Hey There Donington
Plain White T's at Donington Download Festival? Many people thought they would never see the day, with the Illinois quintet far better suited to a festival such as T in the Park or Glastonbury. However, with the quintet having not visited the United Kingdom for around three years, the pop punkers would surely have been delighted to bring their shuffling show back to their fans across the pond.
The Pepsi Max tent had been swarming with soggy festival attendees for the majority of the day, but by the time came for Plain White T's to begin their forty minute set, the rain had stopped pouring outside and the tent was vacated by anyone who was either too wet to take any more of the festival or just did not wish to see the Grammy-nominated band. Although most artists would relish the prospect of delivering their performance a huge audience, Donington crowds can occasionally be rather hostile towards bands that don't fall into the typical rock/metal genres, so it was perhaps for the best that Plain White T's shared their slot with a smaller crowd that actually wanted to be there.
The set on offer was quite unlike any other of the weekend; an easy-going atmosphere, with beautifully written tunes contributing to the soundtrack for the final day of the festival. But as they eased through 'Rhythm of Love', the third stage tent was bombarded with the booming explosions of nearby fireworks, Bullet For My Valentine proving that they were a much more explosive band (quite literally). However Plain White T's stuck true to their feel-good songs, acoustic guitars in hand, and didn't neglect their identity just in an attempt to try and please an anticipated crowd.
Of course, the moment that all had come to see was 'Hey There Delilah'. The camera phones were all out, held up at full reach to capture the memory of the well-known acoustic hit making its first appearance at the English festival. Unfortunately the vocal performances for this song were flawed, the instances of poor intonation particularly noticeable when the harmonies were attempted. Thankfully the fivesome did not leave on a bad note, instead wisely ending their set on the up-tempo number 'Hate (I Really Don't Like You)'.
Plain White T's were an excellent addition to the festival line-up, drawing a big enough crowd to prove that they were a worthy booking. Despite some tuning hiccups, the Americans provided a wonderfully entertaining set that managed to get many drenched fans back in the mood for dancing.