Download Festival: Sunday 11th June 2017 - Donington Park
So the day starts for most revellers with a hangover on top of a hangover and what better way to get the eyes open, blood pumping and body shaking than with a frontman who could get a funeral up and dancing, none other than Fozzy featuring WWE superstar Chris Jericho on lead vocals. Immediately using the ego ramp like he is about to enter a wrestling ring, Jericho has the passionate crowd in the palm of his hand. Opening with what turns out to be their best song and latest hit single (5 million and counting on the Youtubes) 'Judas' the crowd sing along with every word. Bringing out fire eating girls brings a cheeky smile from the crowd as Jericho tells us "We are all on his List!" as they leave to a rapturous applause.
Late last year the Heavy Metal bible Metal Hammer was due to close and all staff were laid off without pay a few days before Xmas. Now the Metal community may be a lot of things but there is a certain brother/sisterhood to the scene and whether you are in a pit or need help, generally you can rely on someone to help you. Frontman of Orange Goblin, Ben Ward and his wife did just that and set up a GoFundme page that raised more than £80,000 towards helping the staff of Metal Hammer and its sister publications Prog and Classic Rock a stress free Xmas. That's a long way to say that Orange Goblin deserve this spot on the main stage, not just for their longevity having been around since 1995 but also because of the support they have shown. Playing to a healthy sized crowd, the Black Sabbath influences fill the stage well and their immersive back catalogue is well utilised.
Country music is not featured much across the three day's but The Cadillac Three hailing from Nashville, Tennessee bring the party regardless. Starting off with a slow and steady 'Bury Me In My Boots', the crowd are appreciative of the slower pace and a chance to chill. Saying that if they had played last year and played this song it would have been rather apt. We were really being buried in our welly boots last year. Playing their best song 'Drunk Like You' with most of the crowd drunk or on the way helps them get up on their feet and grooving.
Photo Credit:Ross Silcocks
In Flames are up next and although latest album 'Battles' seems to have been a shrug of the shoulders for their die hard fans, the crowd lap up every song. Airbourne on the other hand bring the party like only they know how. Coming on stage to the Terminator 2 theme song is audacious but the band have songs and stage presence to match. Lead singer Joel O'Keefe doesn't go for his customary stage climb today but being Australian can't help but climb onto a crowd members shoulders who has decided to wear a kangaroo suit of all things, and in this boilng heat too!
Steel Panther are up next and seemingly bring the biggest crowd of the day. Playing up to their 80's hair metal personas the band have the songs and also the comedic chops to get the crowd laughing as well as singing. Getting a huge amount of women up on stage with them to finish off their set is a sight to behold.
Photo Credit: Ben Gibson
Wrapping up the festival nearly 50 years into their career are the mighty Aerosmith. Having headlined in 2010 and 2014, the band have nothing left to prove as they rattle off hit after hit with a face melting version of 'Dude looks Like A Lady' (yes the one off Mrs.Doubtfire) hitting the spot. Putting two Fleetwood Mac covers into the middle of their set is a major mistake but they reel it back in with a one two punch of 'Walk This Way' and 'Dream On' to finish off the last ever UK show from the The Toxic Twins.