The Prodigy and Slash bring the first night of Download to a close
Machine Head and Chase & Status help crowds forget rain and mud
The rock rave pioneers headed a packed bill to mark the tenth anniversary of the metal festival at Donington Park. The band arrived onstage 20 minutes late to the tune of the national anthem, before launching into 'World's On Fire' and 'Breathe'.
They continued to mix up the old with the new, 'Poison' proving a particular hit with the sodden masses. "Every time we come we come fresh" Maxim announced, continuing, "this one's for you in the rain", ahead of 'Voodoo People'.
Punter Jonathan Day from Reading braved the high winds and rain for the set. "What an amazing start to the weekend," he said. "When 'Breathe' kicked in you could tell it was going to be a quality show."
Nevertheless, they had a smaller crowd than previous act Chase and Status, who proved the negative online message boards wrong with their high energy performance. Slash, meanwhile, treated the second stage to a full rock set including Guns N' Roses tracks like 'Night Train'.
Earlier in the day things got off to a slow and muddy start as inclement weather forced the organisers to delay the opening of the main arena by nearly two hours, cancelling sets by the likes of Rise To Remain and Cancer Bats.
NOFX played a frenetic set on the Jim Marshall stage, declaring themselves "the Grateful Dead of punk rock" before slipping into the reggae-inspired 'Eat The Meek'. They finished their set with fan favourite 'Kill All The White Man'.
Europe missed their set due to traffic but Billy Talent played to a huge crowd, allowing Cancer Bats to interrupt their set for a quick run through of 'Hail Destroyer'.
Machine Head played the last full metal set of the night, seeing punters dressed as Smurfs crowdsurf to the likes of 'Aesthetics of Hate' and 'Locust' from the new album 'Unto The Locust'.
The festival continues on Saturday with a headline set from Metallica.
The Prodigy played:
'World's On Fire
'Spitfire / Spitfast'
'Invaders Must Die'
'Smack My Bitch Up'
'Take Me To The Hospital'
'Out Of Space'
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