Sonisphere, Knebworth


4 aug 2009, 14:57

Sat 1 Aug – Sonisphere

So I broke my festival viriginity to a great line-up, full of bands I love, and bands that I now love.


Obviously, with no bands on, this was a fairly uneventful day and allowed me and the lads to get accquainted with the site layout and get to drinking.

We checked out the Pirate Camp party, which was pretty gyarr! We went with a few new friends to the Monster Army Camp DJ party, which was good until the Drum 'n' Bass and other such songs came on. There were a few good warm-up pits; we had to leave however due to the effect of alcohol :P



Ok, so here come the bands:

SOil opened on second stage, and did a beautiful job of it. I've only heard Halo by them, but I'm not a fan of nu-metal, however I did like the atmosphere they created. They knew they were openers and they opened beautifully.

Alien Ant Farm

I should've gone for a beer when these guys played. I thought the lead was a bit of a dick (you can't say the only other band worth seeing on the day were Anthrax, when other such legends were on) and the songs weren't inspiring at all. They milked as much of the crowd as they could by leaving 'Movies' and their cover of 'Smooth Criminal' til last. He didn't even pay tribute to Michael. I mean, come on - you sang it about half as good as he could right now.


Went to see these guys in the Bohemia tent on pretty much a whim. Best chance I ever took. I arrived too late for the wall of death, but I got in a few pits and a massive circle pit at the end. I'm gonna go get some of their music soon as I get the chance - they were fast, they were tight, they had presence and I loved them.


I need a picture to describe these guys:

They were insane, full of energy and whilst I'm not a fan of their music, they made me feel warm despite the rain. They knew how to put on a show, so they did.

Heaven & Hell

I want to say I loved them, I want to say they were amazing and inspired me as a musician. I also want to say they bored me.

They didn't play many well known songs, and only 'Bible Black' and 'Fear' off 'The Devil You Know', so I couldn't sing along much, let alone nod my head. I know the guys are legends, but their presence was quite poor, I was excited when they came out, but by the end I grew weary. However, opinions do differ, as one of my mate's loved them; as many around me did too.

Bullet For My Valentine

So anyone who goes on my page might know, I love BFMV. 4780 plays is a lot, considering the second highest is A7X with about 2490. However, looking at my 12 month chart, they're down to 3rd, with 772, and it's downhill from there. So personally, this was a make or break thing. If they were as awesome as they were when I saw them in November, I might start to like them again.


Matt Tuck has turned severely mainstream, or at least trying to appeal to the mainstream. He put on a very American accent and swore to the point that his sentances made no sense. Wearing a shiny leather jacket and weird, shiny boots. Gugh.

The set list was terrible and really could've done with being in a better order. 'Scream Aim Fire' should've been first, not last, 'Waking The Demon' isn't an opener.. They did a new song, which seemed like much of the 'Scream Aim Fire' album, and it didn't impress me.


The sun setting on BFMV, much like my love.


Linkin Park

Hmm, never got into Linkin Park.. A couple years ago I'd have loved them, but now I'm impressed. For starters there wasn't much crowd interaction and when I thought Mike was going to say something, he did a rap about politics, and insulted America's leader as someone who couldn't speak well. Mike, do you realise that Barack Obama is the President? George Bush isn't. Fail.

Then, well, the songs were repetitive. They had the same quiet verse, loud chorus, quiet verse, loud chorus with extra rapping, shite solo, quiet, bridge, repeated choruses and maybe a key change. Dead By Sunrise was a big mistake. Putting a band on, who are not widely known, in the middle of a [b]very[/b] large band is not a clever idea.

Overall, not a good headliner at all.


Thought I'd check 'em out, considering it was the last gig ever. There were a lot of fanatics there, people crying. I wasn't keen on the singers voice, however the music was good and I had a good time. A good end to a good day.



NWOBHM never goes amiss for me, and Saxon didn't fail to impress. I listened to a bit of them in preperation for Sonisphere, but their live sound was much better to me. The fact that they'd come down after plaing a gig til 3 AM, and had come on stage without a setlist was amazing; they just what they felt like or what the crowd wanted - a surefire way to keep people happy. A great opener for Sunday.

Lamb Of God

Oh yes, now we're getting to the metal.

Playing a good mix of songs, plenty off Wrath, Ashes, Sacrament and, of course, Black Label for an epic wall of death (I managed front row).

Despite Mark Morton being away for his wife having a baby (at least we know there's always gonna be a Morton shredding like fuck on the guitar). His replacement was Unearth's guitarist, who did a damn good job; however he didn't quite get the tone right.

The pits, circles and walls were the most brutal at Sonisphere; my mate had his shoulder dislocated by someone ramming into his back, then popped back in by someone elbowing his front. Crazy.

Machine Fucking Head

Half the reason I wanted to go to Sonisphere was for Machine Head; when they pulled out, I was severely pissed off as many other people were. However, they came back and put on an unbelievable show. I'd seen them earlier this year, supporting Metallica at the MEN Arena; however being seated has the drawback of shite sound from all but the main act, so I was let down. This made up for it and more; it was amazing fun going into pits, singing the songs, screaming at the top of my lungs so we could beat the other side. We won. We got thrown some booze, probably Jagermeister, then went back to going ape-crazy to 'Halo'. I decided to crowd surf at the end, which was great fun and meant I could go get a quick drink.

Epic win for Machine Head.

Limp Bizkit

I'll be honest, I stayed at the front just to be near the front for Metallica (something I later regretted). I recognised some of the songs from my childhood, but I didn't enjoy any of it. At least they bigged up Machine Head..

Nine Inch Nails

With all the lights and musical equipment on stage, I was expecting something amazing from these guys, especially as it was the last UK show ever. Oh dear.. They played the slowest, most 'emotional' songs they have, with long piano interludes and only a 'Thank you' just a couple songs before the end. Trent did look close to floods of tears, and not hard to understand after a mate heard from a steward that they'd been told backstage to play an emotional set, rather than one with their best songs. Once again, Sonsiphere's orgainsers have shown us poor judgement; ruining a great band's exit from the music scene.


Oh yes, the headliners.

As I said earlier, I was seated at the Manchester show earlier this year, where they performed two and a half hours of awesomeness and put on a fantastic show. They didn't fail this time either.

They did play a bit too much Death Magnetic for my tastes, but that's expected when so many people love the latest from these legends. James's charisma meant he could rally the crowd for absolutely anything. And they were as excited as a nerd with a rubik's cube. The great surge to be close to the metal icons crushed me; a few repeated blows to the head from mad fans pumping their fists and not getting any air apart from evaporated sweat ended up in me having to leave half way through (after All Nightmare Long) to get some water and oxygen.

I then watched from a distance, and here I saw how much of the crowd they pleased so easily. Not long before Nothing Else Matters I retreated to my tent for food and water, and to listen to the rest of the set from the comfort of my chair. I didn't mind this as I said, I've seen them before, so I knew what their stage presence was like.

However I did say I had a regret, and that was not going to see Avenged Sevenfold; a couple mates went to A7X and got about 5 rows from the front to Metallica, which wasn't far behind me. You live and learn.

Overall, a fantastic weekend, with lots of moments I shall never forget.


  • JoshBond

    Dude, nice review, but just gotta say Mike Shinoda's rap IS about George Bush, so there was no fail, it just led them into their next song. Also, the Dead by April is a totally separate band. Chester's band is Dead by Sunrise. (who i thought were pretty average and should of had a separate Bohemia slot instead of interfering with the show myself).

    4 aug 2009, 16:13
  • dark_clone

    Thanks man. And I meant that it was a bit out of date, it's been ages since Bush was in power. And Dead By April was a typo, I maintain that Dead By Sunrise is a rip-off of that name, I'll fix that.

    4 aug 2009, 16:32
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