Download Festival 2023 / GWAR gloves off while Placebo are achingly cool

Download Festival 2023 – Saturday. Rescheduled from yesterday due to technical issues, the mighty galactic warriors GWAR landed at Download to bring their own brand of Heavenly Metal. Introduced by King Charles, the alien troupe came swinging into battle with the mighty wave of Genocide, and it was gloves off from that moment on.

GWAR - Download Festival 2023.
GWAR – Download Festival 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

Blood gushed, enemies, slain, and worlds conquered in a welter of body fluids and loud guitars. Quite how GWAR managed to keep cool in their battle dress is probably the biggest mystery of all.

GWAR - Download Festival 2023.
GWAR – Download Festival 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

Placebo

Placebo - Download Festival 2023.
Placebo – Download Festival 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

Placebo, on the other hand, looked cool in white, the achingly cool Brian Molko with not a hair out of place. With their soaring electro-art rock, the band showed their uniquely jagged take is still the sound of the present and future.

Placebo - Download Festival 2023.
Placebo – Download Festival 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

Filling the same space as Muse but without some of the bombast, Placebo knows how to fill an enormous space. Forever Chemicals positively soared, Hugz, with its refrain of “a hug is another way of hiding your face”, was devastating and the Gary Numan industrial rock of Slave To The Wage pulsed with life.

Placebo - Download Festival 2023.
Placebo – Download Festival 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

With a triumphant Nancy Boy stripping back the years (first time live since 2017) but still sounding fresh, you would have thought that Molko and bass player Stefan Olsdal had a DeLorean tucked away somewhere.

Placebo - Download Festival 2023.
Placebo – Download Festival 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk
GWAR - Download Festival 2023.
GWAR – Download Festival 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk
GWAR - Download Festival 2023.
GWAR – Download Festival 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk
GWAR - Download Festival 2023.
GWAR – Download Festival 2023. Photo: Andy Shaw/MetalTalk

Take Part: Are you at Download this year? Who are you looking forward to see? Want to get in touch and tell us how it’s going? Email MetalTalk Editor Steve Ritchie to tell us how it’s going for you. Download@MetalTalk.net.

Download Festival 2023 was a record breaking year.

MetalTalk Download 2023 coverage can be found at MetalTalk.net/tag/download-2023

Download 2023 will see the festival celebrate its 20th anniversary with an additional day, meaning four days of live music in total.

This year’s MetalTalk team is:

Monty Sewell

Paul Monkhouse

Photography:

John Hayhurst – SnapAGig

Andy Shaw

For Download 2022, visit MetalTalk.net/tag/download-2022

Sleeve Notes

Sign up for the MetalTalk Newsletter, an occasional roundup of the best Heavy Metal News, features and pictures curated by our global MetalTalk team.

More in Heavy Metal

Comments

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Search MetalTalk

MetalTalk Venues

MetalTalk Venues - The Devil's Dog Digbeth
MetalTalk Venues – The Green Rooms Live Music and Rehearsal
The Patriot, Crumlin - The Home Of Rock
Interview: Christian Kimmett, the man responsible for getting the bands in at Bannerman's Bar
Cart & Horses, London. Birthplace Of Iron Maiden
The Giffard Arms, Wolverhampton

New Metal News