I was excited to see System of a Down play at Download. When they first appeared on the scene with the release of their self-titled debut in 1998, they didn’t seem to fit the stereotype and their distinct sound was an instant hit with me – I was stoked to be able to hear the classics played. However, they have seldom performed live over the last few years and when they have I’ve made the trip to London to see them, so to have the chance to see them at Download was a spectacular beginning to the weekend.
When I think about System of a Down, I hear the lyrics from Prison Song which pound in my head. When they played this, it is safe to say I was one very happy fan. The crowd adored them too, it was a sea of flash-lit phones for Chop Suey and Toxicity and carnage ensued as thousands expressed the energy and power that their music brings to the surface. What they continue to do right is have brilliantly entertaining songs, tongue-in-cheek, a bit ‘post’. In my opinion, they don’t take themselves too seriously and this was an awesome start to the weekend. We love you System, don’t go away for so long!
The first day at Download was full of surprises overall; the excitement was palpable for the monsters of metal that are Mastodon and I was glued to the spot watching them; they turn genre-corners in their music that hook in every type of metal head. I have to be honest; it has made me a fan. Other bands that had me dancing like a loon in the sunshine were Prophets of Rage. There was a lot of charisma on that stage, not just age and experience; and the band somehow transcended the Download event – I was watching their show and it didn’t matter if no-one else turned up.