metal talk
facebook
Type band name, album name, artists name etc here...
Search all our articles by typing band name, album name, artists name etc here...
news now
metal talk






  SONISPHERE 2014
Iron Maiden/Metallica/Alice In Chains/Slayer/Alestorm and many more...
Knebworth Park, Hertfordshire, 4-6 July 2014


Liz Medhurst

liz medhurst

Pin It
Share |


sonisphere

Sonisphere returned to Knebworth Park after an absence of two years, following the cancellation of 2012s event and the non-appearance in 2013, and it was a blast.

This event, the fourth here under the Sonisphere banner, celebrated 40 years of concerts in Knebworth, where some of the most legendary events in the rock world have taken place, so there were a lot of expectations, and all were met.

Throughout the weekend the line-up, sound, organisation and facilities gave no cause for serious complaint – nothing will ever be perfect in an event like this, but only the terminally pessimistic could be disappointed; it was a triumph.

Article continues below...

   


The festival started for me on the Saturday, following the Black Sabbath gig in Hyde Park on the Friday, which had set the standard for the weekend.

No worries here though - it got off to an excellent start when Alestorm took the breakfast slot. Pirate Metal to start the day, with a crowd that were up for a dance and a sing, what's not to love.

The new song 'Drink' was picked up quickly by the crowd and with classics like 'Keelhauled' you could visibly see the levels of exuberance spread. This being an English summer festival, Christopher Bowes chose to forgo the rum and took a swig from a bottle of Pimms before pronouncing it "genuinely unpleasant". The perfect start.

Following this, it was time for Babymetal's festival debut on the Apollo stage. The audience was large, and it looked like a good chunk were there for the curiosity value. The impressive backing band, all robed and painted up, started the cinematic overture and the girls spent the first track with choreography only.

By the time 'Gimme Chocolate' had got going and the vocals had kicked in, there were genuine smiles all around - here was a novelty act that was good, it was funny, it was entertaining. Good call.

Chas And Dave were next and played a blinder. Invited back after their successful support slot to Led Zeppelin in 1976, the English summer vibe was complete as the strains of 'Margate' rang out through the pouring rain – nicely authentic.

Alestorm, Babymetal and Chas And Dave triple whammy – you can't make this shit up; this had turned out to be genius scheduling so far.

I tried and failed to get into the Bohemia tent to see Voodoo Six, who were playing to a capacity crowd – but it sounded good from what I could hear through the muffling of the canvas - then spent the next little while having a wander around the site and the stalls.

Winery Dogs were my surprise of the day. You know that a supergroup comprising of three outstanding musicians as Mike Portnoy, Billy Sheehan and Richie Kotzen were odds on to deliver the goods, but as they powered through the half dozen songs with confidence and looking relaxed and connected, the overall result was outstanding. Here is a band that looked to have successfully managed to appeal to all of their respective fan bases, playing great rock and having fun.

By the time Frank Turner took to the Apollo stage, the arena had taken on a completely different vibe, with anthems that were upbeat and lively and had a soothing vibe. This again was a scheduling triumph, as it was afternoon nap time for a good portion of the crowd, and you had to watch your step absolutely everywhere so you didn't stand on the draped sleeping bodies getting through their mid-festival slump. Frank's backing band is called The Sleeping Souls. It's as if someone knew.

After trying and failing for the second time of the day to get into the Bohemia tent, this time for Sebastian Bach's set, I had to listen to a couple of Skid Row classics through muffled canvas again.

As well as plenty of Trooper beer on tap, Iron Maiden Day was further cemented when Bruce Dickinson led The Great War Display Team in a reconstruction of an aerial dogfight commemorating the centenary of World War One, flying his very own Fokker Dr1 tri-plane.



It was seriously impressive stuff, although we are so used to Bruce excelling at anything he does that it was almost a disappointment that he didn't end the routine by parachuting out of the aircraft, landing on the Apollo stage and launching straight into the Maiden set. Well, it's a fairly new team so there's time yet.

Once Slayer had closed proceedings on the Saturn stage, including a poignant tribute to late band member Jeff Hanneman, it was time for Iron Maiden to finally call time on the three year Maiden England World Tour. From the opening strains of 'Rising Mercury' leading into 'Moonchild' right through to 'Sanctuary', the slick, polished heaviness was incomparably, outrageously good.

Iron Maiden are such household names and are prolific with their output and touring that it's easy to forget just how good they are. This is a mistake that needs to be rectified, and tonight we all got a clear reminder.

This set was a triumph, the band were vigorous, Bruce was legendary and there's not a lot more to say. Apparently some of the pyrotechnics went off at the wrong time, not that I noticed, nor did the rest of the crowd who were either spellbound or rocking their heads off.

By Sunday, the sunshine had returned to Knebworth and this was a seriously chilled out day. There was some re-building of the Apollo stage happening at the beginning of the day as the screens were replaced to make way for Metallica's special split ones which put the start time back by half an hour.

Gojira were greeted with rapture, the French band having established a loyal and large following, and despite the enforced late start they were able to play a full set and by reducing the break between the first bands of the day, the main stage timings had caught up again by 3.00pm.

By this time the chill zone was well and truly reached, so a spot was found between the two main stages where proceedings could be watched without excessive movement. There was plenty of energy on the stages still as Mastodon were hard and heavy, Devin Townsend was joyful and Airbourne were a cheesy delight.

From this vantage point I made an observation – yesterday almost every other shirt was an Iron Maiden one. Today, there were still way more Maiden shirts than Metallica ones. Not sure if that is purely coincidence or reflects the preferences of the audience, the differences in fan-base or the merchandise range over the years.

Alice In Chains were fantastic, an absolutely standout performance, and it was Dream Theater that put the park into proggy heaven. By this time I am running out of ways to describe how excellent these performances have been; it's a happy problem to have.

The main stage acts ended with the mighty Metallica who came on to a huge reception. This was a "By Request" set and ended up being stuffed full of the classics with only 10 of the 18 songs having also made an appearance at Glastonbury the previous week. '...And Justice For All' was voted for on the day from a choice of three via text message.

By its very definition this was a crowd-pleasing set and it certainly did delight. James Hatfield's voice was in great shape and the band couldn't have sounded better. Once the sun had set and the light show and the lasers had fully got to work, it was a perfect, loud end to the main festivities.

On this Ruby anniversary of concerts at Knebworth Park, Sonisphere had proved it was a jewel among festivals.




beer beer beerbeerbeer


18.7.14





Pin It
Share |






 
iron maiden IRON MAIDEN RELEASE VIDEO GAME BASED ON 'SPEED OF LIGHT'
This is your chance to control Eddie Donkey Kong style...

lemmy MOTORHEAD PULL SALT LAKE CITY CONCERT AFTER FOUR SONGS
A statement on the official Motorhead Facebook page said: "The people are great, but the air is just too thin..."

heavy metal kids HEAVY METAL KIDS ANNOUNCE GARY HOLTON TRIBUTE GIG
The show marks the 30th anniversary of Gary's death. He passed away at the age of 33 due to his excessive rock 'n roll lifestyle...

the sword THE SWORD TO COMMENCE UK TOUR IN SEPTEMBER
The tour is in support of their fifth album 'High Country'...

wolf GENTLEMANS PISTOLS ANNOUNCE LONDON SHOW AT THE UNDERWORLD
"We hope you can dust off the Monday blues and join us for a debauched evening of wine, whiskey and song..."

wolf WOLF ANNOUNCE TOUR WITH ENFORCER
"This package is so much Metal that everyone coming to the shows will have a hard time passing airport security and metal detectors for a foreseeable future..."

jared james nichols JARED JAMES NICHOLS TO RELEASE 'HIGHWAYMAN' EP
The EP features the new single 'We're An American Band'...

michael monroe MICHAEL MONROE REVEALS 'BLACKOUT STATES' ARTWORK + CO-HEADLINE TOUR WITH HARDCORE SUPERSTAR
"It has all the ingredients of a perfect rock n' roll record - strong melodic songs with great meaningful lyrics that defy all clichés..."

turbowolf TURBOWOLF ANNOUNCE UK, EUROPE & US TOUR DATES
"Seeing all your wonderful faces, staring into those expectant eyes, and giving you all exactly what you're looking for, and maybe a little bit more..."

mike shinoda MIKE SHINODA'S FORT MINOR TO PLAY FIRST LONDON SHOW IN 10 YEARS
Shinoda will fit in these special one man shows around Linkin Park's European tour...

babymetal BABYMETAL TO HEADLINE WEMBLEY ARENA NEXT APRIL
Can't wait till April? Two new live DVD releases have also been confirmed for October release...

cats in space CATS IN SPACE ANNOUNCE THE RELEASE OF DEBUT ALBUM 'TOO MANY GODS' FOR OCTOBER 2015
Welcome to a new brand of Power Pop Rock from a band with a stellar CV...

nightwish NIGHTWISH TO RELEASE 'ENDLESS FORMS MOST BEAUTIFUL' TOUR EDITION
The special edition is released on October 30th and comes with a DVD stuffed to the brim with bonus features...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN ANNOUNCE MASSIVE 2016 WORLD TOUR
The new Ed Force One will take the band, crew and over 12 tons of equipment more than 55,000 miles (88,500km) around the planet...

glenn hughes BREAKING NEWS: GENE SIMMONS' HOME SEARCHED UNDER WARRANT IN CONNECTION WITH CHILD PORNOGRAPHY INVESTIGATION
Police have confirmed that neither the Kiss bass player or any members of his family are considered to be suspects in the investigation...

glenn hughes GLENN HUGHES UNVEILS OFFICIAL PHOTO OF NEW BAND
Glenn hits the UK for live shows in October. "There is no greater high than performing and to reach out to my fans..."

gentlemans pistols GENTLEMANS PISTOLS PREMIERE NEW TRACK 'THE SEARCHER' ONLINE
"The song is about becoming apathetic towards things you once enjoyed and searching for where you are going in life..."

vreid NEW ALBUM FROM NORWEGIAN METALLERS VREID IS RELEASED IN OCTOBER
"This is the definition of our lives and heritage...the fire burns stronger than ever..."

napalm death NAPALM DEATH JOIN UK LEG OF "DEATHCRUSHER" TOUR
The Deathcrusher tour contains the very best in Grindcore...

blitzkrieg EXCLUSIVE: BLITZKRIEG RELEASE 30TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF 'A TIME OF CHANGES'
The classic album has been completely re-recorded and contains two bonus tracks...

w.a.s.p. W.A.S.P. PREMIERE NEW SONG - 'LAST RUNAWAY'
"The song is an intensely personal account of what happened to me, not only then but over the years and the success that followed after..."

nervosa NERVOSA UNLEASH NEW VIDEO FOR 'INTO MOSHPIT'
The band are currently on tour in the UK...

metal allegiance METAL ALLEGIANCE POST STUDIO TRAILER FOR 'DESTINATION: NOWHERE'
The track features Matt Heafy on vocals and guitar. A special launch show has been arranged to celebrate the album release...

uriah heep URIAH HEEP STAGE CLASSIC REUNION WITH CORE MEMBERS OF THE CLASSIC 1970S LINE-UP
Ken Hensley and Lee Kerslake are welcomed to the Moscow Crocus in October for the exclusive event...

rage against the machine RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE 'LIVE AT FINSBURY PARK' TO BE RELEASED
The free concert held after the success of the Christmas Number One campaign is now available in a quality package...

helloween HELLOWEEN ANNOUNCE LONDON FORUM SHOW FOR FEBRUARY 2016
"We feel pleased and honoured to yet again come to London UK..."

rammstein RAMMSTEIN UNLEASH NEW 'RAMMSTEIN IN AMERIKA' DOCUMENTARY AND 'LIVE FROM MADISON SQUARE GARDEN' DVD
The incredible package is immaculately filmed and bursting with content...

amulet AMULET LAUNCH VIDEO FOR 'BLOODY NIGHT' & ANNOUNCE TOUR DATES
Be preapred for a Heavy Metal attack...

guitar of your dreams MAKE'N MUSIC ANNOUNCES $3,250 GUITAR GIVEAWAY
Calling all guitarists - there isn't a cooler giveaway throughout the entire industry...

dan patlansky JOE SATRIANI EXTENDS EUROPEAN TOUR WITH DAN PATLANSKY AS SPECIAL GUEST
This part of the tour now encompasses 10 countries, 25 shows and 33 days...

tad morose TAD MOROSE TO TOUR EUROPE IN SEPTEMBER WITH SILENT CALL
The Swedish double bill celebrates the release of Tad Morose's new album 'St Demonius'...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN PREMIERE VIDEO FOR 'SPEED OF LIGHT'
The brand new track is taken from 'The Book Of Souls' double album due out on September 4th...

pentagram PENTAGRAM ANNOUNCE UK AND EUROPE SHOWS
"We all are itching to perform some of our songs off of our new album 'Curious Volume' for you..."

born again BORN AGAIN - HEAVY METAL SOUNDHOUSE DAYS REVISTED AT THE BLACK HEART CAMDEN
Relive the glory days on the 22nd August with the best music around...

wildfire FIRST BANDS ANNOUNCED FOR WILDFIRE FESTIVAL 2016
Scotland's stellar Rock and Metal festival starts the buzz for 2016 with six quality names...

hotei HOTEI TO RELEASE DEBUT INTERNATIONAL ALBUM 'STRANGERS' ON OCTOBER 16TH
With an impressive range of guests, the world renowned Japanese guitarist and songwriter unleashes an epic album...

rich robinson RICH ROBINSON ANNOUNCES ACOUSTIC TOUR FOR SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2015
The Black Crowes' guitarist presents a stripped down, storytelling evening...

sonic syndicate SONIC SYNDICATE ANNOUNCE NEW BASS PLAYER AFTER THE DEPARTURE OF KARIN AXELSSON
The band premiere the new line up with the profound video for 'Diabolical Work Of Art'...

motorhead MOTÖRHEAD ADD EXTRA LONDON SHOW TO 2016 EUROPEAN TOUR WITH SAXON AND GIRLSCHOOL
We suggest ear-plugs and fortitude, because Lemmy, Phil and Mikkey are more intent than ever on showing at great volume that they are Motörhead and they play rock n' roll...

venrez VENREZ PREMIERE NEW LYRIC VIDEO AHEAD OF MICHAEL SCHENKER EUROPEAN TOUR
'Children Of The Drones' is the title track of the new album...

majesty GHOST PREMIERE 'MAJESTY' FROM FORTHCOMING ALBUM 'MELIORA'
Papa Emeritus III and his nameless ghouls will return to North America and Europe with a tour this autumn...

imperial state electric IMPERIAL STATE ELECTRIC SUPPORT GRAVEYARD & RELEASE NEW ALBUM
The release of Imperial State Electric's 'Honk Machine' brings their live show to the UK for the first time...

chantel mcgregor CHANTEL McGREGOR ANNOUNCES HER NEW ALBUM 'LOSE CONTROL' AND UK TOUR DATES
After four years of touring and festival appearances, Chantel returns with a vengeance with ten new songs...

lynne jackaman SOUL-ROCK SONGSTRESS JACKAMAN PERFORMS NEW EP 'NO HALO' LIVE IN LONDON
The show at Camden's Barfly on September 24th is set to be memorable for all the right reasons...

steve hackett STEVE HACKETT RELEASES THIRD REHEARSAL VIDEO CLIP FOR 40TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR IN OCTOBER
Preparations appear to be going very well indeed...

steve n seagulls STEVE'N'SEAGULLS ANNOUNCE THE SEAGULL HAS LANDED UK TOUR & NEW VIDEO
Anyone for hillbillified Iron Maiden...?

gentlemans pistols GENTLEMANS PISTOLS ANNOUNCE TRACK LISTING AND UNVEIL THE ARTWORK FOR 'HUSTLER'S ROW'
"A turbulent voyage of the sweetest sufferings and the most inexpensive of thrills..."

queensryche QUEENSRŸCHE REVEAL ALBUM COVER ART AND TRACK-LISTING FOR 'CONDITION HÜMAN'
The hard rock giants continue to thrill with their latest offering...

udo U.D.O. SAYS FINAL FAREWELL TO ACCEPT'S CATALOGUE
In a surprise announcement Udo Dirkschneider has confirmed that he will no longer play songs from the Accept library after one final tour...

operation mindcrime OPERATION: MINDCRIME REVEAL 'RE-INVENTING THE FUTURE', THE FIRST SINGLE FROM NEW ALBUM
The release from Geoff Tate's current project marks the first of a trilogy of albums...


metal talk
© All written site content is copyright MetalTalk.net 2008-2015, unless otherwise stated, and is not to be used without prior permission.
Ads raid data recovery