The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

 

Sonisphere

Knebworth PARK, England

30th July-1st Aug

 



Day 1

 


It seemed a dry, warm day for the opening day of the festival. It was not too over-sized which is amazing for the bands that are playing. The two main stages didn't clash at all, as one finished the next stage started. The layout of the festival was organised well, with plenty of merchandise and beer tents and food halls, the only disappointment I found, as with all UK festivals, was there wasn't enough toilets.

 

Delain had a strong opening on the Saturn Stage, they are a band I have not seen before, they were very good and I will certainly watch out for them in the future.



Europe did a 45 min set, they wasn't too bad but they still have that classic 80s hair metal sound with that European twist. However, the crowd did respond well to "Carrie" and "The final Countdown".



Gary Numan was slow starting but he soon got the crowd going with "Cars" and finished off with "Are Friends Electric". The track "Bleed" was absolutely awesome, with Numan picking up the guitar and giving a 2 pronged rock guitar attack. At the end of the day, Gary Numan is not that techno 80's that he once was; this guy can really rock with his present industrial rock image! I'm sure, that if he had played on the same day as fear factory, he would have got up on stage with his old friends and blasted out "cars" as he did with "nine inch nails" earlier this year at the O2 arena.



The godfather of shock rock Alice Cooper made his entrance on the main stage as the headline act to a lively and enthusiastic crowd which you would expect from the top billing artist of the day. The back sheet at the back of the stage dropped to reveal him and the name "Alice" in big, bold, red letters. He started with his classic song "schools out" which instantly grabbed the crowds attention, he played a good solid set with all his old favourites and his theatrical stage show with a girl using an angle grinder on her metal pants sent sparks over the stage. What a great ending to the first day!

 

 

Day 2



What a superb day of music that was! Started on the main stage by Family Force 5 they were very very good and gave the bands that were following them something to live up to!

 

Soulfly went down well with the crowd but I’m not familiar with this band, so couldn't really review much about them.



Fear Factory are always a crowd favourite, banged out their classics "Digi mortal and "Replica" to rapturous chants of approval from the crowd. This band always gives a solid performance when the play lives.



Skunk Anansie were as energetic as ever, they make full use of the stage, but it was funny when skin dived off the stage and tried to crowd surf and they dropped her, which the band and the crowd all found amusing. Were the crowd as "weak as I am?" or was she just expecting too much?

 

Placebo really nailed it!! They were absolutely brilliant, the whole band dressed in white sang all their favourites and a few off the new album, a really must to see.

 

Motley Crüe, good old school rock and what you would expect from the Crue. Vince Neil's voice was superb; Tommy Lee's thunderous Drums and Mick Mars guitar playing was solid. They played a mixture of old songs and a few tracks off their recent album "Saints of Los Angeles".

 

Rammstein was a fantastic show of fire, fireworks and the unexpected. They were a good act, but made me wonder what people want from rock, don't get me wrong, the sound was good, the show amazing, but I love lyrics in songs and their lyrics weren't really understandable and not being able to sing along to their songs felt like there was something missing.

 

Therapy came onto the 3 stage at 11pm playing "Troublegum" album from start to finish. It is a special album to me as my sister bought it me for my birthday all those years ago and started me off on rock music. They had to have 3 attempts to play, due to them keep overloading and tripping the power. He came back on the stage and said "we promised you the whole of the album and we'll play you the whole of the f**kin album". It was fantastic to hear it live and they played it to a packed tent.



Renegades who are Feeders alter egos, I don't really get it, the music was good but fans just want to hear some feeder songs thrown in there too, the fact they only played infront of a couple hundred probably proved this. What we would have killed for a bit of "Buck Rogers or "Just a day".

 

 

Day 3



Wondered off to the 3rd stage Bohemia to watch Voodoo Six, Not familiar with this band but a very good band and well worth a look if you get the chance.

 

The cult, one of Manchester’s finest and still have nothing to prove with their solid rock performance and everything you'd expect. They preformed an added bonus of a new single which went down well with the crowd.

 

Pendulum really pumped out some top sounds but I couldn't help thinking they will go down better in a few weeks time at the Reading and Leeds festivals, so this was a taste of them for me and I wasn't disappointed. At Reading festival, I'll be certain to get in amongst it for these guys!

 

Back to the Bohemia stage, the welsh band “Funeral for a friend" were fantastic, a great band and probably deserved a slot out on the big stages instead of the "Fab Beatles!" Not my cup of tea and I thought a tribute band and the Beatles music was a little out of place at this sort of festival.


IRON MAIDEN!! Well what can I say?? What a superb voice and his presence on stage was amazing! This was the first time I had seen Iron Maiden and didn't know what to expect from them, but I was not disappointed to say the least! There were no need for gimmicks like Rammstein, no fire, flames and no need for fireworks! They made their mark with their music and tight guitar playing from their 3 guitar attack. It was great to just get up there and play some top bloody metal! Although, the crowd around us didn't muster up much enthusiasm until "Running Free". If I was to pick a fault it would be they did nothing from Powerslave, Somewhere in Time or Piece of Mind. I know they did the CSIN tour couple of years back but to leave out classics like "Can I play with Madness", "Trooper" "Run to the Hills" "Bring your daughter to the slaughter" was a crap decision. However, the frenzied crowd loved every minute of their performance and stood back and admired them. On the whole, a fantastic performance from a good old English rock band!

 

Highlights of the weekend.....Gary Numan on the Friday night, Family Force 5, a must to check out in the future, Therapy playing' Troublegum', Placebo I waited along time to see them and wasn’t disappointed and will definitely see them again. Iron Maiden a solid performance straight to the point rock!



A fantastic festival of rock all weekend! Looking forward to the Leeds and Reading Festival in a couple weeks time, so watch this space with a review to follow!



David Kendrick (UK)