The Download Festival 2019 lineup provides some very tasty metal and punk for hungry Melbourne and Sydney music lovers. The combination of some classic, decades-strong mega names like Ozzy Osbourne and Judas Priest with some local acts with cult following like Twelve Inch Ninja and Luca Brasi ensures the lineup appeals across the generations, genders and cities.
Who do you need to suit up, boot up, and rock out to in March 2019? Here’s the five essentials according to an expert (me).
Ozzy freakin’ Osbourne! Grammy winner, Rolling Stone columnist, bat-head-eating Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Osbourne has said the Download shows will be his final performances in Australia. His career spans over 50 years of creating classic metal hits and inspiring generations of musicians. This is a moment for the rock history books, don’t miss it.
One of the biggest punk bands in America, Rise Against combine chunky, bone-rattling riffs with melodic, hum-along harmonies. The Trump presidency has provided more fuel for frontman Tim McIlrath’s rage and we’re all the richer for it. Rather than shouting his own political mandates at the audience, there’s a compassionate vein in every RA song. Whether it’s about the impact of climate change, the vilification of refugees, racism or sexism, Rise Against are brave enough to expose it. Check out “Prayer of The Refugee” if you’re seeking a top RA tune to initiate yourself.
American Andy Black is the last remaining original member of Black Veil Brides. A punk pin-up, it would be easy to see him as all pretty tattoos and styled hair, but fortunately there’s style and substance here. He’s the James Dean of punk rock, if you like. This is stadium rock that gets into your eardrums and makes itself at home. You’ll find yourself singing along, willing or not. Anthemic, made for the live arena, Black Veil Brides fans and those who are totally new to BVB should make the effort to see this consummate performer do his thing.
Twelve Foot Ninja
Melbourne hardcore act, Twelve Foot Ninja will definitely do us natives proud. Heavy, thumping, take-no-prisoners rock has seen Twelve Foot Ninja perform internationally alongside Slipknot, Alice in Chains and Avenged Sevenfold. They’ll be mixing up songs from the past 5 years with new tunes so that sets are always catering to fans and newbies alike. If you’re going to Spotify search them, check out “One Hand Killing” for some masterful fusion of metal meets rock meets harmony.
War On Women
War On Women’s Bandcamp page describes them as “a co-ed feminist hardcore-punk band”. This pretty much sums up everything you need to know, but if the words “feminist” and “hardcore” don’t float your boat, don’t turn away yet. They’re an adrenaline shot delivered via hypodermic straight to the brain. If you doubt that you need it, try looking up “Anarcha” on YouTube. If you play it loudly enough, guaranteed your neighbours will either have you arrested or they’ll all arrive for the party.
It all goes down in Melbourne on 11 March at Flemington Racecourse. Tickets on sale now via www.downloadfestival.com.au.
Written by Cat Woods