Nostalgia or not, Dez Fafara and Coal Chamber are not here to “Fuck about”. In fact Dez takes great pleasure in telling us exactly that. An opening barrage of ‘Loco’ and ‘Big Truck’ prove that point beyond a doubt.
This is the Coal Chamber we remember from days of old. Zero bullshit, opening up massive pits, and ear to ear grins. The throng in front of the Download Main Stage is quite honestly, huge, ranging from old school diehards to the new breed of Coal Chamber curious. Dez hasn’t lost his touch, mind you he’s not exactly been sitting on his arse doing nothing lately has he, as he orchestrates and whips up a storm. Heads are flying, spinning as Download collectively bangs it’s head. ‘Fiend’ is nothing short of filthy as Chela Harper pirouettes and spins as she thunders out the basslines.
Harper is complimented perfectly by Meegs, the chemistry between these guys is still flying and you can’t help but notice Mikey “Bug” Cox battering the hell out of his drum kit and still appears to be one sandwich short of a picnic, in the nicest possible way… Fafara reaches for the megaphone for ‘Rowboat’, the pits in front of him descend into Hell. It’s a nu-metal groove laden onslaught. Middle fingers in the air all over the place, ‘Drove’, ‘Dark Days’ and ‘Oddity’ are fired into the Donington air, but it’s ‘Sway’ that the crowd wants… “The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire…”
No matter where you stand, it’s impossible not to be caught up in the moment and sucked in. They’ve always been a great live band, and we TINAS operatives have always approved. In retrospect though, perhaps not that many converts from the set, but it took us back a few years, and it was a shit load of fun, it made our necks ache… so that can only be a good thing.
Dez and Co gave us a quality festival performance and you can’t ask for much more than that.
Photo Credit: Giles Smith Photography