We’re only a couple of weeks away from festival season being in full swing and day splits are getting finalised and we realise that there’s simply not enough weekends for everyone we want to see, we get ever closer to the first ‘huge’ festival on the UK calendar, Download Festival, which now comes with its ‘sister’ festival, Download France!
Returning for its second year, Download France is only a Eurostar trip to Paris away and is on the same weekend as its UK counterpart, but features a totally different line-up (but System of a Down and Prophets of Rage headline both festivals), with just about every headliner and main stage act being a hugely popular act at some point – if this years’ Download UK line-up doesn’t do it for you, or you just feel like hanging out at the Eiffel Tower before getting pickled, here’s five acts you need to catch at Download France!
With the Mark, Tom and Travis show being no more (Tom’s off fighting aliens or something) Blink-182 turned to Alkaline Trio frontman Matt Skiba to take over Guitar and vocal duties. The incredibly bold move from Mark (Hoppus) and Travis (Barker) ran the serious risk of just turning into another +44, but Matt’s style suits Blink so well, and he quickly picked up to be Matt Skiba from Blink-182, rather than Matt Skiba from Alkaline Trio trying to be Tom Delonge from Blink-182 – if you’re a B-182 fan, you NEED to see Matt lead the second verse of ‘I miss you’ – and if Blink never really did it for you the first time round, they’re still worth seeing, everything’s changed, but somehow, everything’s stayed the same! – 2016’s California is an outstanding shakeup, though die-hard punks may not love it so much, it’s still very worth a listen, with a deluxe re-release which dropped May 19th… just in time to learn them all!
Main Stage, Friday – listen for ‘All The Small Things’ – a playful pop-punk standard driven by Tom Delonge’s signature vocals gets a new lease of life by the bands personnel change and more mature image.
(Side note: If new Blink-182 is your jam, they’re touring the UK in July with The Front Bottoms and Frank Carter!)
Coheed and Cambria
New York prog-rockers Coheed and Cambria are currently touring the US – playing their groundbreaking 2005 album ‘Good Apollo I’m Burning Star IV’ in its entirety – concept albums done right are nearly impossible to come by, let alone one that’s kept up the narrative for over 10 years, the story contained within C&C albums have been the basis for so many other of their projects, including comic books, and even in 2005, GAIBSIV was the third album to continue the story. It’s unknown whether they’ll play the album in its entirety in Paris, and it’d be an extremely bold move to do so, but if any band could pull it off, its Coheed and Cambria.
Warbird stage, Sunday – Listen for ‘Welcome Home’ – many people’s first taste of our friends from New York as featured on the original ‘Rock Band’. ‘Heeeere laid to reeeest…!’
Prophets of Rage
‘Dangerous times demand dangerous songs’ is the mantra of Prophets of rage, consisting of RATM/Audioslave’s Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk teaming with Public Enemy’s Chuck D and DJ Lord as well as B-Real Cypress Hill, they promised to combine their ‘sonic firepower’ to ‘fight the election year bullshit’. With the election behind us, the guys play both the UK and French editions of Download Festival as part of their ‘Make The World Rage Again Tour’ – with each band represented having such a huge catalogue of hits, the Prophets’ set won’t be one to miss
Main Stage 2, Sunday – Listen for ‘Killing In The Name’ – Classic RATM still rings as true in 2017, but with France and a lot of her neighbours also having election years, it’s political message is still as loud and clear as it was over 25 years ago.
The most recent in this ‘phase’ of 90’s/00’s pop-punk bands making a comeback, it could be argued that Green Day (along with headline buddies Blink-182) were *THE* 90’s/00’s pop punk band with 1994’s groundbreaking ‘Dookie’ and 2004’s earthshattering ‘American Idiot’, very few bands have gained the success and appeal that GD did. No revolutionary lineup changes here, still the core trio of Billie-Joe, Mike and Tre (with a little help from their friends) – known for their extraordinarily long sets – pump through their ever-growing repertoire of hits and own the stage just as well as they did in the 90’s – 2016’s ‘Revolution Radio’ is a stunning return to form for BJA & friends both lyrically and musically, but expect to hear older tracks like Basket Case and American Idiot (is that told enough to call it an ‘older track’? darn.) by the dozen – and maybe even some deep cuts like Haushinka – expect their festival-closing set to bring the heat, political commentary, and plenty of crowd antics
Main Stage, Sunday (fest closer) – Listen for ‘Jesus of Suburbia’ – Green Day’s 9 minute calling card is still a rock standard that’ll have the entire festival shaking faster than you can say ‘I’m the son of rage & love…’
The French do things a touch differently to most festivals in other parts of the world, so the main thing to watch for is how differently it’s ran! – first off, they’re 2 main stages (hence PoR are on ‘Main Stage 2’) – the stages have equal billing but are right next to eachother, as soon as one band is finished on stage 1, the next band begins on stage 2! – cutting down the waiting times between sets, but it will mean a lot of shuffling if you want a good view… and when are you gonna get to pee?
In addition to this, there’s the Firefly stage that’s exclusive to campers, drop by here to get yourself fully pumped before swinging by the main festival, or even as a comedown after you’ve finished in the main arena, whatever your reason for visiting, expect more intimate sets, but don’t expect to not get rocked into oblivion!
There you have it, 4 acts and 1 stage you *cannot* miss at this year’s Download Festival France, catch it in Paris from 9th-11th of June, see you there! – tickets here.