Download 2008: Sunday Blog

United Kingdom United Kingdom | by Ruth Booth, Daniel Fahey, Ali Ryland | 15 June 2008


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.

's 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…


After most 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?"

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!

They 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 …

Lethal Bizzle
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.

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 up.

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."

Scandinavians 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.

For 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 high-heeled boots…

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!

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