Download Festival 2022 Recap: Rock and metal festival back with a bang

The three day festival was back in full force this year and fans were treated to a master class from some of the biggest acts in the business

The 2022 edition of Download Festival had thousands of metal and rock fans for the first time in three years, and the acts who took the stages on each of the festival’s three days gave everything they had to make up for lost time.

This was my second download project, the first being in 2016 when the festival site was hit by biblical rains that transformed the arena into something resembling a World War I battlefield.

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When we arrived at the campsite on Friday, there was hardly a cloud in the sky and the sun was shining brightly on the many campers preparing their homes for the weekend.

Iron Maiden headlined the main stage of Download 2022

We went to the arena and the Welsh reggae metal band was the first thing for me Skindred on the festival’s main stage, dubbed The Apex Stage for 2022. With the accompanying signature ‘Newport Helicopter’, which prompts the crowd to wave shirts/other clothing over their heads, the band from the South Wales town put on a powerful performance that was thoroughly entertaining.

As I shuffled over to the second stage, the Opus Stage, I encountered an Australian rock band In the air. Having seen them before, I had a good idea of ​​what to expect. In a word, they are noisy. Very loud. But they are as loud as a heavy rock band should be. Airbourne, self-confessed fanatics of classic rock bands like Iron Maiden and ACDC, tumbled and slammed through their set with a raw notion of what real rock should be.

Slice through the crowd and back to the Apex Stage to reach the back end A day to rememberfor which I quickly returned to the Opus stage Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes. Carter intertwined his set with the backgrounds of most of his songs and expressed his gratitude for being able to perform at the festival for the first time in three years – this was to be a theme throughout the weekend as acts and fans were relieved at the Return of were live music after the pandemic.

headlining on Friday kiss ended the day in fine form – the glam rock group set a fine example of how to wow and entertain a huge audience. Frontman Paul Stanley literally flew over the Apex Stage crowd as the rock veterans treated thousands of viewers to renditions of tracks that inducted the band into the 2014 Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

The night ended with “Rock and Roll All Night”, the 23rd track of a mammoth set that could possibly be one of the last Kiss ever played in the UK. Back to camp and a try at sleeping, although it turned out there wasn’t much sleep at any point that weekend.

Malevolence performed on Saturday morning

Saturday dawned for thousands of sleepy campers at Castle Donington and a relatively early start at the arena for my group.

The circular pits of malice on the Opus Stage were the first stop on Saturday. A sizzling set from the Sheffield heavy metal band was a great warm-up for the day; not that anyone in the area needed a warm-up; the June sun was beating down nicely. The pit was an amazing experience and after three years away I had forgotten the pure adrenaline rush you can get from being in the middle of it. The only downside was that my sunglasses were claimed as a sacrifice; but we kept going anyway.

Next up was Saturday hold absence, a band formed in Cardiff in 2015. This also got me my first visit to the Avalanche Stage, which is in a huge tent to the left of the Apex Stage. A sweaty 2-30 minutes followed, but as it was my first time seeing the band I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

Ice Nine Kills, who hail from Boston, are known for having horror movie-themed lyrics. They performed on the Opus Stage on Saturday afternoon. Horror film influences included IT and psycho, and the performance was as terrifying as it was captivating.

Then immerse yourself in the macabre film history, shining down on the Apex Stage was next for us. The Florida rock band took the stage in full swing and the crowd even got a sneak peek of the band’s new album, due out in July. Shinedown are also touring this fall for those who want to try them in a slightly different setting.

The Spitfire above the stage as Iron Maiden played “Aces High”.

After some refreshments at camp, it was time for Saturday’s headliner and a band that has practically made Download’s main stage their home for the past several years. Iron Maiden have been an institution in the rock world for decades, and they’re a band that shows no signs of slowing down. Frontman Bruce Dickinson is a famous showman, and his performance at Download 2022 only added to that reputation.

Performances of “The Trooper” and “Revelations” were performed to huge audiences, and thousands were even treated to a second encore. I turned my back to the stage and thought the set was over when a clip of Winston Churchill’s famous “We Will Fight Them On The Beaches” started playing. This signals the start of “Aces High”, a track telling the story of RAF pilots during the Battle of Britain in the summer of 1940.

A replica Spitfire model hovered above the stage as Maiden rounded out their set in typically impressive style. Saturday came to an end, but the festival was far from over.

A light and breezy start to Sunday and my earliest start into music. Electric rock group war gas were first on the Apex Stage in what was arguably the liveliest start to a Sunday morning I’ve ever had.

A stop to get water was necessary (important as it felt like it was going to be another hot day in the arena) before making my way back to the Apex Stage.

The very eye-catching “giant rubber ducky” who joined Alestorm on stage

Alestorm, a band that loves pirates, drinks and, judging by their stage setup, big rubber ducks, storms onto the stage at 1:30 p.m. Their tales of drinking and general life as a pirate delighted a healthy crowd, and the band reminded all viewers how enjoyable they can be to watch.

Other highlights on Friday included attending the Avalanche Stage for the Canadian metal group’s UK debut performance spirit box. Beautiful in places and brutal in others, any Metal fan wanting to hear something fresh and classy wouldn’t go wrong giving the band a listen.

Biffy Clyro on the main stage

A fantastic weekend was rounded off by the Scottish rock outfit Biffy Klyro. The group have become a household name in download line-ups in recent years, and their set was a mix of calm and carnage. It was the third time I’ve seen Biffy Clyro live and once again they showed why they are still one of the most alluring bands to see on the live stage.

The sun had set on Download 2022 and the countdown to episode 2023 is already on. A shock fest is expected for Download’s 20th anniversary, but all stops will need to be pulled out to top the 2022 edition. Download Festival 2022 Recap: Rock and metal festival back with a bang


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