Download 2018 has kicked off in magestic fashion, with a war of kings taking place during the opening day. Taking place from 7th – 10th June 2018, Friday's regal performances by Swedes Avatar and headliners Avenge Sevenfold bookended a day packed with music, mayhem, and more.
It was to theatrical metal act Avatar that the honour of opening the festival fell. Taking to the stage just before midday, colourful front man Johannes Eckerström said “Good morning download! We’ve got the music, all we need is the horns!”, prompting the early gatherers to raise their hands in unison. Welcoming their own King to the stage, guitarist Jonas ‘Kungen’ Jarlsby performed the opening number upon a thrown before joining the band on stage in over-the-top, ceremonial fashion.
With multiple acts taking to the sites’ four stages, there was something for everyone, from rock, to metal, to alternative and beyond. Making his first ever solo U.K. festival appearance, Jonathan Davis’ early evening set proved a hit over on the Zippo Encore stage. Featuring its own string section, the Korn singer’s ambient sound was the perfect soundtrack as the sun appeared over the site.
Elsewhere, proto-punks Bad Religion packed out the Avalanche stage, with lead singer Greg Graffin declaring: “It’s such a historic place to play, Castle Donington”, before proclaiming; “Donington stands as a monument to the ancient dark ages”.
However it was headliners Avenged Sevenfold who made the loudest statement of the day, with a huge production, and prop and pyro-filled show that was equaled only by their bombastic sound. With uber-cool singer M. Shadows leading from the front, the band’s winged skull mascot dominated the stage, none more so than during an explosive ‘Hail To The King’. Closing the night with a huge fireworks display, it was a fitting end to what had been a fantastic first day at Download.
Download 2018 continues on Saturday, with Guns ‘n’ Roses set to make a return 30 years after debuting on the site at the 1988 Monsters of Rock festival. Ozzy Osbourne is due to close the event on Sunday night, as part of his 'No More Tours 2' farewell trek.
Stay tuned for eonmusic's coverage from Download 2018, including news, reviews, and interviews with Bullet For My Valentine, Corrosion of Conformity, Wayward Sons, and more.
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