As their headline performance at Download Festival draws ever-nearer, we look back at five other times Biffy Clyro have rocked the world.
Biffy Clyro will headline the spiritual home of rock, Download Festival, on Saturday 10 June 2017. Having worked their way up from young math-rock upstarts in the Scottish burgh of Kilmarnock, they are now one of the biggest bands on the planet. Joining fellow line-up toppers System of a Down and veteran classic rockers Aerosmith, here are five other live performance that prove the Biff have easily got what it takes to own Donington Park.
The masters at Reading and Leeds
Biffy Clyro aren’t new to headlining some major UK festivals. They first topped the cross-genre Reading and Leeds Festival back in 2013, offering a huge set list that built up to their then recent hit single Mountains. Their performance even encouraged leading alternative magazine Kerrang! to declare it the best festival set ever. It marked the phenomenal rise by the band, who slogged through 18 years to reach that point.
They then repeated the feat last year, firmly shaking off any nerves that might have shone through three years prior. It all perfectly fell into place. There was nothing quite like singing along to their iconic tracks as the sun set and their stunning stage production filled the new night sky.
They are already rock royalty
In 2011, Biffy headlined the now indefinitely on-hold Sonisphere Festival, proving their early heavy credentials. To drive the message home, they even dipped into Slayer’s back-catalogue. Addressing the crowd, frontman Simon Neil exclaimed: “We’d like to thank you guys for treating us so well, we know this is a metal festival, now here’s some Slayer.” They then launched into a snippet of the thunderous Raining Blood.
Their headline set back then was sandwiched between Metallica (who were themselves topping an appearance by all of The Big 4, joined by Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax) and Slipknot. Following their flirt with Slayer, they launched into the brilliantly heavy There’s No Such Thing As A Jaggy Snake. Perfect.
Three exceptional homecoming shows
Few bands can call a 2000 capacity venue “intimate”, but then few bands are Biffy Clyro. Back in 2014, they played three sold-out shows at Glasgow’s Barrowlands; hometown shows of sorts. The iconic Scottish venue saw them plough through their entire (at the time) six album back-catalogue, playing two albums plus their respective b-sides on each date. The result was seeing and hearing loads of songs for the first time in absolute years, and indeed ever.
Most importantly it showcased their broad sound, from the unpredictable time-signatures of their early days, through their cross-album heavier moments, and straight up to their massive singalong anthems. Just how they continue to manage the complexities of the opening moments of Living Is a Problem Because Everything Dies remains mind-boggling.
Ten times lucky
Between their now-legendary headline performances at Reading and Leeds, Biffy Clyro graced Scotland’s T In The Park for an explosive, and very special bill topping show. It marked their tenth time playing the festival, and their first at very top of the line-up. It was the start of their increasingly huge production, from golden amps to themed screens. Their performance was on fire, almost literally, with one hell of a pyro budget.
Biffy also continued to prove that they aren’t afraid of rocking out their old material. 57, one of the band’s very early songs, made a headline appearance to the delight of longtime followers. They even made their soaring Machines sound like the heaviest track in history.
This isn’t their first rodeo
This year isn’t even close to being the first appearance at Download Festival by Biffy Clyro. They graced Donington Park as far back as 2004, down on the second stage between Idiot Pilot and Arch Enemy. They then made their first appearance on the main stage the following year, offering their even-then huge sound shortly before Megadeth took to the same stage. Few moments of the weekend beat Glitter & Trauma ringing out across the sun-kissed field.
So-much-so, they then returned in 2007 two slots behind second stage headliners Mötley Crüe, and again the following year high up the main stage. Their bedfellows at the time included Alter Bridge and Bullet For My Valentine, with The Offspring heading up the day.
They most recently performed at Download Festival five years ago, unsuprisingly only one step back from headliner. Who held the top spot accolade? None of than Metallica. So if anything, their 2017 headline slot is not only well-deserved, but a natural graduation following 13 years of Download Festival and Biffy Clyro history. It’s going to be big!
Catch Biffy Clyro live at Download Festival on Saturday 10 June 2017 with weekend and day tickets available now through Ticketmaster.co.uk.