Sonisphere made a triumphant return after being cancelled for the past two years, due to a mix of financial problems, getting the right line up and bad luck. So this year it was time for Sonisphere to pick back up and the people of Sonisphere to finally reunite. A weekend of The Prodigy, Iron Maiden, Metallica from fist pumping to moshing, circle pits to expensive beer, dam good burritos, disgusting toilets and pretty good weather these past few days have been incredible.
The layout of this years main arena was a fantastic and cleaver set up with the two main stages (Apollo stage and Saturn stage) opposite each other, being such a small festival fans could easily move from one to another within a few minutes. If stood in between the two stages there were some spots which you could see both stages from a reasonable distance. I believed this helped promote the bands on the second stage (Saturn stage) more as it wasn't any effort to switch between the two stages. To walk around the whole festival aswell has having a cheeky look into some of the market stalls it would take around ten minutes.
The market and food stalls have an excellent selection to choose from. The market stalls include festival clothes, festival gear, temporary tattoos, face paint, shoe stalls, as well as tones more. Food wise, Sonisphere went a little on the gourmet/ bohemian style food, with the desert bar, the Hippy chippy, I <3 Ostrich and Milkshake bars. However there has been an uproar on the expense of the beer. Being at £4.90 a pint and allowing no alcohol of your own into the main area this proved to be a disappointment to the people of Sonisphere.
Tents up and the sun shining Defiled kicking off this years main stage, this wasn't there only slot, they also performed Nivarna covers on the Bohemia stage later on in the weekend. Next up Anti Flag, who enticed the audience by making them sing back, clap their hands, and of course start circle pits. Without a doubt Anti Flags audience participation was defiantly there. As well as getting the crowd involved witty banter from lead singer Chris Baker shouts "the mother fucking pink power ranger wasn't singing, don't you dare fuck this up for the rest of us." Their last song 'Power to the Peaceful' was performed with Chris surrounded by the crowd. HIM singing behind their signature brand image, I believe there could of been more enthusiasm from the band it's self as there was very little audience participation which let there performance down. Limp Bizkit started out by saying "Now you know what time it really fucking is? Limp Bizkit in the house, you ready for this" 'Rollin' starting their set everyone stood up and began moshing and head banging. A lot of toilet roll was thrown around the crowd, was this a sign of a bad performance or just typical festival discourse? Awkwardly saying it was Saturday when in fact it was Friday, there were a few other blips throughout the set. "You guys ready to get you're Saturday night on?" Left the crowd a little silent and confused. But this was styled out with a cover of George Michael's Faith. To finish was the first headliner of the weekend, The Prodigy. Lights and smoke filled the stage, building the suspense for the fans. The atmosphere was electrifying, hands were in the air, everyone was dancing, and when it begin to rain during the second song this was a massive relief (especially to the sunburnt people) after the insanely hot weather that whole day. Thunder was slowed down and changed to fit the crowd which was good as it was a metal festival but made Prodigy loose abit of its originality.
Alestorm took the Saturn stage early this morning and with pirate metal being such a niche market the turn out was pretty big. Fans embraced the music and danced to fit the genre. Alestorms advice to the crowd was "Let's drink a lot of shit." Baby Metal blew everyone away at this years festival, if they were to receive a on award from the crowds feedback, it would defiantly be most upcoming band of the year. The three sweet Japanese young looking trio contrasted with the hard metal instrumental but it worked and was a fantastic performance that everyone couldn't stop talking about and was singing the whole weekend. The bands visuals spoke of no bullying and not hurting one another this may have been contradictory after the trio then told the crowd to do the wall of death. Ghost gave out a passionate performance and excelled on there on stage presence which the band is recognised for. Lead singer Papa Emeritus mimics the Roman Catholic Pope although the greatest difference is the anti Christ symbol on his head piece, the image representing the worship of Satan. The guitarist were also dressed mimicking Priest. Anthrax turn out was pretty much the same as an a headliner maybe this is a hint for Sonisphere in the future, but this wasn't there only set, on Friday they played their 'Playing Among the Living' on the Bohemia Stage but the tent was packed full the security had to monitor people going in and out of the tent. Their main stage performance, the crowd was really going for it. Sonisphere sure did love Anthrax. Deftones and Slayer both had similar audience engagement, everyone was moshing, circle pits were forming and head banging was taken place which concluded these two bands really pulled it off. If you weren't in an Iron Maiden top for today then you would stick out like a saw thumb because literally everyone had them on. Overhearing a lot of people talking about Bruce Dickinson and were jokes going round that every plane that flew past, it was Bruce flying it, (even if it was an easy jet plane.) To end the day of this crazy line up, Iron Maiden took the stage and completely ripped it apart. The visuals were continuously changed throughout the set, with Eddie in his few forms. "It's you that's makes it real" Bruce proposes to the crowd. Lights, fire, sparks, everything and more in a performance you could wish for, this was by far the performance that completely owned this years Sonisphere.
Sadly the last day of Sonisphere, but the wait for Metallica tonight was sure to hold the crowd up from their hangovers. After Gojira noticed the crowds half hearted dancing (as this was an early set,) they soon got the crowd back up, by shouting, "Still a little sleepy, let's makes some noise," which woke the crowd up and circle pits started appearing and more fist pumping was taking place. Devin Townsend Project was all about the love at this years Sonisphere as he told the crowd, "Group hug everybody, it's all about the love." Devin pulled off a fantastic performance and even hinted he may be back next year. "Maybe see you next year, love you all, see you and have a good night." Airbourne hitting the stage next and we all know this is going to be an exciting performance after the expectations of Joel O'Keefee goings on, on stage. Airbourne completely took the stage and had everyone gripped. "Even though the toilets are leaking, you lot still having a good time…You lot look great, you are rock and roll." As of tradition Joel did start climbing the scaffolding of the main stage and began to swing his guitar about whilst up in the air. At the end of the set Joel kindly threw a few beers into the crowd. Reel Big Fish on next, the crowd did experience about a minute worth of sound missing from the main speakers but the bands humour and charm pulled this off. The song 'Fuck You', resulted in "47 fucks in a row." Everyone was soon up singing and dancing when they played a cover of Ah Ha's Take On Me. Alice in Chains on before the final headliner of Soniphere was another kickass performance. "How you doing Knebworth?" got the crowd buzzing and was a consistent performance from start to finish. Wrapping up this years Sonisphere Metallica held the fans waiting a eager 15 minutes after their scheduled time. This really built up the climax to the final big performance. Typically some great facial expressions from James Hetfield as they played fans request for the set list. The bands classics were played along with their new songs Lords of Summer which seems a little strange that this was requested, but the bands performance was truly astonishing. The visuals and props were a little disappointing at the beginning but this got better as balloons and lasers appeared later on in the set.
This years Sonisphere was a thrilling return and a complete success. Lets hope Sonisphere lives up to its amazing weekends like this one for the future.