From Ghost to Halestorm, and from Architects to Bullet For My Valentine, we present you with the ten acts that are ready to headline Download Festival.
The organisers of Europe’s biggest rock and metal festival, Download, have earned a reputation for booking seemingly impossible bands in the past. After bringing Guns n Roses back from the dead, getting the ominous and elusive Tool to headline on two separate occasions and catching Dillinger Escape Plan on their farewell tour, Download has built a solid reputation in its near 20 year lifespan. But, the organisers are finding themselves under mounting pressure with every passing year due to a seeming rinse and repeat attitude towards the main headliners.
Download Festival - Photo credit, Myung Jung Kim, PA Images.
Download Festival is now a global franchise which has extended its influence to France, Spain, Australia and several other nations, but the sacred ground of Donnington remains its spiritual home. Given the setting and size of this event, Download should have the power to attract almost any rock band in the world. Yet, they repeatedly fall back on the same old bands such as Kiss, System of a Down, Slipknot, Rammstein, Def Leppard, Ozzy Osborne and Iron maiden to fill their headliner slots, while simultaneously blocking newer acts from proving to the world that rock isn’t dead.
Continue reading: Download Festival: 10 Bands That Are Ready To Headline
Historically, rock music has been a haven for strong, bold and extremely talented female musicians. Names such as Pat Benatar, Suzi Quatro, Siouxsie Sioux, Janis Joplin and dozens more have achieved iconic status over the years. In modern rock, one of (if not the) best female voices going belongs to Halestorm's Lzzy Hale. On this new stripped back acoustic EP, we get to hear those staggering vocals in their full glory.
These acoustic reprises of songs that appeared on Halestorm's 2018's album 'Vicious' show the band in a whole new light. The first of the tunes to feature is 'Black Vultures' with its trickling guitar input and gutsy vocal performance. Following this is the sexy, sleek and stamping acoustic flow of 'Do Not Disturb'. The original version of this song was already lyrically vivid and teasing, but this slower take easily emphasises the emotions.
Although 'Chemicals' didn't make the cut for the original 'Vicious' tracklist, it does appear here. With its catchy beat, 'Chemicals' swiftly proves to be the best song on the entire EP. The raw, stripped-back edge of this release subsides as the soft and tranquil piano-tinted 'Heart of Novacaine' enters the fray. Lzzy Hale's roaring vocal delivery is still present, but it mixes with the more docile side of her voice at stages also. Concluding this calm, easy listening EP is 'The Silence'. The album version of 'The Silence' was already a hair-raising, emotive and awe-inspiring experience, but the acoustic take elevates the song to new heights of meaning.
Continue reading: Halestorm - Vicious (Stripped) EP Review
The 'Life of the Party' singer has risen from internet fame to land a Number 1 record at his first attempt.
Internet sensation Shawn Mendes has completed his rise from a cult following on Vine to chart-topping sensation, as his full-length debut album has entered at Number 1 in the Billboard Top 200. Handwritten sold 119,000 units, including track and streaming album equivalent sales, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
16 year old Mendes is the youngest person to top the American album charts since 2010, when Justin Bieber – six months younger then than Mendes is now – spent a month at Number 1 with My World 2.0.
Shawn Mendes has scored his first Number 1 album with his debut 'Handwritten'
Continue reading: Shawn Mendes Scores US Chart Topper With Debut Album 'Handwritten'
With the release of their third album 'Into The Wild Life' due out in April 2015 (April 10th in Europe, 13th in the UK and 14th in North America), Pennsylvania rock band Halestorm have kicked off their first European tour of the year. They'll be joined by support bands Nothing More and Wilson for their UK and Euro dates, before uniting with The Pretty Reckless when they hit the road in the US next month.
We caught up with Halestorm bassist Josh Smith ahead of their gig at the Roundhouse in London, to discuss their new album, their worst fan moments and their best times on tour.
Contacmusic: How's the tour going so far?
Josh Smith: Amazing, we landed in Dublin, almost 2 weeks ago, and it was our first time over there in Ireland; we played Dublin and Belfast and it was amazing. We're always so excited and always look forward to coming over here to play. The UK has just been so amazing to us; they just really latched on quickly. It's really really cool.
Continue reading: Halestorm - Interview
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