Things got of to a bit of a falter on Friday as 24 hours worth of rain had made the site waterlogged. Hats off to the organisers for only losing about an hour though as the ground was covered with hay and tankers sucked away some of the most severe water-logging.
The slight delay meant that FEAR FACTORY opened up the main stage to the muddy masses. Playing a good mix of classic tunes from their catalogue and most recent album ‘The Industrialist’ should have been just what the doctor ordered. The sound (not helped by the swirling winds) wasn’t too good though and the usual crisp industrial riffs we are used to on CD sounded as sloppy as the floor we were all stood on.
Over on the second stage TERRORVISION were more successful in lifting the damp mood. In a fast and furious dash through their greatest hits the pop-rockers get everyone moving along. From a perfect starter in ‘Perseverance’ through hits like ‘Dya Wanna Go Faster’ and the sublime ‘Alice What’s the Matter?’ Terrorvision make a mark on the crowd in their short set. Following this we were looking forward to a bit of EUROPE. If the ‘Final Countdown’ can’t shift the clouds then nothing will. Unfortunately, although all the gear was quickly in place for their set it became obvious after a lot of standing about that the band weren’t going to be playing today. I went for a swift steak sandwich and as I was tucking in, it was announced that the band hadn’t been able to make it to the site in time. The steak sandwich was alright though.
The main stage crowd swelled in the early evening to greet Download favourites MACHINE HEAD. Playing a few scores from latest album ‘Unto the Locust’ mixed in with the terrific ‘Imperium’ and ‘Halo’ the band and crowd were plastered with some big grins. Looking around the arena it’s clear that Machine Head will be able to pull that headline gig in very soon at Donington, until then all the ‘Burn my Eyes’ material is saved for a later date!
Closing the first day over on the second stage was SLASH featuring MYLES KENNEDY. With the new album only just out the band were confident enough to play a batch of songs from it throughout the set. That’s mainly because the new material is excellent, in particular ‘You’re a Lie’ and ‘Anastasia’ which will be staple live favourites forever-more. It is of course the Guns ‘n’ Roses tunes that are greeted with the biggest frenzy. ‘Rocket Queen’, ‘Mr Brownstone’ and a beautiful ‘Paradise City’ all make sure everyone’s vocal chords are wrecked on day one. Velvet Revolver track ‘Slither’ also goes down a storm in the encore.
If ever there was a way of telling the weather where to go, then that was it. Not even the return of the rain could harm that set. Thank you Mr Slash!