Gig Review – Download Festival, Day 1, 14 June 2019

Every year I say I’ve shot my last Download Festival then every year I find myself back in a (usually muddy) Derbyshire field. Last year the weather was amazing, not so this year. Normal service resumed. I thought seriously about whether to go again this year as for me the headliners were okay but not that inspiring but as I got back in the car on Sunday night I concluded I’d done the right thing to come. No doubt I’ll be back again in 2020.

Day 1 for me was all about Slash. Access to his solo shows is getting harder and harder, and even though the show and his style never change from year to year, it’s Slash!

It turned out not to all be about Slash in the end. I’d not even clocked before I arrived that Deadland Rituals is the supergroup put together by none other than Geezer Butler and this was their first ever UK show. I’d not seen Matt Sorum since the last time I shot Velvet Revolver and I’m so pleased I saw them.

Last up on the second stage were the Eagles of Death Metal, one very much ticked off the bucket list. It’s always hard to shoot any artist in daylight as it never does them justice but they were still great fun to shoot.

I fully expected Def Leppard to be a write off because every single show on the current tour has been from the mixer. I resolved not to bother – not because of them but because I think it’s completely pointless shooting a rock band from way back at the mixer. For reasons not even known to Kevin Nixon, my mate who is their tour photographer, we all got pit access for 3 songs. And as you can see it was an absolute treat!