A wonderful ending to Download Festival 2010

The addition of Aerosmith to the 2010 Download Festival line-up was met with one question: would their performance be with or without vocalist Steven Tyler? Rumours of his absence were quickly addressed by festival organiser Andy Copping and it is a good job that Tyler remained with the classic rock group, because he is arguably the essence of Aerosmith.

Braving rainy and muddy conditions, the fans at Donington Park endured to see the closing band of the festival, another year gone, brought to a close with a solid performance from the Bad Boys from Boston. If there were any on-going personal differences between guitarist Joe Perry and Tyler, they certainly seemed to have been left behind, with the group displaying a faultless sense of professionalism.

Due to the weather conditions, timing delays had accumulated on the main stage. However, all was forgotten when the band kicked off their performance with a lively rendition of ‘Love in an Elevator’. It’s a shame that the ending to the song is never executed in the same manner live as it is in the original recording, but it was a great opener to their show, nevertheless.

The energy of the performance continued into the songs ‘Back in the Saddle’ and ‘Mama Kin’, proving that these aging rockers still have what it takes to draw thousands of fans to their gigs. As the lighting soothes into a blue wash, the band eased into their much-beloved ballad, ‘Don’t Want to Miss a Thing’. Performed with emotional power, the change of pace was well timed, still providing the chance to build up towards their energetic pre-encore ending ‘Draw the Line’.

Popular numbers such as ‘Livin on the Edge’ and ‘Dream On’ were well received, but none as much as the encore number of ‘Walk This Way’. The Blackout may have casually quoted the riff on the previous day, but there was undeniably no comparison; hearing Aerosmith play this iconic song was a momentous experience.

It was a disappointment that hits such as ‘Dude (Looks Like a Lady)’ and ‘Crazy’ were omitted, but with an impressive discography to choose from, it is understandable that the quintet wanted to implement a bit of variety to their set.

2010 marks an incredible forty years since the formation of Aerosmith, a legendary group within American rock music that have aged surprisingly well. Tyler’s worn body may gradually become the factor that one day forces him to enter retirement (which is especially not helped by falling off of stages), but for the time being, the Aerosmith spirit proudly lives on. They were technically excellent and definitely deserving of the headlining slot.