This festival review was written by Lorna Begg and first appeared on State.ie
Sonisphere may be only into its second year, but already the weekend has cemented itself in the metal festival calendar alongside Download and Reading and Leeds as the new big boys in town. Taking place solely at this venue last year, 2010 saw it become the only travelling festival of its scale, taking place in eleven venues across Europe including Poland, Switzerland, Bulgaria and Sweden to name a few. The capacity increased this year and so did the stages – going from three to five but with no two acts playing at the same time on either of the main stages the issue of sacrificing one band to see another was solved and also provided plenty of opportunities to burn off those festival burgers and beers.
You get a sense of the festival’s status when the Friday, considered a warm up day, included acts such as 65 Days of Static, Terrovision, Europe and Alice Cooper. Europe took to the Saturn Stage around 7pm and put on an impressive show that included a cover of ‘No Woman No Cry’ and of course finishing the set with ‘The Final Countdown’ which was sang by just about everyone in the festival grounds. Next up after a quick run back to the tent to stock up on cider was Gary Numan. Numan puts quite a show, and his set included new songs along with classics such as ‘Cars’ and ‘Are ‘Friends’ Electric?’ which was the highlight of his performance.65 Days of Static clashed with Alice but still managed to attract a massive crowd to the Bohemia tent, and it was clear to everyone why. This post-rock instrumentalists played an unforgettable set with ‘Retreat, Retreat’ being one of the highlights. It is definitely time to put this impressive band on a main stage slot. Cooper, meanwhile, closed the Saturn stage on the Friday with his amazing theatrical show that rarely disappoints. He is a master at shocking and entertaining people and had the crowd singing along to songs ranging from ‘Poison’ to ‘Cold Ethel’. The full show included a guillotine, straightjacket and various torture contraptions that are used in his Theatre of Death show.