Download 2011: Black Stone Cherry, Times Of Grace, Danzig
Black Stone Cherry
With the crowd just beginning to warm up alcoholically, Black Stone Cherry step smoothly onto the main stage to get things moving with a winning combination of Southern blues and songs that sound sufficiently huge to fit the time and setting perfectly. The field begins to rock to the big bollocked riffs and easy confidence BSC project. They make everything look as effortless as some of the crowd make sitting down and drinking lager, despite the obvious energy of the show. All except drummer like John Fred who smacks the skins so hard you suspect they may have made insinuations about his mother. The new material slips in seamlessly, the swaggeringWhite Trash Millionaire easily matching the older material in both the degree you want to move and the number of boobs flashed on the big screens. Black Stone Cherry are the perfect band in the perfect slot.
Times Of Grace
Jesse Leach has long been overdue a Donington appearance, and his debut does not disappoint in the slightest. The screams are vicious and the clean singing soulful, powerful and dripping with sincerity. Much as you might long for just one song from the Jesse-era Killswitch records, it doesn’t come, but even so Times Of Grace are great. Although if at some point in the future they decide to perform My Last Serenade, it would clearly up their game considerably- their songs are good, but it does slightly lack the anthemic sing along brilliance of the Alive Or Just Breathing we know Jesse for.
Blessedly, Adam D seems to have decided to rein his usual malarkey in a touch- there are no pink tutus or blow-up sex dolls in sight, and the ridiculous banter is minimal, and never gets (too) annoying. It adds colour to the performance like this, unlike the smothering effect it can have when it runs out of control.
Glenn Danzig himself may come on stage ferociously, but there’s nothing so roaring about his voice. At first it appears to be a technical problem, Glenn gesticulating wildly at the desk before physically throwing the monitors off the stage when feedback screeches out, and flipping the technicians the finger. This does bugger all to the volume of his voice, and it quickly becomes obvious the great man himself is the problem. That rich voice that has been his trademark sounds thin and weak, and badly impacts on the show.
That said, Glenn Danzig chucking speakers off stages and looking like he’s seconds away from using someone’s face as boot scraper is brilliantly intense, and it’s this confrontational attitude, along with the strengths of the rest of the band, that save what could be a gigantic car crash. Oh, and the stunning strength of those classic songs helps too- he might not be the force he once was as a singer, but it’s still Danzig and it’s still those tunes.