Spitting blood, pyrotechnics and flying band members make the opening night of Download one that few will forget in a hurry.
The Glam rockers, who are celebrating 35 years in the game the year, were in full make-up and costumes for their first show at Donington Park for 12 years.
"We're going to play for as long as they let us tonight," declared guitarist Paul Stanley before adding, "It's our way of thanking you." The band then ran through a set of classics including 'Hotter Than Hell', '100,000 Years' and 'Rock N Roll All Nite'.
Their extended show, which ran for nearly two and a half hours, gave each member a chance to show off their polished skills. Guitarist Tommy Tayer had the stage to himself as he elongated 'She' by playing the solo behind his head, while drummer, Peter Criss, was left to show his sticks skills for a full five minutes.
The loudest cheers however were saved for Gene Simmons as he spat blood from his mouth before being hoisted up to the top of the stage to screaming acclaim and Paul Stanley as he used a zip line to travel into the centre of the crowd.
Ending with 'Detroit Rock City' the band bowed to the crowd and went out to an impressive firework display. Though some members of the audience weren’t that over-roared by their music with one girl shouting: "We want more fireworks. Not KISS – more fireworks!"
Earlier in the day Judas Priest had ridden a motorcycle onstage for their encore after they played an extended set due to Kid Rock falling ill. Disturbed, the other act asked to play for longer, came on stage with singer David Draiman in a straightjacket and mask like Hannibal Lecter.
Motorhead had produced a bruising afternoon set after The Subways had proved their Download credentials by mixing old and new tracks on the second stage with bassist Charlotte Cooper adorning KISS make-up.
Fall Of Troy, Zebrahead and Lovvers all performed throughout the afternoon at the new look Download site. Check our blog today for more Download updates.