By David O’Neill and Jase Walker

The Uber Rock Approved stampWith Download Festival 2022 on the horizon, we at ÜRHQ can feel the hype building for the return to Donington, and so we asked our dynamic duo of Dave and Jase to give us some insight into what bands they are most looking forward to catching over the weekend…

I’m stoked about heading back to a festival I’ve been going to for over a decade now. The line-up this year is absolutely staggering, but probably not for the same reasons a lot of people tend to be drawn to, which is usually the massive names on the first and second stages.

This year, my major draws are almost exclusively on the third and fourth stages! This year Download festival has really pulled no punches, booking some of the best underground and emerging acts which have been causing a massive ruckus despite the pandemic and I can’t wait to touch down on the hallowed ground of Donington and see his current favourites absolutely tear it up. (JW)

Not being as experienced a Downloader as Jase (this will be my third since 2017) and being of a certain age my interests lie elsewhere.  My first gig was in 1974, aged 14, and was Deep Purple Mark 3, so I am more schooled in the “classic rock” genre. However, with my youngest being 25 my musical taste has become much more eclectic in the last 15 years or so. I was not of the festival era and didn’t go to things such as Monsters of Rock. However, and I shouldn’t really own up to this, this will be the first time (and last) I will see Kiss and probably Iron Maiden too.  There are many other bands on the bill that I will be looking forward to as well.  Being team Über’s Download photographer I will probably be running around trying to capture elements from all the stages but looking for that “photo” wherever it comes from. (DO’N)


Heriot (Dogtooth Stage)

If you’ve been in my general vicinity over the last few months, you’ll know I’ve mentioned these guys more than a few times, I’ve reviewed their EP, ‘Profound Morality’, and had the pleasure of watching them absolutely smash venues to bits in Manchester and now they’ve earned themselves a slot and rightly so! (JW)

As Everything Unfolds (Avalanche Stage)

These lot absolutely blew me away with their 2021 album, ‘Within Each Lies The Other’, and, unfortunately, I have frustratingly missed several chances to see them in Manchester, so where better to get my first experience than Download? (JW)

Sleep Token (Avalanche Stage)

I don’t think I can see these enough: enigmatic and grandiose, there’s not a chance I’d miss a chance to see them again. I bloody love Sleep Token, and maybe I’ll have chance to learn the words for their new album by then? (JW)

A.A Williams (Dogtooth Stage)

Again, another act that I’ve seen a pretty high number of times, admittedly not deliberately since she somehow ended up on support slots for a massive chunk of the gigs I went to in 2019… not that I’m complaining. Superbly melancholy and with her erring closer to post-metal, my adoration for her only grows. (JW)

Bury Tomorrow (Main Stage)

OK, there’s gotta be at least one main stage act I guess and of course it has to be these. I’ve been a fan of these for many years now and seeing them creep ever further up the bill at Download gives me joy and going mental in the middle of their pit will only take that further. (JW)

Whilst the previous bands are Jase’s main interests, on Friday’s Dogtooth agenda I will dip in for British Lion (other commitments allowing) and Bokassa, a rather unusual mix of stoner/punk who I saw  last year with Florence Black and enjoyed immensely. A quick look at the Avalanche stage currently is not my taste but that doesn’t mean I wont be supporting Jase (if possible).

The second stage has the Kris Barras Band, who I have seen many times over the past few years on a variety of bills and would like to see on a large stage as he always puts on a good show. Myles Kennedy always delivers for me whether it’s his solo stuff, with Alter Bridge or Slash, so that is pretty nailed on. Airbourne always deliver a full throttle show so I hope I get to see this one too but that depends on the timing of the acts on the main stage of Friday. (D’ON)

Of the main stage acts, Wayward Sons are always good for me, so that will be a likely drop in for a bit. Skindred always deliver a party atmosphere, so “Newport Helicopters aloft guys”. Black Veil Brides and A Day To Remember are the ones that have surprised me that I quite like are, so I may try to see them both if there is not too much competition for my time. Kiss has to be a photographers dream to get in the pit for that especially as it is their “last” time at Download. (DO’N)


Death Blooms (Dogtooth Stage)

Nu Metal isn’t dead. That’s it, that’s all you’re getting. (JW)

Venom Prison (Dogtooth Stage)

‘Erebos’ made a massive statement to the world that Venom Prison are going to march their way to the top and nothing can stop them, missing these on their climb is something you really don’t want to do. (JW).

Holding Absence (Avalanche Stage)

Admittedly it took me a while to warm to these but seeing them supporting Funeral For A Friend sealed it for me. ‘The Greatest Mistake Of My Life’ is the start of the next era for post hardcore and Holding Absence are going to be rewriting the rulebook. (JW)

Bleed From Within (Dogtooth Stage)

If you’ve not listened to ‘Fracture’ yet, you’re missing out on one of the finest metalcore albums of the last decade. I know for a fact I’ll be feeling the after effects of their pit for weeks, and I apologize in advance if I come over the top of you when I’m crowd surfing! (JW)

Funeral For A Friend (Avalanche Stage)

So, as it’s looking like this may very well be the last time I ever get to see these guys again, I want to make sure that my lasting memory of one of the first bands I properly got into is going to be at Download. Pretty certain I’ll be a bit emotional during this, like! (JW)

Starting off my picks on the second stage, Dirty Honey are a five-piece from LA.  They have a new “album” released soon that is a combination of older EP tracks and some new stuff.  There is a certain tone to Mac LaBelle’s voice that is instantly recognizable that may draw comparison to the late Bon Scott, but on the softer stuff there is also an element of Kelly Jones from the Stereophonics, so I think I will drop in on this one. (DO’N)

Bush are a band I have not listened to previously, but a quick trip through Spotify might just persuade me if I have no other commitments at the time. The Last Internationale may make me take a trip to discover a totally different sound. Megadeth has to be a first for me, but with Dave Mustaine’s reputation as a guitarist it will be different to my usual listening. Chris Daughtry has an amazing voice and is an accomplished songwriter so I will be making the effort. (D’ON)

The main stage is definitely where my biggest focus will be on Saturday. Monster Truck are a band I have seen before and wouldn’t hesitate to see again. Those Damn Crows did a three set trip at their last Download pre-pandemic and the week after I was sound engineering them for a headline set at a local festival.  Always good value, Shane and the boys really love rock and roll (which ain’t dead)! (DO’N)

The Raven Age‘s first album, ‘Conspiracy’, was an absolute belter; if you love a loud version of heavy/alt rock/metal mix.  I saw them on their headline tour promoting it and will happily see them if I can. Black Label Society are another band for me to discover, but with Zakk Wylde on guitar I can see this being a joyful one. Rock is rock, and this is Rock: as hard as granite and as heavy as lead. Shinedown and Brent Smith is one of the bands my youngest son introduced me to.  I have seen them on every tour since and for me their 2018 Download show was one of the highlights that really got all the crowd bouncing, and I cant see why they wouldn’t do the same.  With a new album out (number seven!) at the beginning of July I anticipate a sprinkling of new songs from the Florida Four. (D’ON)

IRON MAIDEN – IRON MAIDEN IRON MAIDEN. Enough said, oh for a picture of Bruce Dickinson flying Ed Force One on stage-we can all dream. That dear reader is the end of my Download adventure for 2022 as I cannot stay for Sunday this year (DO’N)


Phoxjaw (Dogtooth Stage)

You want a band with a little sprinkle of everything mixed in with a nice dose of proggy goodness? Yeah, that’s Phoxjaw. These guys have been busy garnering support and picking up new fans all over the place, well known and respected within the likes of the ArcTanGent community too.

Modern Error (Dogtooth Stage)

Sadly, covid saw off a chance to see these in Huddersfield for me earlier this year, but I suppose i’ll make up for that at Download. Their debut album, ‘Victim Of A Modern Age’ is an absolute banger and it’ll be fantastic hearing this stuff live.

YONAKA (Dogtooth Stage)

Another band that’s been making waves with their pop and sometimes grime-esque infused alt-rock/metal, and another band that dropped a fantastic album in 2021 in the form of ‘Seize The Power’. I’ll be seeing them for the first time here.

Trash Boat (Avalanche Stage)

I will not lie to you here; I am absolutely infatuated with this band. 2021 saw them dropping ‘Don’t You Feel Amazing?’ which is absolutely jam packed with bangers one after the other, I don’t doubt I’ll be losing my voice singing along to ‘Alpha Omega’ – Worth it!

Spiritbox  (Avalanche Stage)

If you’ve got even a passing interest in Metalcore or Djent in any way, there’s a solid chance you’ll have heard of these and checked out their absolutely insane album, ‘Eternal Blue’. 2020 killed their first tour in the ÜK with After The Burial but their first ÜK show will be here at Download, and I’ll not be missing that unless it kills me.

Download’s line-up is pretty damn strong this year regardless of if you’re going for the first time or are a pretty seasoned veteran by now. The main two stages both have massive names attached to them, but this year there are some serious treasures on the smaller stages, and I would urge you to give them a look in. (JW)

See you in the pit \m/

  • Download takes place at Donington Park over the weekend of 10 – 12 June. You can still get tickets HERE.
  • Check out our Spotify playlists, curated by Dave and profiling each stage each day, HERE.

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