Co-authored by Ross Allen.
Come Saturday morning, heads are going to hurt, and early morning Sonisphere is not for the faint hearted. What the walking dead will really need is something to shake them to the very core, and that job falls to Reading’s eight legged noise merchants Sylosis. Sylosis are already veterans of the Knebworth arena, and between 11:00 and 11:25 the Apollo Stage will become their back yard. With their roots embedded in the old school thrash scene, these guys will really pick up where The Big 4 left off.
The Brits will be opening up the Apollo Stage on Saturday, but 13:25 – 14:10 will see the stage belong to two brothers and their band’s full force tribal devastation. Cavalera Conspiracy will take no prisoners. Brothers Max and Igor are not known for holding back and from the Sepultura roots through to Soulfly this will be one perfomance not to be missed. Their latest album is called ‘Blunt Force Trauma’ for a reason you know. Bad Religion (15:00 – 15:45) have drawn the next slot , and it’s fitting that after a brutal Brazillian crushing it’s left to a L.A. punk band with over thirty years experience to pick up the pieces. These guys are widely acknowledged as one of the most influential punk bands of all time. With over 5 million album sales under their belt, they will command the respect of the Sonisphere faithful with the ever present vocalist Greg Graffin conducting procedings.
Following punk legends Bad religion is going to be no mean task, but Surrey’s You Me At Six (16:35 – 17:35) are well up for the task. These boys will effectively bridge the gap between generations, taking Bad Religion’s old school punk attitude, dousing it with a little sweetner adding some more poppy anthemic guitar work, and bingo, you have one of Britain’s rising young star bands. You Me At Six spawned from the American pop punk scene, and these boys are capable of showing Sonisphere and the Americans how our young kids are pretty damn good at that game too. Really though you should see YM@6 as a cheeky little dish to whet your appetite, a band to put a bit of a spring back in your step after all the thrashing and pits. We only hope that everyone will have enough energy for the bounce masters themselves Weezer (18:30 – 19:30). Weezer will bring the fun and launch a wholescale party to Knebworth. They’re geeks, their entertaining and they are one of the most perfect festival bands in existence. They add the feel good factor, and no matter what age you are these guys can unite all with Weezer’s infectious grooves. We don’t need to say anything further… just watch this:Biffy Clyro (21:15 – 22:45) close Saturday’s procedings on The Apollo Stage, and for many they are a curious choice. Sandwiched between two days headlined by Metallica and Slipknot respectively some say there is a bit of a mis-match. However, this could well be an inspired decision. Only a few years ago they seemed languishing in the almost there alt-rock purgatory, bigger than the pubs and clubs, but not quite arena scale. Yet they have one of the most devoted army of fans we have ever witnessed. These are the fans that make sure the band are heard, they make sure everyone knows the name, and in all fainress we were hooked at TINAS when we first heard ‘There’s No Such Thing as a Jaggy Snake’. These guys have a lot to prove, but we have a huge feeling they will walk away from Sonisphere with their heads held high, and thousands of new fans in their wake.
One of the best things about Sonisphere is that there are no Apollo and Saturn Stage clashes, so pretty much, as soon as you are done watching one, simply turn 180 degrees and move towards the sound of the next lot of music eminating. Kicking off Saturn on Saturday falls in the hands of probably one of the most surreal and obscure experiences you could imagine. Richard Cheese and Lounge Against The Machine (11:35 – 12:35) offers up a far more tranquil start to the day’s hangovers with swing/jazz based covers of classic rock songs. Intrigued? We are too and Richard Cheese and LATM could prove one of the highlights of Saturday… From one extreme to the other, Gallows (12:45 – 13:20) are set to follow, and Frank Carter and crew don’t do anything other than in your face hardcore punk. Last year Gallows laid waste to the Bohemia tent, and this year it is the turn of the Saturn Stage. A hugely high octane band that never fail to deliver, even receiving praise from the punk stalwarts Bad Religion themselves. Welsh upstarts Kids In Glass Houses (14:15 – 14:55) are up next, and positioned next to Gallows is an intriguing slot for these young lads. Singalong anthems will be the order of the day from these lads, and they well and truly justify their place on the bill. These boys can be exceptionally grateful to the helping hands their fellow country men Funeral For A Friend and Lost Prophets have given them, but now these boys stand alongside these bands and not below them. KIGH are a class act, one of the stand out new breed. It will be all about fun and singalongs though from KIGH onwards for a while, as Sum 41 (15:50 – 16:30) carry the baton onwards towards the evening’s headliners. Tongue in cheek cheeky humour, catchy choruses, and that song that we all learned to play the riff on guitar… come on admit it… Fat Lip is fun. We’ll all become pseudo skater boys, and we’ll all wonder what it was like being married to Avril Lavigne, but we’ll all have a laugh with Sum 41.All Time Low (17:40 – 18:25) the band that is sure to put a grimace on the face of every die hard old school thrasher on the site on Saturday. These guys are the nemesis to the Slayer army with their hugely addictive catchy tunes, funky styling and ability to poke fun at themselves. They will not please everyone, but they will have a damn good try anyway, they’re just a bag of fun, a bag of fun with a huge army of fans… All Time Low must be doing something right.
Closing Saturn falls in the more than capable hands of Omar Rodríguez-López and Cedric Bixler-Zavala. The Mars Volta (19:40 – 20:55) will leave an aural progressive soundscape embedded in your brain. Formed from the ashes of At The Drive in these guys have honed their skills with a series of psychodelic concept albums testing the boundaries of modern rock. They are reknowned for their outstanding live performances and Sonisphere being their only show in the UK this year it really could be the icing on the cake.
Sheffield’s While She Sleeps (11:30 – 12:00) open proceedings on the Bohemia Stage on Saturday. The ‘Steel City’ favourites bring their brutal hardcore sound to Sonisphere on a whirlwind of both fan and press noise. Ones to watch for sure! Next up on the Bohemia Stage are Vintage Trouble (12:20 – 12:50), fresh from support slots for none other than Bon Jovi on their run at the O2 in London. The Doc McGhee managed soul and blues drenched rock n roll band first came to prominence on these shores after their appearance on ‘Later…With Jools Holland’ earlier this year. Me Vs Hero (13:10 – 13:40) take their place, third up on the Bohemia Stage. The North West pop punkers will bring a change of pace and a healthy slice of fun, very much in the same vein as Set Your Goals and Four Year Strong. Described as LA’s most rocking export, Cherri Bomb (14:00 – 14:30) are a badass all girl rock band who have just exploded onto the scene and are making huge waves across the pond. They have already scored support slots with names like Filter and Smashing Pumpkins!
…And now for something completely different! A nice change of pace, take a seat, grab a drink and get your heckle on as it’s comedy hour (well, it’s more like 2 hours but who’s counting?) First up is Nick Helm (15:10 – 15:35) to try and arouse our funny bones with his hilarious blend of one-liners, stories, poems and songs. Next up is American comic Jim Breuer (15:40 – 16:10), a former cast member of the hugely funny and successful Saturday Night Live and also a regular on Comedy Central. You may also recognise him from the 1998 cult “stoner comedy” Half Baked, starring alongside Dave Chappelle! Closing out the trio of comedians is a man that needs no introduction, Steve-O (16:20 – 17:00), the Jackass legend has been treading the boards of comedy venues for the last couple of years to great acclaim.
Getting back to the music after the side-splitting, rib tickling comedy fest Pulled Apart By Horses (17:20 – 17:50) take to the stage to with their indie tinged post-hardcore sound! The addition to the line-up of the Leeds quartet may have raised the odd eye brow but their inclusion could well me a master stroke and the slot after the comedians is perfect! Cranking things up a notch or three will be Periphery (18:15 – 19:00), the progressive tech metal, or should we say Djent, band. The triple guitar attack, led by the band’s founder Misha “Bulb” Mansour, soars to the skies and scours the depths as it takes you on an aural journey. Definitely, a set to catch if you can! The term legend is banded around too easily these days but in the case, we think, it is fully justified! The case in point is none other than Ginger Wildheart (19:25 – 20:05). The Wildhearts’ frontman will be joined by ‘Random’ Jon Poole, Rich Jones and Denzil and they will be treating us to a set of Wildhearts classics.
So, to the main event, kicking off the final three bands of the day are French metallers Gojira (20:30 – 21:15). Always guaranteed to produce a face melting performance with their genre hopping sound easily switching between thrash and death metal, with a regular detour along progressive metal boulevard too! Paradise Lost (21:45 – 22:45) fill the main support slot on the Bohemia stage. The legendary doom-mongers have been touring with their classic 1995 album “Draconian Times”. We can only hope that we get to hear that at Sonisphere too! Paradise Lost provides the perfect entrée to the main course of The Sisters Of Mercy (23:15 – 00:45)! The Bohemia Stage headliners are celebrating their 30th anniversary, we will be there celebrating with Andrew Eldritch and the boys and so should you be too!
DJ sets from Tek One and Innerpartysystem close out the day’s fun and frollicks on the Bohemia Stage.
Guildford rockers Sons Of Icarus (11:00 – 11:30) kick things off on the Jägermeister Stage on Saturday, the quartet having already played the Jäger Stage at this year’s Download Festival. No Americana (12:00 – 12:30) take to the stage next, they have already made a lot of people stand up and take note with support slots with The Wildhearts and Stone Sour. Heavy rockers Jettblack (13:00 – 13:30) have certainly been making a lot of noise in the British music scene of late with their 80’s influenced cock rock. Continuing the classic rock theme The Treatment (14:00 – 14:30) are next up on the Jäger Stage.British metallers Panic Cell (15:00 – 15:30) hit the stage a 3pm for what is guaranteed to be an emotional set, as it has been confirmed it will be their last ever show! Macclesfield trio The Virginmarys (16:00 – 16:30) bring the intensity back down a little with their bran of Rock n Roll. Six Hour Sundown (17:00 – 17:30) take to the stage next, formed in 2009 they have had a rapid rise to fame, already supporting the likes of Iron Maiden and Anvil. Having Lauren Harris on vocals is an obvious advantage but they let the music do the talking. Brighton four-piece The Crave (18:00 – 18:30) have their moment in the sun…err we mean tent, bringing their alternative metal to Sonisphere. Self-described ‘Grit Poppers’ Spy Catcher (19:00 – 19:30), featuring members of Gallows and Haunts, hit the Jäger Stage at 7pm.
The final three bands on the Jägermeister Stage are Rival Sons (20:00 – 20:30), the Southern Californian Rock n Rollers whose album “Pressure & Time” was recently released on Earache Records. Rock n Soullers Saint Jude (21:00 – 21:45), described as a “Modern day Janis Joplin fronting the Faces” by legendary Rolling Stones producer Chris Kimsey. With Sheffield rockers Black Spiders (22:15 – 23:00) taking the much coveted headline spot, much deserved after a solid performance at last year’s Sonisphere, packing out the Bohemia Stage.
Red Bull Bedroom Jam Stage
Birmingham Powerpoppers Page 44 (13.30 – 14:00) get the Red Bull party started, followed by Pop punkers Hill Valley High (14:30 – 15:00). Essex pop rock quartet The Hype Theory (15:30 – 16:00) bring their female fronted pop punk to Sonisphere, fresh from a top performance at Download. Welsh metallers Revoker (16:30 – 17:00) bring the pace and intensity back up with their classic heavy metal. A band tipped for the top and we won’t disagree with that! Another band tipped for greater things are London’s TesseracT (17:30 – 18:00), they have been grouped with the Djent movement but are far deeper than that. Definitely ones to watch! Electronic rockers Innerpartysystem (18:30 – 19:00), probably best known for their hit ‘Don’t Stop’, bring their pounding synth-based rock to Sonisphere.
2010’s buzzword was without a doubt “Dubstep”! Tek One (19:30 – 20:00) are at the forefront of the Dubstep wave, blurring the barriers between genres and picking up huge respect from all corners along the way. Another of Maiden’s offspring play Sonisphere on Friday, Austin Dickinson and his band Rise To Remain (20:20 -21:15) take the main support slot on the Jäger Stage. Once again the band are keen to let their music do the talking but it really can’t hurt having Bruce Dickinson as a father! Swedish Trve Cvlt black metallers Watain (21:45 – 22:30) headline the Jäger Stage, bringing with them their inverted crosses, leather, spikes and of course a ton of corpse paint.