The Bloodline Better-Late-Than-Never Blog, Part Deux

By Jeff Owens

July 23, 2010

Download Festival 2010, Third and Final Day—Sunday, June 13: Part II

Yeah, yeah—we know, we’re a day late (give or take a month!) and a dollar short on this one, but, unless you were one of the reported 120,000 people there or subscribe to Kerrang! or Metal Hammer, chances are this is still newsworthy, so here is our fourth and final report from Download 2010 …

Rain? Bollocks to that! The show must go on ...

As our last exciting installment revealed, once the Damned Things were done with their eye-opening second-stage set, the heavens opened and it started to pour. The rain did little to dampen the spirit of crowd, however, as Billy Idol (right) took the main stage. While he may have seemed like an odd choice on paper, Billy’s larger-than-life persona and impressive array of hits, fueled by the incredible axe work of Steve Stevens, made the British punk icon’s set go down the proverbial storm—awful pun not intended!

By the time Billy was done, the relentless rain had gone from providing a welcome break from the heat to being uncomfortably cold … and then of course there was the resulting mud. Not cool! That said, no one was budging from the main stage crowd, and for good reason—next up was the one-and-only Motörhead, fronted by the legendary Lemmy. Regardless of how cold, damp and miserable you were, leaving before or (God forbid) during Motörhead would be nothing short of criminal, not to mention downright disrespectful and rude. So stay we did, and it was good—as Motörhead always are! Plus, you got to see Slash return Lemmy’s earlier favor by getting up and jamming. Nice!

The man, the myth, the living legend—Lemmy!

By this time, the torrential downpour was definitely taking its toll, and the crowd did start to thin out. Thanks to the amazing backstage hospitality of our friends at Marshall amps, though, the Jackson crew did have a dry place to take refuge—and enjoy a beer or three. Paul, Joel, Jon, Graham and crew—we owe ya! In fact, the fine folk at Marshall were even gracious enough to let us film a very entertaining interview with a soaked but high-spirited and eloquent Jim Root of Stone Sour and Slipknot fame. Here’s a shot taken while Jim waxed lyrical about his signature Fender axes:

Jim Root and signature model—a perfect marriage made south of heaven!

The torrential downpour continued to take a definite toll on the crowd, and large lines could be seen leaving; not that you could tell by the vast throng eagerly awaiting the arrival of Steel Panther on the Ronnie James Dio stage. Steel Panther’s fame in the United States might be confined to L.A., YouTube and the Billboard comedy chart, but in England they’re a big deal—very big—hence their third-on-the-second-stage billing. The band’s fans here are hardcore and sing pretty much every lyric. While some people might view the quartet as a joke, their unique mix of humor and musicianship (let’s be honest—these guys are way better than a lot of the ’80s bands they spoof so well, and, IMHO, their hooks are good too!) is a breath of fresh air in a genre often guilty of taking itself far too seriously.

Insert “Asian Hooker” chorus lyrics here.

Highlight of their well-received set? Call me biased, but it was definitely Scott Ian’s guest appearance on “Asian Hooker”—complete with a Jackson Adrian Smith model he borrowed from us and took with him to the already legendary “Big Four” shows in Europe while he anxiously awaited delivery of a very special custom guitar—but that’s a whole other blog entry …

By the end of Steel Panther’s set, despite the safe haven that was Marshall’s backstage Porta-cabin, the Jackson crew were as cold and miserable as the rest of the crowd—being literally soaked to the skin will do that to the best and toughest of us! There was one more band your Jackson journalist (cough, cough!) wanted to see though, so I toughed it out. Was it Aerosmith? Sorry, Boston’s finest, but no. It was the one-and-only Stone Sour, who were headlining the second stage.

In this writer’s humble opinion, Corey Taylor is one of the finest vocalists and frontmen to have emerged in the past decade or so, and, thanks to almost annual Download appearances with either Slipknot or Stone Sour, he’s a firm crowd favorite at this mighty festival, and deservedly so. With the recent tragic death of Slipknot’s anchor, bassist Paul Gray, this show was going to be an emotional one for both band and crowd, as Slipknot had triumphantly headlined the main stage on the final day of Download 2009. Forget painting with a thousand words; the video below of Corey performing “Bother” paints a million. Simply dedicated to “my friend,” it’s a class move by a class act. Rest in peace, Paul …