Walking on stage to For Those About to Rock whilst looking like Tony Iommi isn’t perhaps everyone’s dream, but that’s exactly what Tony Rombola (guitar) did as he led Godsmack on to the second stage for their long overdue first appearance at a Download Festival.

Godsmack are often the whipping boys in hard rock and for many remain something of a guilty pleasure, but there are many more who outwardly love the band and for this reason every time the Boston boys play the UK it goes down – 3pm on a cloudy Sunday afternoon was no different.

Sully Erna (vocals/guitar) briefly greeted the crowd before treating them to what was frankly a blistering rendition of 1,000HP from the latest album of the same name and then segued neatly into Crying Like A Bitch, a song reportedly about Nikki Sixx, who was also performing that day, possibly leading to some interesting backstage avoidance.

Well before the end of the song Sully clearly had the crowd eating out of his hand and drew out the intro to Something Different to encourage some audience participation, not that they needed a lot of persuading.

Sadly, this was already the halfway point of the set as they only had half an hour, but with the rest of the set made up of Awake, Whatever and standard gig closer I Stand Alone, the band managed to represent all albums bar one, which I felt was a nice touch.

As the final chords rang out there were no tour announcements, as many do in these situations, but a cursory glance at the number of horns and fists raised above beaming smiles should tell Godsmack that they surely can’t “Keep Away” for too long… See what I did there?

Photo Credit: Gobhinder Jhitta