Live Music + Gig Reviews

Zwan – Download Festival, Donington

1 June 2003

With the real Apocalyptica having been bumpedonto the Main Stage to accommodate Metallica in the Scuzz tent, thebill was running late. An awful half hour of Keith Flint‘s new outfitFlint preceded the entrance of Zwan, as clouds overcast towelcomed the Billy Corgan fronted band.

A tropical storm had been forecast for the weekend.Until now the weather had been more than generous but it would be foolish toplace faith in the cursed British weather. Having opened with the grungygospel plow of Mary Star of the Sea, two songs in and Billy Corgan wassinging, ironically about rain, when it began to bucket down. This wasn’t ashort spell; it lasted the duration of a conspicuously short Zwan set -barely forty minutes for a band preceding headliners Audioslave.

A number of unreleased songs where performed such asthe beautiful For Your Love which had everyone itching for some heavy guitarrawk just so we could jump about and warm up. Honestly and the God’s GonnaSet this World on Fire medley perked things up, but when you’re wet throughyour boxers and socks, it’s difficult to stand about and enjoy a band suitedto a warm dusk slot.

Fan frustrations soon spilled over by bottling theband. Rather than spread out on the vastness of the stage, the band huddledin the centre making themselves easy targets. Shirking this, the bandfocused and humped through a wishy-washy set received well enough bydevotees at the front. The PA being remarkably honed to perfection (foronce) helped this. Undulating melodies and some tight rhythm work helpedease some pleasance on this rotten rainy evening.

One sensed the band’s frustration, due toApocalyptica’s appearance, their stage time was cut by a good twentyminutes. Corgan and co barely said a word to those who braved the brittleweather which didn’t bode well for thousands of dripping wet punters.Clearly they were just passing the time to get a good spot forAudioslave.

Just before Zwan were seemingly hitting their stridefollowing a scintillating Jesus I, they put their instruments down andwalked offstage. No one really seemed to mind, Audioslave were on next. Andso the wet, sweaty girl next to me who spent the best part of 40 minutesbleating “GO AWAY! WE WANT AUDIOSLAVE!” got her wish.

Damn the organisers for heaping us with the horseshitwhich cruelly ate away Zwan’s stage time.

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More on Zwan
Zwan – Download Festival, Donington
Zwan @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London
Zwan – Mary Star Of The Sea