Click here for home page

Click here

Contact Us | Customer Information | Privacy Policy | Audio Help

Main Menu
Submit a review
Sign up for newsletter
Album Reviews
Gig reviews
Special features
Get Your EMail Address
Submit your website
Gig Reviews...

Just witnessed your best live gig?.. send us a review!

11-13 June 2010


Day 1: Friday 11 June


It's been thirty years since the first ever Monsters Of Rock show took place right here at Castle Donington race track. A one day festival headlined by Rainbow that also featured other heavy metal classic acts such as Judas Priest, Scorpions and Saxon. Just over 35,000 fans turned up that day.

Since then the festival has grown into mammoth proportions. Now named the Download Festival since 2003, the festival attracts over 100,000 punters that now runs for three days, has five stages(Six if you include the one that AC/DC have brought along.) and features over a hundred different artists all clamming for our attention.Whatever you taste in rock music, you can be guranteed of finding something of interest at any given time.

I foolishly turned down the chance of camping in the V.I.P area which was directly just a few minutes away from the main stage, as my friends (Who had brought my camping gear up to the festival the night before.) were camping in the quieter family area, which was a fifty minute hike away situated just off Leicester city High Street.

Once the tent was set up and chilling out for a few moments with my first beer of the day ,it was another marathon walk back to the main arena to catch some of the days acts.

Despite raining the day before, luckily the sun came out and the fun began.  Upon checking out the merchandise stall i noticed the event t-shirts which featured all the bands names appearing over the weekend on the back omitted the AC/DC logo.

A pointless exercise designed to fool people into departing with their hard earned cash on buying a t-shirt of the headliners rather than money going to the coffers of the promoters, a trick which Iron Maiden used a few years ago at Wacken.  I know t-shirts are big buisness but give the fans what they want. In the end I decided to buy neither a AC/DC or a Download t-shirt.  (Saxon got my money a couple of days later.)


It's been 25 years since I first came to Donington back in 1985, back then it was one stage and six bands.  Everybody saw the same acts and went home with the same story.  With so many stages and bands on stage at the same time meant that at the end of the day, you can still only manage to catch 7-8 bands a day.

Foo Fighter drummer Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders were packing out the Bedroom tent with many left outside listening in.

I went off to see Tyketto at the Pepsi Max stage. Danny Vaughn still has a fine voice and the band left me feeling forever young.

Killswitch Engage (who are here for the third time in four years, having been late replacements for Wolfmother) were the first of many to pay tribute to Ronnie James Dio with their hit cover of 'Holy Diver'. A powerful performance that really got the Download party started.

Flying high on the bill was Them Crooked Vultures , a supergroup which are not quite that super. Although it is a joy to see Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones doing some mesmerizing stuff on the bass and keyboards along with drummer Dave Grohl and Josh Homme on vocals and guitar, their brand (bland?) of technical rock just simply bores me after a few minutes.  At a festival I want to party rock'n roll , not snooze control.

I watched from a distance and noticed that there were just as many people waiting in front of the stage on the left for AC/DC as there were watching the Vultures on the main stage.

Bullet For My Valentine were on stage at the same time over at the Ronnie James Dio stage and had pulled in a sizeable crowd filling up that portion of the field winning over the fans with new tracks from their new album 'Fever'.

After the Them Crooked Vultures set there was a nice minute applause for the many fallen rock idols of the past year.  Pictures were displayed on the big screen as we all cheered and remembered the greatness of Ronnie James Dio, Slipnot's Paul Gray, Stereophonic Stuart Cable, Pete Steele of Type O Negative, Mike Alexander from Evile, Avenged Sevonfold drummer Jimmy 'The Rev' Sullivan and Maurice Jones ,one of the original promoters of the Monsters Of Rock and whom the main stage was named after this weekend.


To accomodate their huge stage show AC/DC had there own stage which would remain empty for the rest of the weekend.  No other bands on the other stages were to play at the same time as our Aussie heroes which meant that AC/DC had by far the largest crowd over the weekend which stretched back far as the eye could see.  The band belong here and is their fourth headling appearence here, the last time being back in 1991.

Coming on stage to a steaming 'Rock 'N Roll Train' AC/DC had the crowd cheering them on as the band gave us some much needed high voltage rock 'n roll.


Angus Young hair seems to grown a lot longer since he was last on these shores.  Brain Johnson making the most of the ramp that led out into the crowd with arms held wide.

The set list was almost identical to one from last year and was my only quibble, but an AC/DC show is a lesson on how to rock at the very top.

Malcolm Young, Cliff Williams and Phil Rudd keep a very tight rhythm at the back whilst also keeping a low profile making sure the band don't de-rail.

Photo: Julie Jones

During 'The Jack' Brain Johnson said ''If ya wanna get 'em off, go for it girls'' for which many beauties obliged getting their lubbly jubblies out for the camera to show on the big screen for the cheering crowd.  Even Angus Young joins in the fun for his naughty school boy routine stripping down to his shorts.

'Hell's Bells' and 'Shoot To Thrill' ups the ante. The great heavy artillery of 'War Machine' from the latest album 'Black Ice' rocks heavy.  We get the inflatable Rosie that goes down after 'that' song.  'Let There Be Rock ended the main set which saw Angus being raised on a platform for his prolonged solo.

Photo: Julie Jones

The cannons for 'For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)' didn't have much gunpowder in them this time but AC/DC still blew me away, in what could well be the last time we may ever see the band in the UK.

Awaiting me back in my tent was a bottle of red wine with my name on it. Through the crowds it took me over a hour to reach my campsite and annoyingly another half a hour to find my tent as I had forgotten where i pitched it.  (Well it was dark.) The wine went down very well thank you very much.

AC/DC set list : Rock 'N Roll Train / Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be / Back In Black / Big Jack / Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap / Shot Down In Flames / Thunderstruck / Black Ice / The Jack / Hell's Bells / Shoot To Thrill / War Machine / High Voltage / You Shook Me All Night Long / T.N.T / Whole Lotta Rosie /Let There Be Rock ...encores .. Highway To Hell / For Those About To Rock(We Salute You)


Review and photos by Mark Taylor


Day 2

Day 3

Print this page in printer friendly format

Print this page in printer-friendly format

Tell a friend about this page

Tell a friend about this page

Featured Artists
Artist Archive
Featured Labels
Label Archive
Do you want to appear here?

get ready to rock is a division of hotdigitsnewmedia group