AC/DC rock purpose built stage at Download
As the festival honours some lost metal legends
'Back In Black', ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap' and 'Highway To Hell' were just some of the hits
in a set which peaked with the band's famous Rosie inflatable straddling a giant model of a freight train.
Headlining their own purpose-built stage, the legendary rockers belied their age, as they headlined to the full capacity crowd of over 90,000.
The other stages closed beforehand to allow punters the chance to see the band's spectacular fireworks display, jets of flame for 'TNT', canons on 'For Those About To Rock' - and eternal schoolboy Angus Young doing a striptease down to his underwear.
Earlier in the evening, Them Crooked Vultures closed the Main Stage, with Josh Homme in a charming mood as they chugged through 'New Fang', 'Nobody Loves Me and Neither Do I' and an extended 'Scumbag Blues'.
Meanwhile, Dave Grohl's fellow Foo Fighter Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders also packed out the Red Bull Jam stage earlier in the day, the inexhaustible frontman drumming, singing and bantering throughout.
Ronnie James Dio Stage headliners Bullet For My Valentine treated fans the crowd-pleasing 'Tears Don't Fall' and even a cover of Avril Lavigne's 'Sk8er Boi'.
However, even that couldn't keep much of the crowd from leaving early to prepare for AC/DC.
There were no such problems for Coheed and Cambria, as 'Welcome Home (Sanitarium)' became a late afternoon hit.
Much of Friday at Download was a dedication to the figureheads of metal who passed away in the last twelve months. A minute's applause was held on the Main Stage, this year renamed the Maurice Jones stage, before AC/DC performed.
Anathema's set included a dedication to Paul Gray, Ronnie James Dio, Pete Steele and Stuart Cable, while Killswitch Engage also dedicated their lauded cover of Dio's 'Holy Diver' to "one of the best fucking voices in the world". Frontman Howard Jones also made a guest appearance during 36 Crazyfists' main stage set.
The late start to the day proved to be a blessing in disguise, allowing punters recover sufficiently for punishing early sets from Trigger The Bloodshed on the Dio Stage and Unearth on the Main Stage.
Download Festival 2010 continues today (Saturday) with sets from Rage Against The Machine, Deftones, Megadeth and many more.