Metallica, Korn and Slipknot thrilled the crowds as the first leg of Sonisphere blasted off successfully in Nijmegen, Netherlands on Saturday (20 June).
The new touring festival got off to a "perfect start", according to festival director Stuart Galbraith who phoned us up in person to announce triumphantly that "Sonisphere has arrived!". After more than a year's preparation, Galbraith (who co-founded Download and Monsters of Rock festivals in the UK) was clearly delighted with the inaugural event, which will roll on across the summer through Germany, Spain, Sweden and Finland before culminating in a larger two day event at Knebworth in the UK in August.
"It didn't rain, and the whole event ran like clockwork", he added, "Everyone on the bill was brilliant and the crowd went nuts."
The only downsides were the last minute cancellations of Mastodon and M.I.A., who suffered transport problems in Europe and were unable to reach the site in time for their opening slots. They were replaced by Pendulum who got the festival off to an energetic start.
At the end of one of his trademark solos, Korn bassist Fieldy Arvizu was clearly heard to shout out: “Perfect, just perfect!”. This seemed to sum up the day’s activities with all of the bands on the bill working the crowd up into an overwhelming frenzy.
Wannabe rock gods got the chance perform to Metallica's 'Enter Sandman' with their Guitar Hero skills, on same stage as the real band – an attraction that will continue across all the Sonisphere events.
In other news, Fear Factory have sadly had to pull out of all of their summer gigs, including Sonisphere's UK date at Knebworth. In a statement from Burton C. Bell and Dino Cazares, they apologise saying that they are postponing they dates to concentrate on finalizing and the writing and recording of their new album.
Sonisphere's next stop is Hockenheim, Germany on 4 July. Anthrax, The Prodigy and local favourites Die Toten Hosen join the bill for that one, which also includes Metallica, Machine Head, Down, Lamb of God and Mastodon.
Sonisphere 2009 dates:
Sat 4 July Hockenheim, Germany (with Die Toten Hosen)
Sat 11 July The Forum, Barcelona Spain (with Slipknot)
Sat 18 July Folkets Park,Hultsfred, Sweden
Sat 25 July Kirjurinluoto,Pori, Finland (with Linkin Park)
Sat 1 Aug Knebworth House,Stevenage, UK (with Linkin Park headlining)
Sun 2 Aug Knebworth House,Stevenage, UK (with Metallica headlining)
Tickets to all shows are available here.