DOWNLOAD SCOTLAND ***
WITH a mere nine bands playing over two days, Download Scotland barely constitutes a festival, but it has been marketed as an al-fresco rock fan’s Mecca regardless.
Wednesday’s bill was the more heavyweight. There were new masks but the same schtick from pantomime metal collective Slipknot, who gleefully exploited their love/hate with the audience and delivered the occasional seriously heavy salvo.
Corporate rockers Korn are often mistaken for ground-breaking musicians, but there was no excuse for the bagpipes during their tedious set.
Headliners Metallica command a great deal of respect, and for their first dynamic, varied hour they deserved it. But round about the prog-rock interlude during Master of Puppets, their impetus fell away and only a gargantuan rendition of Enter Sandman cut through the indulgence.
For anyone over the age of 20, Download’s must-see act was Iggy Pop reunited with his Stooges - brothers Ron and Scott Asheton supplemented by "youngster" Mike Watt, the legendary punk bass player.
Iggy was, as ever, an incorrigible delight, dry-humping the amps, scaling the scaffolding and contorting his body into various elastic punk-yoga positions.
Meanwhile, the Stooges replayed the history of garage punk. I Wanna Be Your Dog was apocalyptic, TV Eye incendiary, Funhouse lean and funky, and 1969 nihilistic. For sonic muscle, arresting stage presence and utter self-belief, there was no competition for performance of the festival.
This didn’t stop pop-metal upstarts Lostprophets from trying to contest the title,
but their US brethren, Linkin Park, sounded like anonymous rock minnows. Devoid of power, hunger, presence and volume, they were a poor climax to this quasi-festival.