Live Review: Download Festival 2022 – Friday

The hallowed ground of Donington Park has been lacking in those who enjoy the heavier side of life for the last few years so when the hoards of emos and metalheads descended to the East Midlands, it finally felt an ounce of normality had returned to the world.


Bury Tomorrow were one of earlier bands on the main stage, but they weren’t about to let the crowd get away with lacking in energy. “2 years of rescheduling and I’ve been dreaming about this gig since we got announced” screamed vocalist Dani Winter-Bates. During the fiesty new track Death (Ever Colder), the sludgey metal was perfectly accompanied by the glorious sunshine and literal fire that was shooting from the stage, if this what the new era of BT is about to sound like then this is very positive indeed! The highlight of the set came from the crowdsurfing record that the band wanted to beat from the last time they had played the festival, Winter-Bates informed the lively crowd that he usually get briefed before festivals to not encourage circle pits and walls of death… but no-one had spoken to him today. During the incredibly fantasic Black Flame, thousands upon thousands of crowd surfers soared above the heads of the Donington massive to break the aforementioned world record, a real sight to behold! A great way to start the weekend 8/10

Black Veil Brides

After a less than welcoming experience when they first played the festival in 2012, BVB have worked their emo magic on the Donington faithful over the years and most definately won them over. Faithless and Coffin are strong openers for the set, with front man Andy Biersack captivating the crowd with his piercingly beautiful blue eyes. BVB treat their die-hard fans to two new tracks within the set, Crimson Skies and Scarlett Cross, to which most of the fans decked out in their merch already know the majority of lyrics. Rounding off their 40 minutes with a triple header of bangers; Knives and Pens, Fallen Angels and In The End, bottling these guys is a thing of the past, they’ve managed to prove themselves as a worthy act for the festival and it’s no wonder they keep getting invited back year after year. 7/10

Lacuna Coil

It’s been a fair few years since Lacuna Coil have returned to the UK and there was a huge crowd waiting for the Italian outfit on the second stage mid afternoon. Opening with the incredible Blood, Tears, Dust, LC are captivating for all the right reasons. Front woman Cristina Scabbia looks effortlessly cool as she saunters around the stage… she even had some form of cape, whilst front man Andrea Ferro commands the crowd, his energy unmatched. LC treat the crowd to songs old and new including Trip The Darkness and Heaven’s a Lie but it’s the two huge emo anthems Our Truth and Nothing Stands In Our Way that are the highlight of the set. Hopefully on their next return to the UK, they will play a longer set and they will be able to bring some more stage that the band are famous for, lets just hope it’s not another 6 years! 7/10

A Day To Remember

US heavy hitters A Day To Remember are no strangers to Download Festival, however, subheadlining for KISS must be one of the weirdest support slots they’ve ever been a part of. The Floridian outfit wasted no time in dropping into some of their biggest hits by opening with the huge Downfall Of Us All. All I Want and Paranoid go down equally as good and the crowd really start to get moving. During Degenerates, the famous ‘Download Dog’ made an entrance; the big red mascot for the festival seemed to be loving dancing around up on the main stage. The heavier Second Sucks kept the good vibes going but there was a drop of pace in the set during Have Faith In Me. The energy between both crowd and band never altered and during the climax of the set, the crowd absolutely lost their shit for the classic All Signs Point to Lauderdale. Having established themselves as one of the biggest acts in rock right now, ADTR could surely headline the whole thing in a few years time. 8/10

Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes

Here at Backseat Mafia we’ve been lucky enough to catch Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes a fair few times. After the release of their album Sticky, more opportunities seem to be opening up for the outfit and they are playing the festivals and stages they deserve. My Town and Sticky are great openers for the set and Frank wastes no time in getting up close and personal with the Midlands mob. A real highlight not only of the set, but of the entire weekend was the ‘women only mosh pit’ to the track Wild Flowers. Carter highlighting the importance of keeping women safe at gigs and letting them have their own space to go wild. Listen in other bands and do this at your gigs in the future… thank you! Guitarist Dean Richardson ascends the crowd during Devil Inside Me and both band and crowd are sharing a tonne of bodily fluids at this point. Before Angel Wings, Carter tells the story of the track and how it’s about him wanting to take his own life, a real poignant moment. Covering Drain The Blood by The Distillers (the band originally headlining the second stage) was a real special moment which was made even more special as Frank decided to FaceTime his mum from the stage so she could see him perform. Closing the set with the always enormous and angry I Hate You, Carter and gang prove consistenly that they, in a few years, would be worthy headliners of the whole festival. 9/10

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