With Soilwork’s unexpected absence from the line-up (due to the guitarist falling ill), Devil Driver are the surprise heroes of the hour, not only for stepping in at such short notice but for playing a blindingly crushing set that makes you wonder what vocalist Dez Fafara was doing wasting all those years in nu-metal also-rans Coal Chamber.
Widely tipped as the next big things, From First To Last put on an energetic showing that assures all that they can live up to the hype. After surviving the initial barrage of bottles hurled their way, the cheers that greet Charlie Simpson berating the culprits and the mass sing along to ‘Paint Your Target’, shows that Fightstar may just well have won the final battle in their war for credibility.
The same unfortunately, cannot be said for Seattle’s Aiden, who after being received with hysterical high-pitched shrieks that wouldn’t be out of place at a McFly concert, are met with the traditional Donington reception of flying bottles for the duration of their set. Hundred Reasons, on the other hand, could well be the perfect festival band. While predominantly culling tracks from new album Kill Your Own, classic summer anthems like ‘Silver’ and ‘If I Could’ go down a storm, and point to a act whose star is back on the ascent.
It may have been a long time since Eighteen Visions last graced our shores, but they return with a handful of new tracks that show that they’ve evolved even further from their metalcore roots and could well be set to join fellow Orange County act Avenged Sevenfold in the major leagues. The feel good melodic hardcore of Alexisonfire ticks all the right boxes, and when frontman George Pettit takes a stray paddling pool for a crowd surf it says something about the party atmosphere that engulfs the air.
By the time The Prodigy hit the stage, it seems that half the festival has descended on the Snickers Stage. Security guards are forced to hastily assemble human barricades to hold back the surging crowd, and as fans scale the pillars of the tent the band are forced to briefly call a halt to proceedings. Once relative normality is resumed, ‘Breath’ and ‘Voodoo People’ get the whole tent jumping along, as Prodigy memorably close the stage as only they can.