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Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Live & Dangerous 6: Sonisphere 2011 Day 2

The second day was somewhat of a mixed day with the persistent rain dampening some of the day's entertainment.

Having already not been impressed by Sylosis as a live act I made my way to the Jagermeister stage to catch Sons of Icarus who I had not heard much of other than they were a classic rock style band. I must say I was impressed, despite playing to a small crowd at 11am they managed to get the crowd rocking with their classic influenced but modern sounding hard rock, if I were to make a comparison then I would say Audioslave would be a good one with frontman Andy Masson sounding uncannily like Chris Cornell. A very promising debut for this new band. 7/10

Moving to the Bohemia tent I was looking forward to how Vintage Trouble would cope in a festival setting. Having been very impressed with them when they supported Kerry Ellis and Brian May, I wanted to see if they could continue to be as good as they had been. Starting with Hand Me Down Blues the band again started explosively and throughout the fast paced set managed to win over the crowd throughout the set with more people entering the tent as they progressed by the end everyone was swinging swaying and clapping along to the blues, funk, soul mix of Vintage Trouble. I urge people to go and see these guys in Swansea this year. 8/10

Back to the Jagermeister tent for another three bands. First were Jettblack whose album is one of my favourites of this year. They didn't disappoint live era their sleazy brand of classic metal ala W.A.S.P and Y&T went down well with crowd the dual vocal delivery also setting them apart from other bands. they played well and the seemed to be enjoying themselves thoroughly. A slice of cheese that was more enjoyable than first thought. 8/10

The Treatment were next their set not changing form the one they played supporting Black Stone Cherry. However it was their stage presence that had improved. When they release their new album this band will also have a better show as the air of familiarity will have worn off. 7/10

The next act was going to be as emotional, perhaps not as emotional as Slipknots performance but for the faithful it was going to be upsetting. Panic Cell are a British groove/thrash metal band that despite being great live and releasing 3 good albums never got the critical or label backing they deserved. Their entire success came from a core band of supporters. This performance was to be their last after having been around for 10 years they had finally decided to hang up their instruments. They came out playing their hearts out hitting all of their most well-known songs as well as their fantastic version of SEAL's Crazy. Frontman Luke Bell thanked the crowd in person by climbing into the crowd during the set. After 30 minutes it was all over and with the surprisingly large crowd cheering it was a fitting end to another great British band. 9/10

With the rain hitting thick and fast I retreated back to the tent before reappearing for Weezer. Playing a hits set they managed to win the crowd with River Cuomo playing rock god on the Knebworth stage. The band event threw in 2 covers, one Wheatus' Teenage Dirtbag which suited the band and another which was a slightly misjudged version of Paranoid Android which added a small gap in an otherwise upbeat set for Weezer. Now just a UK tour would be nice. 8/10

On the second stage were The Mars Volta who managed to bore the crowd to tears very quickly. A band like this are not suited for a festival as their strange jazz-prog cannot be taken in in a short period of time. 5/10

Back to the Jagermeister stage for the final three bands (I avoided Biffy who as I will have a chance to see them again) Rival Sons have just produced the most classic sounding album in years and they aware equally as good live despite a short set they managed to hold their own on the festival stage their US gigging experience showing through. Whether this will be true when opening for Judas Priest we will have to wait and see. 8/10

Next were the female fronted Saint Jude whose sultry blues rock was able to bewitch the audience, getting them into a great groove. The bands playing was tight but with enough room to jam a little bit. They had a small club mentality keeping the banter to a minimum and just playing, it was single Soul On Fire that stood out of the set of jems. Definitely ones to watch. 8/10

The headliners were the Black Spiders, a big ballsy British biker rock band. The crowd were packed for this one. A band that encouraged drinking and rocking were a good fit for a festival and the Jagermeister stage. they attracted a huge crowd and ran through their album. Opening with the cheeky Kiss Tried To Kill Me they set the tone for the show. More heavy rocking came in the shape of Stay Down with its refrain of "Fuck You and This One Horse Town" saw the crowd in fine voice. The audience got more and more rowdy as the show went on and when the last song ended there were chants of more only to be followed by boos when the road crew appeared. I haven't seen this kind of "Fuck You" attitude from a band or fans for a long time and it shows that Rock N Roll isn't dead after all. 9/10

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