Can we possibly handle any more rock? Of course we can! We'll be blogging live from Donington Racetrack until the festival
rocks through the chequered flag...
It's down to Lost Prophets to bring this whole shindig to a close and they're doing it with a bang! Actually,
compared to KISS, they're pyrotechnics are more like party poppers but the crowd certainly don't seem to care.
Flanked by Welsh flags (ironically on either side of their own non-Welsh member Illan the drummer),
they kick off with the brutal hardcore double whammy of 'To Hell We Ride' and 'We Kill The Old Way'. Ian
Watkins, every inch the smooth and polished frontman, provides many a Kodak moment. Even the older, somewhat worn
tracks like 'Shinobivsdrangoninja' have all the old fire and the band even have time to play a new piano-lead track,
which goes down surprisingly well.
They end with a row of flamethrowers for 'Burn Burn' and the crowd give
them the rapturous applause they deserve before heading off site for the final time this year…
Cavalera Conspiracy are kicking the crap out of their
guitars onstage. Their throbbing drums are enough to turn a weaker stomach but hundreds of hardened headbangers mosh along
as the group even throw in some of Sepultra's back catalogue. It's certainly a set the emo kids on
the main stage could learn a thing or two from. Death metal 1, Emo rock 0.
Alexei Laiho is showing what a true guitar god he really is as he performs his solos on his pink-striped guitar at
breakneck speed – cue a massive pit!
"I'm going to sleep outside
tonight and just be lovely and freezing." If ever there was a compliment for the great British
summer Jimmy Eat World’s Jim Adkins has
just given it. Arizona's finest were always going to be an odd choice for the main stage's last three bands of the
weekend with intros like: "This is about doing your own shit," sound weird coming out of cuddly frontman
Jim Adkins mouth.
The popularity of their more swinging power pop singles like ‘The Middle’
relay their capacity for the darker side, the same goes for the snarling ‘Get It Faster’. But the kids are mostly
here for the gorgeous emoting of ‘23’ and ‘Lucky Denver Mint’ and that more than justifies their appearance.
Loyalists to old school punk rock are having a ball as The Wildhearts take to the stage to a roaring crowd of middle-aged men. Frontman Ginger seems
to be confused about whether he's playing a gig or doing stand up comedy as he spends more time entertaining the crowd
rather than actually rocking out.
It's 14 years since they last played Donington but Ginger still has
his charisma, he even goads to crowd into bottling him: "Now it feels like we're at a festival," he
screams before a surprise one conks him on the head. If he'd spent a little less time chattering the soundman probably
wouldn't of had to cut off their final track…
The hyped crowd are enjoying
Coheed And Cambria as they unleash some epic soundscapes. 'Running Free' is just a chugging metal masterpiece…
Despite their humility towards the crowd, Kids In Glass Houses don't seem
to have any problems rousing their audience. The sweet pop punk of 'Give Me What I Want' is probably the least likely
dynamite closer of the festival, but the kids in the front row are lapping it up, much like the warm beer.
Swedish death metallers In Flames
are feeling a little cocksure: "Better bring your sunglasses, because we're going to be blinding," they
tell the big main stage crowd. And credit where credit is due: they aren't far wrong! They display some stunning guitar
work – something Download has been spoiled with this year…
of Airbourne's crowd have disappeared, Chiodos seem determined to prove they deserve their slot. Even
the piano-led 'Baby You wouldn't Last A Minute In The Creek' has a savage new fire, and a kid who heckles them
with the "wanker' sign is duly humiliated when Craig Owens offers to unzip it from there, as "it
could probably reach". The band refuse to carry on a song until a pit opens up, but they seem to be waiting a little
too long - embarrassing!
We catch up with Lethal Bizzle backstage after his bottling and he still hasn't had a chance to get all of the Muller
Rice off of his clothes. But he does tell us he wants to play the main stage here next year – he is one brave man! Check
back for the full video interview.
Last time Within Temptation were hampered by technical difficulties, but this year they are note perfect. Sharon
Del Adel's glass-shattering voice casts a gothic spell over the audience but the men are getting more than just
aural pleasure as her sexy get-up is making the warm temperature that little bit hotter! Del Adel tells the men to "Squeeze
their balls," to which one hopeful replies "Why don't you squeeze them for me?"
Airbourne are a little less sedate, however.
With the crowd expanded threefold, Joel O'Keefe feels the time is right to ascend up the lighting rig,
hang a flag right from the very top, kick out a bunch of riffs, and then climb right down. The hyperactive tyke manages all
this without letting a single riff slide from 'Girls in Black' - show-off!
may have cellos, but there is no denying that Apocalyptica are still heavy metal. Lacuna Coil's Christina
Scabbia joins them onstage to help out on their new single 'SOS (Anything But Love)' before they finish with
Grieg's 'In The Hall Of The Mountain King' – that's the theme music for Alton Towers to me and you…
Next up on the Tuborg stage, a couple of classic rockers who come from a land Down Under. Airbourne will take the stage in a bit but first up, Rose
Tattoo have some important advice to dispense: "I've finally found a use for Red Bull," drawls
Angry Anderson, "It's a great place to hide your vodka." And for it they provide the
perfect accompaniment – classic biker rock'n'roll such as 'Nice Boys (Don’t Play Rock'n'Roll)'.
Instead we're checking out Exit Ten who are receiving a roaring ovation
from a (fairly) sober crowd. Singer Ryan Redman is leaping around the stage before heading to the barrier
to belt out their metalcore lyrics. Redman's indie looks are misleading - Exit Ten are pure metal.
Kentucky quartet Black Stone Cherry are bringing some hick style classic rock to Download it isn’t
rowdy enough for VF …
is pelted with everything from banana skins to the free Muller Rice you get given when you enter the site. Despite
it all the rapper completes his 30-minute set with the crowd shouting for more. He even finds time to drop House Of Pain’s
‘Jump Around’ before declaring "I fucking did it!" Full story HERE.
Fightstar are slightly heavier than expected: Charlie Simpson is certainly trying
to convince the divided crowd that he’s a hard rock, Machine Head-listening metaller, and not just a pretty boy pin
While Fightstar give the emo kids food for thought on the main
stage, it’s up to Municipal Waste to bring the thrash, along with their legendarily obscure song titles,
such as 'Thrash is my Business and Business is Good' and 'Beware of the Terror Shark'. The latter, they helpfully
inform us, is a "song about a fucking shark!" And even more helpful still is their concern for their fans:
"If someone falls down, pick 'em up. And kick 'em in the balls."
Animal Alpha make the more surreal impression, however. Throwing her body around, Agnete Kjolsrud cuts
a sinister figure, like a gothic marionette to their crunching metallic output.
those who've managed to drag themselves out of bed, Cry For Silence, are determined to give Download
the most brutal wake-up call possible. Despite being bolstered by the skinniest legs of the festival, frontman Adam
Petit turns 'Nightmare' into a savage beating that'll ensure most of the crowd never want to sleep again.
All the stages are kicking off with Glamour Of The Kill on the main stage, Cry
For Silence on the second and Invasion, erm,
invading the third.
We've heard that Lost Prophets will be putting on quite a stage show. KISS must be quaking in their
Surely even hell can’t be as hot as my tent was this
morning? I've got a nice hangover to sweat out and a headache to get rid of, but in the words of Public Enemy –
bring the noise!