With pyro shooting constantly behind them, the boys played with a real gusto throughout with Moose Thomas' military-esque drum build-up on opener 'Your Betrayal' kicking proceedings off with a furious bang. 'Waking The Demon' obliterated any remaining hangovers or tiredness while 'Scream, Aim, Fire' kept energy high with its unrelenting metallic blast. Inevitably though it's material from classic debut 'The Poison' where the set really soared, frontman Matt Tuck's introduction of an incendiary '4 Words (To Choke Upon)' as "a song I wrote a long time ago but I still mean every word of it" sent the crowd into a jubilant frenzy while a pummelling follow-up with 'Hand of Blood' continued to amaze until the immortal 'Tears Don't Fall' raised a huge damp sing-a-long, sounding as massive and vital as always.
Frustratingly, criticisms do have to be made against the band's choice of set-list, in comparison to Avenged's brilliantly seamless balance of different shades, Bullet's choice of ballads was a strange one with the likes of 'Bittersweet Memories' being picked in favour of undeniably superior favourites like 'All These Things I Hate (Revolve Around Me)', such decisions causing a slight lull. This was only slight though and with a double-whammy closer of 'Begging For Mercy' and 'Alone', culminating in a plethora of giant bouncy balls and a dazzling firework show, allowed Bullet to powerfully seize victory over defeat.
A highly enjoyable performance and stage show from Britain's biggest young metal band that was only marred by occasional set-list curiosities. An admirable showing under tough circumstances.