Main stage shenanigans from the final day of Sonisphere 2011.
**Get more of our Sonisphere coverage here**
The third day of a festival can sometimes take a while to get going, which is Volbeat are perfect to kick it off again – they even come on early because they want to play for longer. As much influenced by Johnny Cash and Elvis as by metal, they draw in the crowds and help shake off the Sunday morning blues.
Next it’s Sweden’s Arch Enemy, who have come straight from Sonisphere in their homeland the night before. They bring with them shredding guitars, plenty of flashed devil horns and a fun show to watch, especially the still brilliant ‘Ravenous’.
Third up and one of the highlights of the entire weekend, a set of pure brutality from Aussie mob Parkway Drive who underline their potential to be huge. Their massive beatdowns really get things going and the band just look like they are having a great time. Even having one of their guitarists play in a wheelchair because he recently broke his leg doesn’t take anything away from the show, which is nothing short of a triumph.
Triumphant can also be used to describe Mastodon’s set who, as always, delivered the goods and little bit more. Brilliant musicianship, brilliant facial hair, they play with fire, ice and heavy bloody metal and are greeted by increasingly boozy cheers. The perfect band for anything claiming to be metal – get them here every year!
Next it’s Motorhead, who before launching into their set announce the sad news that their former guitarist Michael ‘Wurzel’ Burston died of a heart attack overnight. Lemmy dedicates the set to him before going about showing why his band are not going away anytime soon. Quite simply, Motorhead ARE metal.
It’s quite odd to have Limp Bizkit following someone like Motorhead, but credit to Fred Durst and co they know how to rock a festival crowd; by playing the songs people know. Just like at Reading last year, their set is a lot of fun, and songs like ‘My Generation’, ‘Take a Look Around’ and ‘Faith’ can still make a whole field of people bounce.
Closing the whole thing off, something truly special; Slipknot’s first UK show since the death of their bassist Paul Gray. As frontman Corey Taylor explains on stage, this set is a celebration, and the masked Iowans round Sonisphere off in fine style. Their whole set is fantastic, but real highlights include ‘Eyeless’, ‘Surfacing’ and a rousing ‘Duality’. All watched live on the internet by around 1 million people plus the vacant boiler suit and mask once worn by Gray, which hangs in front of the bass amp for the whole set. A magic end to a special weekend – bring on next year! (Please note we were unable to photograph Slipknot’s performance as only a very limited number of photographers were allowed in for their set).
Photos: Dave Musson Photography