Knebworth Park, UK
4th – 6th July, 2014
Review by Anna Dumpe & Ryan Lee Spearman
Photography Michelle Murphy
Note: For coverage of the metal bands from the festival, go here.
One of the greatest news to shake the world of heavy metal arrived in 2013 when it was announced that everyone’s favorite rock and metal festival Sonisphere is returning to the hallowed grounds of Knebworth after 2 years of silence and is bringing the best acts of rock and heavy metal to the UK.
Alongside festival headliners The Prodigy, Iron Maiden and Metallica, over 100 bands appeared on five stages throughout the weekend of 4th to 6th July, 2014 and we were there to witness it all for ourselves.
From the first performances of Friday to sore heads on Saturday and Sunday, Metal-Rules.com UK team surely enjoyed Sonisphere to the fullest and we’re happy to tell you all about it.
London rockers THE DEFILED (3.5/5) put on an energy-driven show to get us in the right mood for partying and going a little nuts. Playing industrial metal with electronic and hardcore elements that might generally appeal to a younger audience, the band still manage to work the crowd and get noticed.
After playing each and every Sonisphere in the UK starting from the smallest stages, The Defiled have come a long way and, technically speaking, they do deserve the honor to be the band to open the Main Stage this year.
Playing songs from both of their albums Grave Times and Daggers, The Defiled guys put on a solid performance and come across as a focused and determined bunch of dudes, however, if it wasn’t about the band’s energy and their bassist Vincent Hyde stealing the show by smashing up one of his bass guitars halfway through the show, the band’s appearance might just seem a little scattered and monotonous.
Right before ending their set with “Unspoken”, the singer Stich D admits that he might actually go and cry after their performance, making it clear how important the opportunity to be playing on this stage and seeing all the support is for him and the band.
Although not necessarily everyone’s cup of tea, The Defiled boys clearly know how to entertain and put on a hell of a show that’s honest and holds fuck-load of energy and passion. Never mind the make-up and you might even consider taking them seriously. (Anna)
As I Drown
No Place Like Home
Please excuse us if we don’t get too excited about seeing GARY NUMAN, (0.5/5) as to be honest, he and the band weren’t exactly riveting.
Sure, if generic electro-rock is your thing, then you would of found this performance mildly entertaining, but somehow it was hard to feel anything towards the band at all. And judging by the crowd’s mild response, we weren’t the only ones feeling that way.
Call us old fashioned, but a shred of crowd interaction from Mr. Numan would have been nice. However, Gary Numan and the band were sounding tight, but then again, if you’re playing the same 4/4 beat over and over again, and rely heavily on samples, then it’s not exactly hard. (Ryan)
I Am Dust
Everything Comes Down to This
Here in the Black
We’re the Unforgiven
Love Hurt Bleed
Are ‘Friends’ Electric?
Meanwhile The Bohemia stage is rammed for BAM MARGERA’S FUCKFACE UNSTOPPABLE (1/5). This is definitely a performance for the intoxicated, whether you be punter or band member. Alas, this isn’t the case for yours truly, which leads to this conclusion; it is just Bam Margera pretending to be in a band, but guessing with his trillions of pennies, he can do whatever he wants right?!
Granted however, it is feel central when Bam pays tribute to fallen Jackass brother Ryan Dunn, which is followed by a cover of ‘All My Friends Are Dead’, but aside from that, it is all justa little embarrassing. (Ryan)
Bend My Dick
Bite It You Scum (GG Allin cover)
Little Dick, Little Dick
Indifference (Pearl Jam cover)
All My Friends Are Dead (Turbonegro cover)
Till the Wheels Fall Alf!
And now one for the ladies.
It’s that time of the day when masters of ‘Love Metal’ take the stage to once and for all prove if they still got what it takes to make them girls weak in the knees.
Safely marching through their set by performing some of the most popular HIM (3/5) hits, the band struggle to impress, yet still do not fully disappoint. With a lack of enthusiasm from one of the greatest front men to come from Finland, Ville Valo seems to be more into goofing around with the mic and sipping his beer, rather than putting effort to make this performance count.
The sound quality, unfortunately, is not too overwhelming as well, which does not help the band’s performance at all, yet still… All that aside, and we come to the only thing that can still possibly save HIM performance from an absolute failure – their tunes. HIM songs are sentimental love songs that were the soundtrack for most of the kids’ life’s growing up in the 90’s and that’s exactly what works in the favor of the band’s performance.
Including tracks, like “Right Here in My Arms”, “Your Sweet Six Six Six” and “The Funeral of Hearts” in to their setlist, HIM manage to conjure a nostalgic vibe and get the crowd (consisting of mostly girls) sing along to every lyric. (Anna)
Buried Alive By Love
Rip Out the Wings of a Butterfly
Right Here in My Arms
The Kiss of Dawn
No Love (Live premiere)
Your Sweet Six Six Six
Passion’s Killing Floor
Soul on Fire
Wicked Game (Chris Isaak cover)
The Funeral of Hearts
And then it’s time for the most hated, yet the most loved band of today. …or ever. Yes, ladies, you know what time it is.
With an unexpected intro from the beautiful and, most importantly, talented “Lounge Kittens” performing an A Cappella version of “Rollin’”, LIMP BIZKIT take the stage and prepare to do what they do best and that is to start absolute carnage.
Limp Bizkit start their set with “Rollin’” and within seconds the crowd instantly goes absolutely nuts. And suddenly all that there is a sea of over-excited bodies throwing themselves all over the place.
Limp Bizkit is a paradox of a band – while being the easiest band in the business to hate, they still manage to gather the biggest and most responsive crowds of crazy maniacs ready to go absolutely berserk and Break Stuff (literally). The band however, do not disappoint and ensure to put on a quality show where everyone on and off stage has a blast.
Limp Bizkit show is a parade of their greatest hits where you get everything from George Michael’s cover “Faith” to “My Generation” and “My Way” to “Break Stuff” with a surprise “Killing in the Name” by Rage Against the Machine thrown in the mix. And by that said, it’s clear that Limp Bizkit surely know how to put on the loudest and craziest performance of the day.
You either love it or hate it, take it or leave it, but Limp Bizkit have never been bigger and are clearly not going anywhere any time soon. And, thankfully, Sonisphere organizers have thought of plenty of options for those who find themselves having a problem with Limp Bizkit appearance. There are four more stages, so all haters could have gone and seen someone else, but did you..? (Anna)
Rollin’ (Air Raid Vehicle)
Faith (George Michael cover)
Killing in the Name (Rage Against the Machine cover)
Take a Look Around
And when it’s finally time for Friday night headliners THE PRODIGY (5/5), the energy within the crowd is simply explosive. And with everyone at the festival being a great mood after what we all can safely call a successful first day of Sonisphere, The Prodigy is just the right act to finish it off with some huge tunes to make us bust a move or two.
The Prodigy live shows are known to blow minds and eardrums and tonight’s performance is no exception. It lives up to any possible standards mixing classic dance tunes with larger-than-life light&laser show.
With a setlist of over 20 well-known Prodigy hits, their show is simply a celebration of all things ‘electronic rock’. Starting off their set with “Breathe” off their definitive record The Fat Off The Land and continuing by throwing in endless classics, like “Voodoo People,” “Firestarter” and “Smack My Bitch Up”. The Prodigy know well enough how to work their crowd and although Invaders Must Die was released back in 2009, it’s still considered ‘the new’ album of The Prodigy, however due to it’s success and already classic status, most of the songs on tonight’s setlist are particularly from Invaders Must Die. Songs like “Run With The Wolves,” “Omen,” “Thunder” and “Take Me to the Hospital” go down as absolute classics and get the Sonisphere crowd party like there’s no tomorrow.
The Prodigy put one hell of a show and receive spectacular crowd support, which leads us to believe that there is, indeed, room for alternative electronic acts in the rock scene. (Anna)
Thunder (Dubstep Mix)
Run With the Wolves
World’s on Fire
Invaders Must Die
Smack My Bitch Up
Take Me to the Hospital
Hyperspeed (G-Force Part 2)