Download review of Festival 2022 Sunday (day three).
When the sun rose again for the last morning Download festival 2022, thought many of them were on Team Rock Sins. So lucky we had been with the weather and how good Iron Maiden had been the previous night among them. For those who have not seen the other parts of Rock Sins Download 2022 coverage so far, you will find links below:
Download Festival 2022 Friday Review
Download Festival 2022 KISS special function (review / gallery)
Download Festival 2022 Sunday Photo Gallery
At the start of The Apex, Sunday’s choice for a band that got a rather unexpectedly large place on the main stage was the German wolf pack aka. Powerwolf (8). Surprisingly, only one song from their 2021 album played Call Of The Wild, which was not even a single, the set list was tailored for an audience that would probably hear their music for the first time. With that, they proved that even though power metal is not for you, they are one of the few bands that when they manage it, it is difficult to ignore. For people who stumbled upon them because they played the main stage, it can quickly become repetitive as the songs start to mix with each other. However, it’s a great place for them to be, just like when Sabaton got a similar slot machine back in 2017. The majority of the download audience will buy into the theater as a whole, and Powerwolf is more than happy to force a set full of power metal singing with lots of audience participation. KD
Doing much better than Alter Bridge bandmate Myles Kennedy did on the same stage on Friday, Mark Tremonti and the rest of Tremonti (8) give their huge audience a good pace, very nice show on the Opus stage. The set is full of tracks from the entire band’s catalog, and highlights their ability to make good quality albums far more regularly than most of their peers do these days. 2021’s Marching In Time was without a doubt their best album to date, and the three songs selected from that album all sound fantastic and are very well received by those who bang their heads and pump their fists with every word and every riff. Mark Tremonti is in a nice voice all the way, and reminds everyone that although he is best known for his shredding abilities, he is also a good vocalist. A concluding salvo of Marching In Time’s title track, combined with old favorites Another Heart and Wish You Well shows off Tremonti on their best riff. A longer set next time would be both deserved and welcome. JG
Rise Against (8.5) bring a more than a little punk rock attitude to the main stage this afternoon. The slowly open bass and drums of Prayer of The Refugee signal their entrance to the stage and evoke recognition cheers from the front row. The tension in the air is palpable, and as soon as the first desperate chorus hits, it becomes like the touch paper is suddenly lit and waving arms are transformed into circular pits in an instant.
The band continues to pick up steam, increasing the tempo with apparently each track. Jumps from album to album, putting together a mix of revolutionary anthems that span their nearly twenty-five-year careers and offer many feel-good moments for both existing fans and newcomers.
However, as soon as the chaos began, it ends. After a heartfelt final call for weapons from the lead singer, Tim McIlrath. The band briefly dives back into their latest album, Nowhere Generation, and just as the excitement in the audience reaches its peak, they screw things up another notch with a double bill Survive and Savior to complete things. Leaves a slightly worn but very happy crowd behind.
Danish rockabilly quartet Volbeat (8.5) seems incredibly happy to be back here on Download and not in the least phase after Rise Against on the main stage. With the trampling rhythm of Devils Bleeding Crown has no problem amplifying the audience again.
The Danes’ enthusiasm is contagious and soon everyone will be as well off as they are. Singing with Lola Montez and dancing around their camping chairs up on the shore far in front of the stage.
There are few other bands this weekend that can provide the same kind of acting as thousands of tanned metal heads pumping their fists in the air and singing Dusty Springfield, but Volbeat certainly knows how to deliver a festival moment when it comes! HL
For some, it was the most anticipated band of the entire weekend of the 2022 Download Festival Spiritbox (10). With The Avalanche Stage tent crowded at the sides and back, it’s a wonder the organizers did not put them on a bigger stage, as was the hype surrounding their first British live show ever. For those who were lucky enough to get into the tent, they will be happy Courtney LaPlante and the boys were not pulled up, since it was a set that is going to go down in Download Festival history.
From the beginning of the call to CUT DOWN THE ALTAR from the opening Circle With Me, the band and the audience were one in the entire thirty minute set. Courtney LaPlante stalks partially and partially slides around the stage, arousing chaos in the audience with a simple hand gesture or facial expression. She has a stage presence in spades, well helped by Mike Stringer on guitar and the former As I Lay Dying bassist Josh Gilbert on four string duties, both of which are across the stage. Josh actually helped fill in for Sam Carter on the blistered yellow jacket.
As one might have expected, the place breaks out into a full war zone for Spiritbox’s breakthrough hit Holy Roller. It is a scene of pure joy around the avalanche tent, you could say the weekend’s happiest circle pits. Courtney’s vocals on Holy Roller live (and in general) must be seen in the body to be believed, there is a force there that few vocalists of any gender can match. They take things down a notch for the final Eternal Blue, which is just as impressive, but in a different way. “Download, UK, this has been a very good first date, we’ll buy dinner next time!” Courtney remarks as Spiritbox resigns from an important first show in the UK. They will return and if you missed them this time, do not miss them next time. JG
Ask anyone who still has a now metal vein in their heart about Korn, and they will immediately remind you of the form they have been in during this chapter of their careers. Almost 30 years in, KoRn (8) has played the role of the band you go to see to hear some classics from that time, but they refuse to settle for being a nostalgia act. Of course they still play the hits, but it never feels like KoRn karaoke, you can still see and hear exactly why so many people fell for them in the first place. The few newer songs that find their way into the set among stone wall-must-haves are proof of that as well. Requiem from 2022 and The Nothing from 2019 add Start The Healing, Worst Is on Its Way and Cold to the mix as live debuts in the UK, and they sound as full of life as the huge hits they stand shoulder to shoulder with.
If the sheer volume of their performance, which had an impact on The Darkness playing on the second stage, was not enough to announce Korn’s return to Download, then their opening was certain. Coming out with Here To Stay, Got The Life and Falling Away From Me back to back is a complete middle finger to the times when KoRn was not shown the respect they get now. It’s hard to imagine them having to push through the last barrier to get to a headliner spot, but when it comes to bands that have done so for so long and played these slot machines, there is a serious argument that KoRn is the best. the band for the job – especially when they can finish with a combination like Freak On A Leash and Blind. KD
Hair spray and lycra are ready, it’s time for Steel Panther (7.5) who leads the second stage tonight here at Download, and although most of the audience knows exactly what they’m into. You can still spot a few first-timers in the audience from their shocked expression as the lyrics to the opening track Goin ‘In The Backdoor begin to sink in.
However, once you remove the intended shock factor, the band is musically on point. Satchel whizzes around the fingerboard and hands out tasty glam licks as fast as his fingers allow. Gives Michael Starr all the room he needs to put on make-up and pose as a caricature of an 80s frontman who is screwed up to eleven. A performance by Justin Hawkins who joins the vocals for Party All Day gives everyone a good laugh or two as well.
There are some jokes that fall flat, the band’s cover of Crazy Train, along with a mandatory Ozzy impression from Starr is almost a bit too on the nose with Prince of Darkness in hospital this weekend. Long audience participation number Weenie Ride has the female audience member who has been picked to sit on the stage and looks a little uncomfortable at times as well.
All in all, it’s hard to take too much from a show that makes so many people walk away with smiles on their faces. However, a few more songs and a little less stand up next time can be nice. HL
Many have asked Biffy Clyro (9) should be the headline here at Download this weekend. Although they may not have many years of experience in saying Kiss or Iron Maiden, Biff can still end a festival day with the best of them. As can be confirmed by anyone who saw their sets here in 2012 and 2017, they met the slimmer and heavier Biffy Clyro you do not usually hear on Radio 1.
Unfortunately, the lid on an early start on the trip home is clearly too big for most people. Because even if the band kicks off with DumDum, a steady migration of downloaders can be seen going away from the main stage towards their respective parking lots and campsites.
The declining audience does not seem to phase Simon Neil much, leading the band into a well-constructed set list that seamlessly mixes famous favorites like The Golden Rule with newer songs like Wolves of Winter. Both sound huge. But halfway through, the lack of participation from the audience begins to rob them of some of their momentum, despite the band’s best efforts.
The soldiers on anyway, but it’s a shame to see the arena so empty during an otherwise impressive headline performance. Biffy still goes out with a fitting bang, as a final shower of fireworks lights up the sky during Many of Horror. However, we can not help but believe that another headline vending machine may have given the boys from Scotland a better chance of leaving us on an even bigger high. HL
With nearly 100,000 people passing through the gates of Donington to reach the sacred grass over the weekend, the download was back in full shape after the forced three-year distance. The festival has been extended to four full days for the 20th anniversary in 2023, and many, many will count the days already. We are among them. For those who are eager to get early bird tickets, you can pick them up at this link. For next year, Team Rock Sins unsubscribes from Download 2022!
Reviews by Kyle Dimond (KD), Jamie Giberti (JG) and Hank Leyland (HL). Photos by Jemma Dodd.