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REVIEW: Download day one

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"This is Download," Bullet For My Valentine's Matthew Tuck reminded the thousands of metalheads before him, "the whole world wishes they were you right now!" An exaggeration perhaps, but one the devoted rockers crammed into a Leicestershire field could believe. Friday's damp beginnings were weathered, early risers Architects appropriately instructing the crowd to build 'walls of death' to keep spirits up during the drizzle. The sun beamed in time for wrinkly rockers Europe, who still know how to stoke a pit, and a jubilant ne-ne-ner-ner-along to The Final Countdown. There was new blood too, at the Red Bull tent; kilt-clad Aberdeenites Semperfi and melodic metalists Akord especially impressing. Note to organisers though: next time pitch further away from the Acoustic Stage, so bold lone souls like Rob Lynch aren't drowned out. The aforementioned BFMV proved their Kings of British Emo credentials with a heart-on-sleeve, flame-jet-backed set on the main stage, despite dapper upstarts Asking Alexandria snapping at their heels with a similarly earnest display. Elsewhere hardcore thrashers Converge pulverised the Pepsi Max tent, impassioned vocalist Jacob Bannon beckoning acolytes into a frenzy, while gypsy punks Gogol Bordello can proudly say they provoked more crowd surfing, purple-suited gimps than any other band. Speaking of gimps, metal behemoths Slipknot closed the main stage as only a horrific circus troop could, their fans' adoration forcing them to stop after the barrier gave way - twice. Ending on the brutal Surfacing, frontman Corey Taylor promised a swift return - let's hope they've reinforced the barrier by then.RELATED CONTENTPICTURES: Download 2013 - fans arrive at Donington Park ALMOST READY TO ROCK: Campers rock 'n' roll up for the Download festivalPREVIEW: The top acts to see at Download Festival

REVIEW: Download day one


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