Bottles Fail To Stop The Black Parade
For months now one band had seemed to be uniting Downloaders, a band that had stirred up so much controversy and debate that there's almost been a cloud of anticipation surrounding their headline slot since they were added to the bill. No, it wasn't Iron Maiden but instead the eye liner wearing, supposedly emo peddling My Chemical Romance that was dominating the headlines. Everyone seemed to want to see their set, not out of the love of their music but purely to heckle, boo and witness MCR do an Axl Rose and flee from Donington with their tails between their legs. Some people even wanted to give them a farewell gift of a bottle to the face and although the haters attacked, MCR refused to give up their stage without a fight.
Taking to the stage under a volley of bottles, batteries and basically anything else that could be launched with force, MCR set about putting on a show for the faithful MCArmy members who seemed to be taking the brunt of the abuse at the front. Opening with 'Dead', the New Jersey band faced an uphill struggle as flying projectiles continued to bombard them and insults and boos echoed around the main arena. Although the now obligatory Black Parade military outfits had been discarded, the fight was still raging from within the band with front man Gerard Way out to almost incite and provoke the crowd, at one point brining a halt to 'I'm Not Okay (I Promise)' so he could "kiss this guy", an act that left guitarist Frank Iero walking away from the singer wiping his cheek.
If Way was out to stir up more controversy then Iero was most definitely the MCR member willing to take on every Download cynic. Energetically charging around the stage flinging both himself and his guitar in all directions with little disregarded for his own safety, Iero single handily brought the MCR set to life. 'Give 'Em Hell Kid' saw Way dedicate the song to the brave Downloaders who had shown support for the band throughout the day whilst 'Mama' caused a few unprepared hecklers to actually tap their foot along to the jaunty beat. With 'Famous Last Words' adding a touch of bite and solidarity to the set it was left to the usual closer 'Helena' to bring to a close the most contested and talked about act of the weekend.
Minus the theatrics of their arena show and still without bassist Mikey Way, MCR failed to bring The Black Parade in all its glory to Donington. Instead we were treated to a stripped down version that seemed to be cut short (apparently due to security reasons during the Korn set taking place at the same time) and saw the band win over a minority of the crowd. After months of hype and threats of a bottling that would have made last year's Reading escapades look like a tea party at Buckingham Palace, MCR at the very least proved at Download that unlike supposed heavier bands of the past, they weren't going to let a tirade of bottles stand in the way of them headlining their first outdoor UK festival. In the end they came, they were bottled but The Black Parade marched on to fight another day.