Paint it black... and red
When Turisas had opened the main stage on the Saturday of Download 2007, hundreds of upbeat fans began to dance jollily in appreciation of the folk elements of the band's sound. Despite the fact that the sun was nowhere to be seen this time, a select few fans continued the habit, mainly just to try and keep warm.
"And as the wind grew stronger and stronger, the rain ran down our cheeks:" truer words could not be sung, as vocalist Mathias Nygard and his ensemble peered out into a crowd of drenched fans, some of which had donned the trademark red and black face paint. Driving into opening song 'To Holmgard and Beyond,' the Viking metal group marched into a strong set that effortlessly fused nimble fiddle melodies with crunching guitars.
Overall, it was obviously not a good day in the life of Nygard. When the Finn wasn't complaining about the British rain, he was moaning that the band hadn't received a local brew as requested on their tour rider, instead being provided with Danish beer Tuborg. The following joke of addressing the crowd as 'Denmark' was amusing the first time, but quickly became tedious after numerous repetitions. Admittedly, the British population are notorious for complaining, but people go to festivals to escape the outside world and enjoy themselves, not be grumbled at.
In an attempt to enliven the fans, Nygard pitted one side of the crowd against the other in a singing war, nominating violinist Olli Vanska and the considerably-less painted-accordionist Netta Skog as leaders of each opposing side. Although a worthwhile idea in principal, it was prolonged unnecessarily and the set did seem to lose momentum at this point.
Bidding farewell with 'Battle Metal,' the Finnish metal band set sail and left Donington for another year. Turisas still remain an entertaining festival band, but the constant moaning from Mathias Nygard was frankly quite frustrating. Dear Andy Copping, we would like Turisas to return to Download, but please ensure that you provide them with British ale next time. Sunshine optional.