Cinderella – Download Main Stage, June 13 2010

For those who discovered rock via the glossy medium of MTV in the late 80s there was only one must-see band on the main stage.

Even at their commercial peak Cinderella’s visits to these shores were few and far between. Fast forward to 2010 and the band have become virtual strangers to their loyal UK fan base.

Tom Keifer’s longstanding vocal chord problems haven’t helped and it’s a fact that too many shows could finish his career for good.

But on this evidence one of the most distinctive singers to emerge from the hair metal scene can still cut it when fully fit and fully focused.

Swiftly settling into a familiar groove, Keifer and co. rattled through fan favourites Push Push and Night Songs like they’d never been away – commanding the main stage in a manner many of the festival’s so-called bigger bands failed to do.

The Philadelphia band’s tunes were always top notch and, by the early 90s Cinderella had added a credible blues vibe to their earlier pop metal sound. Shelter, including a quick blast on the sax from the multi-talented Keifer, picked up the pace and Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone) was delivered with genuine emotion.

By now any Megadeth fan passing by might have been reaching for the nearest bin – this was hair metal at its nauseating worst as far as the uncommitted were concerned – but those of us in the know were loving it. Perhaps absence does make the heart grow fonder but in Cinderella’s case seeing these guys revel in a gold-plated back catalogue was a true pleasure.

Wrapping up a triumphant set with Nobody’s Fool, Gypsy Road and Shake Me, Cinderella took Donington on a teary-eyed journey back to the late 80s and everyone in a Steel Panther T-shirt loved it. Sensational stuff and Keifer, in particular, kicked ass!