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Sonisphere 2014 - Friday | FESTIVALPHOTO

Sonisphere 2014 - Friday



I arrived at Knebworth for Sonisphere and something felt wrong. Stages set up ready, check, large crowds, check, beer, check. So what was wrong? Oh that's it - the big ball of fire in the sky giving this years festivals nice hot sunny weather instead of the usual rain.

First up on the main stage was The Defiled. The band have been getting better and better in the last few years and hard work touring and recording has really paid off and they look completely at home on the large stage here. They've actually played all the UK Sonisphere festivals, and have worked up from the smallest stage to now being on the main stage. They're good at working the crowd and soon have the first moshpits of the weekend going. A great start to the weekend.

American punk rock band Anti flag didn't really do much for me so after a few minutes I headed off to explore the arena. After seeing the bar prices I was tempted to get the medical staff to check me for a heart attack. Holy shit those prices were expensive. A pint of beer was £4.90, and a standard sized can of monster energy (500ml) was £5. Five Quid for a can that I'd bought in the supermarket that morning for just £1 - that's one hell of a mark up. Sadly food prices were equally high. I know festivals have you over a barrel and you can expect high prices but to see them so much higher than at Download was concerning, and as a result I stayed alcohol free all weekend and stuck to water and soft drinks plus cans of monster brought in from outside past the hopeless security. The only plus point was the food stalls - yes they were expensive, but there were more good quality ones than at the last Sonisphere, with some offering very nice food (Ken's Barbie was my favourite for its spicy chicken grills).

Gary Numan was up next on main stage. He may seem slightly out of place but went down well at the last Sonisphere he played, and this time was set to be no different judging by the crowd that gathered for his set - the largest of the day so far. Since his biggest hit was "Cars" then I was thinking it was a certainty to be included in the set - probably as the final song, but it actually came halfway through the set, and he chose "Are friends electric" to end the set

I Am Dust
Everything Comes Down to This
Here in the Black
The Fall
We're the Unforgiven
Love Hurt Bleed
Are Friends Electric?

Band of skulls were next up, a three piece band that I'd heard good things about but not actually had the time to see live. I was impressed by what I heard. They were fairly static on stage, so not the most exciting to watch, but damn they sounded good. Definitely a band I want to hear more of with their bluesy sound

HIM were next with a set that I had mixed views about. Musically they sounded good and the set covered a good range of material, but there was no crowd interaction at all, and they acted as though they weren't aware that anyone was watching. As a result they seemed very distant and it just marred their set for me.

Limp Bizkit are a band that had a few big hits but I tired of very quickly, so they weren't top of my bands to see at Sonisphere, but I thought I'd give them a go. THe show kicked off with the ladies from The Lounge Kittens doing an acapella version of Rollin' - and very good it was too, a very different style but it worked really well. Sadly though Limp Bizkit still didn't appeal to me, but to be fair they did have a good sized crowd of people who clearly did enjoy their set. They did a great job and put in a good performance, but just weren't my taste.

The Prodigy were tonight's headliner and had a big crowd (although it would turn out to be far smaller than the crowds on Saturday or Sunday as many fans decided to go to London for Black Sabbath today rather than watching a relatively weak lineup at Sonisphere). While I like some songs by the Prodigy a full set is just too much for me to realyl enjoy, but songs like "Jetfighter", "Firestarter" and "Smack my bitch up" did sound great. The Prodigy are a rare band that are definitely not rock or metal yet are capable of pulling a big crowd at rock and metal festivals.


Voodoo People
Rock Weiler
AWOL Beats
Run With the Wolves
World's on Fire
Omen (Reprise)
Invaders Must Die
Smack My Bitch Up
Take Me to the Hospital
Hyperspeed (G-Force Part 2)
New Beats
Their Law


Writer: Anthony May
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