Download Festival 2017: Motionless In White owned their Main Stage slot

One of rock hardest-working bands take their chance on Download's Main Stage with both hands

Motionless In White slowly graduated to the main stage over the last few year and it’s a deserved promotion. This band work hard – they release album after album and tour each one extensively. And despite their ghoulish appearance, they’re some of the nicest dudes in rock.

They kick off the set with ‘Rats’ from new album’ Graveyard Shift’, an electro goth metal track that’s ace but probably not quite catchy enough to open their set. They’re playing at 2pm, which feels at odds to their OTT, theatrical gothic ways, but despite the fact it’s still pretty early on the first day, they pull a sizable crowd. As singer Chris Motionless stalks around the stage clad in black PVC gloves, his elaborate make-up clearly melting he’s starting to look like a dead ringer for an actual vampire.

‘Devils’s Night’ is MIW at their best – urgent, brutal, heavy as hell and catchy to boot. It shows vocalist Chris’s vocals at their best. ‘Eternally Yours’ –  a gothic romance ballad – is beautiful and a fan fave, but not sure what the uninitiated make of it. Thankfully, ‘Necessary Evil’ from ‘Graveyard Shift’ is a highlight and will convert people to the dark side. This is the first time they’ve played it live, and but it contains the line ‘it’s my party and I’ll die if I want to’ – the best line in a goth son ever written. They run through ‘Loud (fuck it)’ which is bouncy goth metal at it’s very best, but lose the tempo a tad by ending on ‘Reincarnate’ – a brilliant but slower track. They’ve purposefully avoided America – their hugely recognisable track – which seems oddly cautious. And it’s a shame – it would have been perfect to close.

What this band prove, over and over again, is that there will always be a place for theatricality and spectacle in metal. They’ve continued where Marilyn Manson left off with style.