Sonisphere 2010: Day One review

As many as 55,000 fans a day came to witness the debauchery and carnage of Sonisphere Knebworth 2010, and we were there to cover every second of it on Friday, 30th July.

Day one was relaxed and the main stage was not even in use all day long. Delain (6) kicked off at 17:15 with a gaggle of excited metalheads looking to get their weekend going. The Dutch symphonic outfit were competent, but ultimately failed to excite with a set that felt a little too tepid. Turisas (7) soon put that right though, providing a trademark explosion of energy and bluster and all the Dionysian ecstasy we expect from the Finnish folk-metallers. “We can either drink this Danish piss beer and feel sorry for ourselves, or drink the piss and get fucking pissed!” roared vocalist Mathias Nygård to some very loud cheers.

Europe (8) were one of the more interesting candidates to perform today, after all they’ve had a less-than-ideal welcome from metalheads before. No such worries this time though, as their old-school rock n’ roll tunes make for the ideal soundtrack to a sunny evening spent drinking beer on a field. The good-times vibe of their songs – coupled with an excellent performance by frontman Joey Tempest – is enough to override the cheese factor. Meanwhile, up-and-coming local lads October File (7) put on a typically intense show on the Jaegermeister stage. Not ones to waste time on idle chatter, they set about playing their dark and moody tunes with aplomb, ‘Isolation’ being a highlight as always, though the performance did lack some of the spark from their earlier jaunt with Fear Factory.

It is hard to believe, but the legend that is Alice Cooper (9) hasn’t played a UK festival for nearly 30 years. After this performance, you really wonder why promoters haven’t fallen over themselves to have him headline. The master of macabre doesn’t pull any punches, starting off with ‘School’s Out’ and flying through a suitably horrific, morbid and bloody set. Four deaths – check, greatest hits – check, satisfied audience – you bet. And what did the man himself say after all this? “The crowd weren’t quite close enough to get any blood on them.”

Amongst the last bands to play on Friday, Chrome Hoof (7) present a very interesting experience, showing that the smaller stages can often have very interesting music. The band is essentially a nine-member orchestra from London, and they play a mixture of metal, funk and electro. The result, as you might imagine, is uneven, but when it works they’re spectacular. A more off-beat band you will not find on these shores, and probably anywhere in the world and they are definitely worth checking out live at least once.

Read the review of Day Two and Day Three, as well as the fans verdict and the Sonisphere top five


About Abhijeet Ahluwalia

Abhijeet Ahluwalia – I’m a freelance journalist who goes back and forth between London and Bombay. A huge metalhead, but I have an eclectic taste, from reggae to punk. Oh, and Manchester United are the greatest team in the world. Follow me on Twitter or drop me a line via Email.

2 Responses to “Sonisphere 2010: Day One review”

  1. “It is hard to believe, but the legend that is Alice Cooper (9) hasn’t played a UK festival for nearly 30 years” – This is untrue. I saw Alice Cooper play at Guilfest in Guildford when I was a child and I am only 17 years old now! He was supported by The Darkness, Wildhearts and Love with Arthur Lee.

  2. I got that ‘fact’ from the Sonisphere press team but you’re absolutely right, he was headlining at Guilfest in 2003. We stand corrected.