Explosive performance from the Californian quartet

Having performed at London’s Finsbury Park as part of the ‘Rage Factor’ celebration less than a week earlier, the band continued to ride their current wave of popularity by headlining the main stage of Download 2010.

As the air-raid siren sounded, the swarming Donington crowd received their final warning of the insanity that was to ensue. The Californian band may have been 20 minutes late arriving on stage, but as they launched into their opening track, ‘Testify’, an electrifying atmosphere swept amongst all of those in attendance. As the set progressed into another fan-favourite, ‘Bombtrack’, the energy within the crowd heightened even further, driven by the relentless attitude of the on-stage ensemble. However, the momentum of the set was somewhat disrupted by the band stopping during their third song ‘People of the Sun’ to issue a safety message, having witnessed crowd members sustaining serious injuries. With further security measures now in place, the band raged into two of their strongest works; ‘Know Your Enemy’ and ‘Bulls on Parade’, both delivered with incredible brutality.

Iconic guitarist Tom Morello was on fine form, executing his legendary riffs and lyrical solos with excellence. Singer Zack de la Rocha truly embodied the spirit of Rage Against the Machine during this memorable gig, impressively driving the performance on with his infectious liveliness.

An unexpected inclusion in the Los Angeles quartet’s set list was ‘White Riot’, a cover of the hit by English punk band, The Clash. It fitted in seamlessly with the band’s rebellious nature, even though its insertion was not a necessity.

Eventually leaving the stage after ‘Wake Up’, there was no doubt as to what the group would be performing upon returning for their encore. There could have been no better way to end the set than with ‘Killing in the Name’; the song that had made history and launched a serious attack against the evil empire formed by Simon Cowell. Appreciating that the recent success of this very song was the main contributor towards their invitation to the world-renowned Donington Download Festival, the foursome injected every last drop of energy into their final song, topping a remarkable and unforgettable set.