In their highest festival appearance yet, A Day To Remember took the Donnington stage by storm at Download 2015. It’s been two years since the Ocala quintet played the festival, but with the audience they pulled, it’s clear they hadn’t been forgotten.
Starting their set with the astonishing ‘Downfall of Us All’, the mud-covered, rain-soaked crowd got straight into motion opening up circle pits and generally just having a fantastic time. Moving swiftly onto ‘2nd Sucks’ and ‘Right Back At It Again’, front man Jeremy McKinnon stepped out from under the cover of the stage to embrace the typical British weather with his fans. That was when he told everyone ‘we’re gonna headline this shit one day’. With the momentum the band are building at the minute, even with recently trouble with Victory Records, that day may not be too far in the future.
Moving onto hits ‘City of Ocala’ (aptly named after their homwtown), ‘I’m Made Of Wax, Larry, What Are You Made Of’ and ‘Mr Highway’s Thinking About The End’, you could tell why the avid fans were getting so worked up, not only was it the way Jeremy interacted and entertained the audience, but the pure musical talent shown by these five lads was pure brilliance. Similarly to their last appearance at Download, out came a member of the team dressed as what looked like a clown armed with a t-shirt gun ready to let loose. Shirts were flying everywhere and for those lucky enough to get one (that hopefully wasn’t too wet from the downpour) it was a very lucky day. Next up came their classic hit ‘Have Faith in Me’ followed by ‘Sometimes You’re the Hammer, Sometimes You’re the Nail’ when suddenly the band went offstage, only for two members to reappear with acoustic guitars.
Now, with A Day To Remember being as big as they are, you wouldn’t usually expect covers, but here they were playing a wonderful cover of the beginning of Oasis’ ‘Champagne Supernova’ following into ‘If It Means a Lot to You’ which was split half acoustic and then the last half electric. It was honestly wonderful to see a band play acoustically at a festival, as it is relatively unusual nowadays. Closing with what is possibly their top hit ‘All I Want’ and then ‘The Plot to Bomb the Panhandle’, it was sad to see the set end. If we’re lucky, the lads may make a return to the UK soon for another brilliant tour, or maybe even another festival appearance next year. Here’s hoping for that, a new album and so much more for the lads, they’ve definitely worked for it.