The drum heroes of Download 2013
The Rhythm team spent much of the last weekend running around Donington chatting with the great and the good of the drum world at the Download festival. But, when we weren’t chatting drums, we were out front catching some of the heavyweight drum stars that were peppered throughout the bill. Here are some of our favourites.
Download saw Korn welcomed back to the UK with four original members in tow. Anyone checking the Bakersfield nu metal pioneers on Friday afternoon would have been hard pushed to pick Ray Luzier out as being the sole late comer to the Korn camp, such was his effortless grasp of everything from opener Blind to rock/dubstep mash-up Narcissistic Cannibal.
The always entertaining ‘knot were the big draw on Friday night - and as usual they summoned up a furious set of theatrical metal, and one of the biggest, most rhythmical sound of any band you’re likely to hear.
But while the cameras - and most of the eyes in the crowd - were drawn to the percussive clatterings of Clown (up and down on his hydraulic lift, battering his industrial pots and pans), and their other percussionist #3, the real star was Joey Jordison.
His incredible double-kick, intelligent cymbal work, chops and speed have always been the backbone of the band - and once again he delivered to a festival the band consider their ‘spiritual home’.
If anything was going to scare the clouds away on Saturday afternoon, it was the sludge-metal behemoth of Mastodon, with the fantastic Brann Dailor behind the kit. Brann’s one of rock’s most watchable drummers, with power, kit dexterity and an incredible sound backing up the heavy duty riffs. That and he’s got Clown from Slipknot’s disembodied, shrunken head stuck on his kit.
They don’t say much, Mastodon - hardly the kind of rabble-rousing most other of Download’s big names do. Instead Dailor and his bandmates just rocked, hard and heavy, through tracks like Stargasm and a super Curl Of The Burl.
Not only did Sean Kinney power 40 minutes of belting grunge classics for Alice in Chains, he did so while feeling more than a little under the weather. He then jumped off stage and did a monumental amount of press. Respect.
Stepping into shoes once filled by Dave Grohl, Joey Castillo and the like, Jon Theodore was behind the kit for Queens of the Stone Age’s incredible main stage performance on Saturday.
From the stabbed intro of opener Feel Good Hit of the Summer to the full-pelt hammering that filled closer A Song For The Dead (via absolutely nailing the iconic Grohl fills on No One Knows), Theodore owned it. He absolutely nailed it.
A blistering set from the Maiden lads that was taken from their classic Maiden England setlist - from Moonchild to The Evil That Men Do, via Run To The Hills, Can I Play With Madness and more.
As expected, it was delivered with style and swagger, as a General Custer Eddie, a factory-load of pyrotechnics and more lit up Donington. And, of course, the blisteringly fast right foot of Nicko McBrain was powering it all, his monstrous beats and huge metal grooves getting the crowd pumping their arms and banging their heads.
Even those not popped up on the band’s own Trooper beer couldn’t deny the spectacle of a band still delivering. Bruce Dickinson promised that they would be back for a London show later this summer.