Gig Review – Download Festival, Day 3, 16 June 2019

At last the weather had started to improve, just in time for the end of the festival! Today was all about old school hard rock – Anthrax, Lamb of God, Smashing Pumpkins and Slayer’s last ever UK show.

Anthrax are just good fun to shoot, and certainly delivered.

I’m not particularly fussed by Lamb of God but Randy Blythe’s dreadlocks are always¬†an opportunity for an interesting shot or two.

I fully expected that the Smashing Pumpkins would close the pit and force any of us accredited for their set to shoot from the mixer. All the shots from other dates on their tour have been from the mixer so it was frankly shocking when we took our place in the pit and weren’t moved on. However camera shy Billy Corgan is, he and the band certainly delivered. His solo on the 3rd song went on and on and although he did his best to hide away, we got our shots.

The vast majority of us turned down the ‘opportunity’ to shoot the festival headliners and Sunday closers Tool. First because they had the most ridiculous, restrictive contract that forced you to hand over your copyright. Second because you got one song. Third because it was from the mixer and fourth because the singer stands off to one side in darkness throughout the show. Why would anyone bother!? Seems about 6 of our number did and I can’t see why. Cue Slayer instead, headlining the second stage and performing their last ever UK show. It was an absolute blast, a ton of dry ice from the off, great light and a barrage of songs that seemed to be over in an instant. What a way to close my time at Download 2019!