Courtesy of a nearby Sunday market (more hellbound souls) we were a little late getting to Download but in time to catch Chimaera and Papa Roach – more dents and gouges on my anatomy. Coby of Papa Roach gauged the crowd with “Who’s looking forward to the other bands? Mastodon! (cheer) Lamb Of God! (cheer) Stone Sour! (big cheer) Killswitch Engage! (very big cheer) Evanescence (even the tumble weed didn’t bother booing) Oh, right… Iron Maiden! (even the staff in the food tents quarter of a mile away cheered)”
Back at the main stage, Anni was nestled in her comfy chair when Killswitch Engage came on. Ah well, it’d have been rude not to go in the pit. Scariest man of the weekend was in there – naked except for a pair of David Hasselhoff underpants and a pair of trainers.
The field filled. Human pyramids were built. Plastic bottles were thrown at them until they collapsed again. The sun began to consider setting.
Maiden came on.
This is a band that really makes you proud to be British. From rousing songs like “These Colours Don’t Run” to classics based on history such as “The Trooper” this band (and 2 of its members) have been going for around 30 years now. The Number of the Beast is 25 years old this year, and they’re still going. Bruce revealed – subtley – that they’ll be headlining Download again next year as well, and concentrating on the Powerslave era. Oh, wow.
We said our goodbyes and as T & H headed tentwards, Anni and I followed the crowds to the carpark. It took us over 2 hours to get onto anything remotely resembling a road and gone 3am by the time we got to Anni’s.
Kit was dumped, a wash put on and I collapsed in bed with KK snuggled under my arm for the first time in 15 months. I think my cats remembered me. I like to think they did.