What else is there to say about Saturday at Download Festival 2022 other than one word: phenomenal. A rock/Metal-tastic day that left many with a hangover and everyone thirsty for what that last day of great music would bring.
Download Festival – Sunday – Part One
Words: Monty Sewell
Photography: Stuart Isteed
A steady morning wind blows through the campsite as the night owls sleep and the session drinkers grip those warm cans with sleepy fingers. Today sees The Last Internationale, Tremonti, Volbeat, Skillet, Korn, The Darkness, Steel Panther, The Hara, Massive Wagons, Alestorm, Spriritbox, Myles Kennedy and Biffy Clyro.
If there was a way to watch every stage at once with quadrupole vision, I’d do it. But there’s only one of me to manage the day whilst eating overpriced mac ‘n’ cheese (though if you want the best value for money, then head straight to the ‘Yorkie’ stall that sells giant Yorkshire puddings filled with all the trimmings). One more day until those painful 365 days commences before the next—time to get moving.
The Last Internationale – Opus Stage
I first saw The Last Internationale back in 2019 supporting Rival Sons, and from what I can remember, today here at Download, they’ve seriously upped their game. Back then, it was a three-piece with frontman Delila Paz on bass as well as vocals. But today, with a full four-piece band behind her, she dances freely around the stage whilst lending her powerhouse range vocals to each song the band pour themselves into.
Edgey Pires brings his all, playing for a stadium-size crowd on his Fender/Gibson swap-around. Midway through the set, Paz switches onto bass whilst the previous bassist rocks out on an acoustic. With the addition of keys, The Last Internationale seem to be spurting out new members as they grow with popularity and what a stylish way to start a Sunday.
Their politically interwoven lyricism against a backdrop of modern hard rock is quite refreshing after that was Saturday evening. Managing to get Aretha Franklins’ Freedom in with one of their numbers, its Wanted Man, Life Liberty, and the Pursuit Of Indian Blood, along with the new single 1984 that draw in the initial crowds of the day.
Alestorm and Tremonti – Apex & Opus Stage
On my way up to Tremonti, I managed to catch Alestorm on the main stage in the colourfully chaotic presence that is their live show. A giant rubber duck is sat stark in the centre of the stage – of course – as lead vocalist Christopher Bowes wields his keytar around in Metal, sea shanty pride.
Love ’em or hate ’em, they do put on a damn good performance. I don’t think there is or ever will be another gig where “Fuck you! With a fucking anchor!” can be sung by thousands of people in unison with so much joy without really knowing – or wanting to know – the fine details of it.
Songs like Drink and P.A.R.T.Y were hand crafted for festivals, and they go down like a good cup of rum.
On the flip side is Tremonti on the Opus stage. Their powerfully dark demeanour and imposing riffs strike up a soul-felt reaction from the crowd, who lap up every word. With one foot up on the amps in front of him, Mark Tremonti proves once more why he was voted Total Guitar’s fourth greatest Metal guitarist of all time, and it looks like he has a pretty good time doing it.
As the custom goes, they dive into their latest album material as well as the reliable-for-a-reason numbers such as The First The Last, Another Heart and Wish You Well.
Volbeat – Apex Stage
Volbeat are that wonderfully fascinating breed of blues rockabilly with metal influences. Their charismatic, Gibson Firebird playing lead Michael Poulsen is electric today at Donnington, breaking out those husky vocals and occasional Johnny Cash impression.
They play a smattering of their material from all seven released albums, with a particular moment coming when the camera zooms in to the crowd moshing to Shotgun Blues right after Poulsen asks, “you guys can mosh to the blues? Alright, let’s go!”
It’s quite a spectacle and one you’ll only believe when you see it. The visuals match each song’s content, flashing dark-coloured images across the screens onstage. Most of the material is taken from their most recent album, Servant Of The Mind, but they get a good deal of Seal The Deal and Let’s Boogie in there too.
With an audience that’s range is as diverse as they come in the rock world, there’s something for everyone. A superb, genuine performance that’s as entertaining as it is musically respectable.
MetalTalk Download 2022 coverage can be found at MetalTalk.net/tag/download-2022
Download 2023 will see the festival celebrate its 20th anniversary with an additional day, meaning four days of live music in total. Limited early bird tickets are on sale now at downloadfestival.co.uk
Highlights of this year’s Download Festival will be broadcast on SKY ARTS on 9th and 10th July at 9pm.