With KISS' glam out of the way it's time to get back to the real rock acts. We'll be blogging every sweaty minute from Donington
Racetrack - just jump in and enjoy the ride...
It's a surprisingly low-key entrance for The
Offspring, who seem to be playing in the midst of KISS's leftover makeup cases from last night. A punk band at
a metal festival? Preposterous! Yet once 'Bad Habit' kicks in, it's clear that the words "stupid dumbshit
goddamn motherfucker" are universal whatever genre you're in.
Sure The Offspring are getting on a
bit – Noodles appears to have been replaced by a stray member of Dinosaur Jnr and Dexter Holland
does look like he's just stopped off on the way from coaching his kids at little league. Noodles announcing that he has
a massive boner at the top of his voice is possibly the scariest thing since the last time Iggy Pop played the UK in jeans
that are two sizes too small.
However, that doesn't stop 'Hit That' from being a rollicking slice of
electro-punk, nor 'Self-Esteem' from being the best anthem about crappy relationships ever. VF just wishes that there
was some middle ground between how bored and tired Dexter looks, and how hyped Noodles is tonight. After KISS, we've been
a little spoilt, it’s true to say, but even with anthems as slick as this, tonight is the closest we’ve been all
weekend to bored.
HIM can't help but make an entrance. They're
fashionably late, but the vampire-like Ville Valo still flirtingly acknowledges the crowd, his bushy hair
concealed under a fashionable headband. Valo's unusual voice only rouses the screaming fans who are fully appreciative
of Love Rock anthems including 'Buried Alive By Love' and brand new track 'Kiss Of Dawn'. Some appreciate
him a little too much as he's showered in a bombardment of bras much to his delight. HIM bring the stage to a close with
Billy Idol's 'Rebel Yell' – he just can't do Billy's sneer.
token guilty pleasure – we know!" Ash are only three songs in and they're already getting
all honest on us…
running through a classic set even playing a stripped down version of 'Drive', which prompts a mass karaoke session,
but there is hardly anyone here - they must all be at Pendulum. A UK festival appearance from Incubus has been a while in the coming, but even their loyal army must be disheartened.
The sound quality is really poor: we can see the guitar, but we can't hear it – it must've been unplugged!
The doubters may've done their doubting but most of them seem to be at the Pendulum set now. The Aussie drum n bass group
have got a massive crowd for their Download debut as they unleash hits like 'Slam', 'Propane Nightmares' and
a remix of The Prodigy's 'Voodoo People' during a set that is set to convert even the most cynical Downloader.
The only thing rock fans need to do now is learn to dance to it: groove to the bass guys, not to the beat…
Last night we got the best – tonight we get the original. Ace Frehley, the original Space Ace from KISS is, in his own words, "still smokin'"
– or at least his guitar literally is, as the fire extinguisher is brought out for the impressive fretwork that follows
classic track 'Shock Me'. It's a mostly mature crowd that's rocking to the likes of 'New York Groove',
but they know the young 'uns are missing a treat.
KISS may think they're the
hottest band around, but they can't compare to Bullet
For My Valentine. "We're here for one reason and one reason only – that’s to rock!"
Declares lead singer Matt Tuck onstage and we don't doubt that for a second…
metallers play 'The Poison' as well as the epic crowd-pleaser 'Tears Don’t Fall' and now after Tuck
has finished splitting the is crowd into two, just so they can clash again! They leave the crowd with this message:
"Tear Donington apart!"
Biffy Clyro have upgraded from
a tent to the main stage this year and a swirl of fans have camped out on the hill the watch their hard-punk. Passed off as
indie by the mainstream press, the Scottish group are showing that they're anything but.
'Get Fucked Stud'
is a frantically heavy slab of rock, its skewed rhythms perfectly complimenting that psychotic sweaty madman look that's
permanently stuck on frontman Simon Neil's face. However, while it's the dark stuff like the driven
'Living Is A Problem Because Everyone Dies' that really draws in the crowd, it's their skill for the crunching
metallic anthems like 'Just Boy' that makes them perfect for Download, giving Neil the right to throw his axe against
the stage without the risk of being cheesy.
Bleeding Through have the audience in
the palm of their hand on the Turborg Stage. They've managed to get a circle pit revolving around the sound desk –
Dog’s leading the charge!
It's Miles Kennedy's fifth
wedding anniversary – and it says much about Alter Bridge (and his wife's patience!) that he's
chosen to celebrate it at Download. This afternoon, they churn out classic atmospheric metal anthems – and the occasional
southern country solo moment – for the faithful in a beautifully dark set. And just for a moment, crossing in front
of the right hand screen to see the crowd, Miles will allow himself the ghost of a smile underneath that long hair before
he snaps back to that serious expression.
Johnny Truant are offering us Jagermeister
backstage. It isn't as welcome as their advice for getting an erection when drunk: taps, sinks etc…check back for
the full interview.
Madina Lake unleash a stream of black and white balloons with
shiny tickertape inside on the main stage – it's a bit like the Crystal Maze, but without the harmonica. "The
best thing about England is your passion – love or hate," says Laker Nathan Leone, blatantly aware
that they're one of the most contentious bands on the main stage today. To their credit though, they make it damn hard
to hate them, especially when they storm through a triumphant version of 'Here I Stand' that could convert even the
most hard-hearted hater.
John our cameraman finally gets backstage,
but looking at his footage it's easy to see how he got distracted for so long. The film shows scantily clad women dancing
suggestively on top of the Monster Energy bar – a day earlier and he would've caught them without the strategically
placed electrical tape apparently…
The Kerrang! Signing Tent is awash with
Bullet For My Valentine fans while A
Day To Remember are on the second stage. They treat fans to a cover of Kelly Clarkson's 'Since U Been Gone'
– very hardcore…
The sun is well and truly back out again, which has
got to make Alaskan boys 36 Crazyfists feel right at home. It also seems to have gone to their heads: "I
am pretty sexy, aren't I?" grins their frontman Brock Lindow. Thankfully, Lindow's furious stage
presence and a rousing rendition of 'Slit Wrist Theory' conspire for one of this afternoon's most raucous crowd
A rock connection: Charlie Simpson of Fightstar
and Busted fame’s little brother Will is performing an acoustic track backstage. He'll be playing
with his band Brigade on the third stage very soon. I'm guessing it will be a lot louder than this though…
Weather check: the sun is back out.
Yonas is gutted when he finds out that Devil Wears Prada are a band and not the film – it's one
of his favourites!
"How are you motherfuckers doing tonight?"
Well, we can forgive Job For A Cowboy for being a little confused about the time of day. When you turn the
friction up this far with their throat scarring metal like on the brutal 'Reduce To Mere Filth', it's got to mess
with your mind. Sadly after Skindred's pit, the brutal response from the smaller pit at the front can' make up for
In the third tent Go Audio seem to be attracting a big
audience with their youthful, lighthearted tunes. We think they're just hiding from that sudden downpour!
No one seems to mind the rain at the main stage as Skindred
draw a massive crowd.
We spoke too soon! We spoke too soon! The rain is pouring down:
head for the tents...
Fans of the recently disbanded Sikth
were given an early morning treat as former frontman Justin Hill joined Malefice on the second stage for set closer 'Dreams
The sun is here! The sun is here!
We've now got hair greasier than Axl Rose and the campsite was so cold last night that VF toyed with
the idea of leaving an Oates-type note for our fellow campers: 'I am just going outside and may be some time…'
However in true rock and roll grit and grubbiness we're back out for another packed day of metal and moshing…