So, the final day of the 2010 Download Festival was upon us, Saturday had been an absolute blast, could Sunday match up to the previous two days? The day began a little later than planned as I was very comfortable in my bed, this and the lack of any decent bands early on the schedule to give me the impetus to rouse my carcass from my pit! Well, with the exception of White Wizzard, of course, but I had seen them earlier in the year at Hammerfest II and an extra 30 minutes in bed sounded marginally more appealing!
With the procrastination at an end I arrived at Donington Park to see what delights Sunday would hold! I made my way to the Ronnie James Dio just in time to catch the last couple of songs from August Burns Red. What I heard was not offensive to my ears but I didn’t really hear enough to decide if I actually liked them or not… Next up were San Diego Alt Rockers Switchfoot, as talented and as popular as they may be, they sent me to sleep… next please!
The utterly brilliant Napalm Death took to the stage next to wake me from my slumber and they succeeded in seconds. You cannot help but smile at Barney as he does his demented chicken dance all around the stage whilst barking out the vocals. As only they can, napalm Death manage to squeeze in over 20 songs into their 30 minute set!
A real treat up next with metal supergroup The Damned Things, consisting of none other than Scott Ian and Rob Caggiano of Anthrax, Joe Trohman and Andy Hurley of Fall Out Boy and Keith Buckley and Josh Newton of Every Time I Die! Playing only their third live performance together they wowed the huge crowd that had gathered to catch their set. An album is due out later in 2010 and I for one cannot wait for it!
Now for Sunday’s highlight, The Dillinger Escape Plan, who played an absolute stormer of a set that included ‘Panasonic Youth’, ‘Milk Lizard’, ‘Sunshine The Werewolf’ and ‘Farewell, Mona Lisa’. No Dillinger gig would be complete without the trademark leaping off of speakers, we weren’t let down! The only downside was the rain that had now begun to fall…
Porcupine Tree followed Dillinger on the Ronnie James Dio stage with their atmospheric prog rock, the rain was heavier than ever but the crowd were as up for it as ever! Steven Wilson also managed to make light of the weather by cracking a joke about the upbeat, happy nature of Porcupine Tree’s music lightening the mood and the weather! A flawless set, heavily weighted towards their latest release ‘The Incident’ but with the addition of ‘Anesthetize’ and ‘Blackest Eyes’.
Towards the end of Porcupine Tree’s set the large crowd began to steadily grow. That could mean one thing and one thing only… the triumphant return of Steel Panther to the Download Festival. After witnessing their set in the tent last year and their rapid rise to stardom and their album being the soundtrack to a friend’s stag weekend, I was intrigued to see how they had progressed. The jokes were better, the music was a good as ever and they were even joined on-stage by Scott Ian to play ‘Asian Hooker’. The only new aspect of their set was the cover of the Backstreet Boys number ‘I Want It That Way’. They still now how to put on a show and the crowd were lapping up every minute of it. Can they last, only time and new material will tell! Alas, the rain finally got the best of me and I gave in and went home.
By all accounts Airbourne ripped it, including a 100ft climb up the rigging whilst still playing a lead break by frontman Joel O’Keeffe. Stone Sour played a blinding set with an emotional encore of ‘Bother’ that had Corey Taylor close to tears. Aerosmith rounded off proceedings on the main stage and i’m pretty sure wowed the damp and muddy crowd!
Another fantastic weekend at Download, it seems to get better every year. I heard great music, met some great people and had the best time. Roll on next year…
Read what our friends at Cack Blabbath thought of the final day of the Download 2010 weekend.