Right then. Sonisphere Festival day two: let's do this. Iron Maiden, BABYMETAL, Frank Turner, Deftones, Slayer and a load more awesome bands? It's all right here!
0000: Andy Biddulph just returned from tonight's headliners Iron Maiden. Here's what he made of it all:
"It seems like they've been at it forever, but tonight finally marks the end of Iron Maiden's Maiden England world tour. Their almost two-hour set is a pretty fitting way to end their three-year stint on the road, too. A sprightly Bruce Dickinson leads his troops through classics like 'Can I Play With Madness' and 'Two Minutes To Midnight' in the first portion of their set filled with songs that aren't only hugely important, but also still kind of rule. Steve Harris and Co. move around the stage with a vigour that puts bands half their ages to shame, and although Dickinson whips out far, far too many calls of "Scream for me Knebworth" and there's a surprising amount of filler in amongst killer like 'Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son', any band that can get away with setting their mascot's head alight onstage is fine by us. Listen to your favourite metal bands and there's a high chance there's been a hefty slug of Maiden mixed into the pot at some point down the line. Tonight, Iron Maiden - for the most part at least - showed why."
2223: Maiden are still playing fantastic endurance. Meanwhile, won't you please enjoy our Deftones photos? Giles Smith worked super hard on them.
2144: Here's a shot of what's happening literally right now out there. SCREEEEEEAM FOR HIM, KNEBWORTH!
2140: More words from Rob Sayce, this time on Slayer...
"People tend to either fucking love Slayer (sorry, SLAYEEEUUUUURGH!) or dismiss them as overhyped, passed their sell-by-date bollocks. Judging by the huge crowd that meets them today, a majority of Sonisphere falls under column A; and to be honest, they're good value for it. Kerry, Tom and Co. know what fans want and give it to them, no frills and no surprises. It's the same show we've been getting for years (sans Dave Lombardge and Jeff Hanneman, who receives a deafening tribute, but it's still enjoyable enough. Arya's transformation into a kindly uncle / aging Jesus-like figure and 'Raining Blood' still sounds like... well... 'Raining Blood'."
2117: Rob Sayce is our man in the pit today, and he reports back from Bleed From Within...
"Things are looking up for Bleed From Within. Putting their well-publicised struggles behind them, they're steadily rising through the ranks. Tonight, the Scottish mob are on solid form, tearing through some of their choise 'Uprising' material, completely unfazed by the occasion. Pits, grooves, and some stellar guitar work... not bad at all."
2010: Things we often wonder #279: What's Jono Yates from Blitz Kids up to right now? Welp, he's... he's hanging out with BABYMETAL. Can we have your life please, Jono?
1950: David McLaughlin thought Deftones were excellent just now. Here are some more words about how excellent Deftones were.
"The riff in 'Rocket Skates'. Chino being Chino. Grown men and women being reduced to teenage fanboys and girls. Deftones are basically flawless today - most days, really - and hell, even the sun makes a rare camero and shines on 'em. Sure, some of the notes aren't on the money and some of the song selections make the set stutter a tad, but they even overcome those failings by being so on point when they're on point. This hour-long awakening from their slumber serves as a perfect reminder of their superiority and hopefully imminent recorded return. That's what it's about, right?"
1900: Frank Turner has been everywhere over the last hour or so. He's popped up again on our Instagram, the cheeky devil.
1840: Digital Editor Andy Ritchie is back from the emotional double-header of Frank Turner into Hundred Reasons doing 'Ideas Above Our Station'. Here are his thoughts:
"All credit to Frank Turner, he had a tough billing coming into his afternoon set today. Sandwiched between Deftones and Athrax on the Apollo stage, he's not on the most comfortable turf, but an early proclamation of, "This might be an acoustic guitar not, but I'm gonna die with a fucking BC Rich Warlock in my hands" and enough feel-good anthems sees more than just a few Slayer fans throwing their hands in the air and singing along without shame. It was a tough one, but show number 1575 did as the previous 1574 did and left hoarse throats and tired arms across the field."
"Back on the other side of Knebworth, Hundred Reasons are playing the show they never got to do two years ago. Their 'Ideas Above Our Station' set was originally billed for the ill-fated Sonisphere 2012, and though all that needed to have said goodbye to the band by now, today gives us one last reminder of why they and that album mattered so much to so many. Near-perfect in execution (as they always were), it's the perfect final goodbye. Y'know, unless they decide to do it again next summer."
1810: DOGFIIIIIIIGHT. Here is a photo of Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson flying a plane. At least we think it's him.
1730: Giles Smith and Andy Biddulph caught Glamour Of The Kill earlier on. Photos and words were the result.
"Instrumentally, Glamour Of The Kill are tight as anything live, but unfortunately that's pretty much all they have going for them today. The four-piece posture their way through a half-hour of their particular brand of glitzy metal, but for all their posing, they still don't have the songs - and Davey Richmond lacks the vocal power today - to back up their cocksure stage presence. A gallop through 'Second Chance' and a particularly bone-crunching wall of death aside, they don't have the sticking power to last this particularly tiresome half-hour, meaning the frontman can spit in the air and catch it in his mouth all he likes, but the tepid reception his band receives is about all they deserve."
1645: Rob Sayce and Giles Smith report back from Anthrax with words and photos respectively...
"No one expects surprises from Anthrax at this poin. The most irreverent of thrash's big four, the're relied upon to provide a shot of adrenalin and a handful of anthems. As usual, they deliver. Following Friday's run through defining album 'Among The Living', they mix up their setlist a little, losing some momentum in the process. Still, plenty of big hitters make the cut, with 'Anti-Social' chief among them. If the sea of horns before the stage is anything to go by, it's just about enough."
1630: Ghost got pointy on the Apollo Stage earlier. Really pointy. Our full gallery is here.
1537: Fantastic marketing opportunity seized right here.
1500: The Hell played a little while ago, and Deputy Ed. David McLaughlin was there to witness the tomfoolery.
"Two absolute #lads are having a duel in the pit with a pair of huge inflatable penises and having a proper giggle about it all. In a way that's a neat summation of what is presumably the point of The Hell. It doesn't really matter who is behind the identity-concealing bandanas, what matter are the clichés they're sending up. Ironically, this lot are better than most of the bands in their crosshairs, too. It's tempting to suggest they do so with a sound that's muscular, aggressive and throbbing with intent (let's be classier than that. What? It's too late?). As far as parody, piss-take acts go this weekend, at least The Hell hit their marks where others fall flat. Maybe those boys with the blow-up dongs have the right idea."
For more photos of The Hell being The Hell, click here.
1450: Blitz Kids just hit the Bohemia Stage, and it sounded biiiiiiiig.
1440: That man Rob Sayce has checked out Ghost a little earlier on...
"Moving from Chas & Dave to Ghost requires some serious adjustment. Still, both are major crowd pleasers, so perhaps it makes sense. Either way, the masked ghouls don't seem to have lost their charm yet. Their atmospheric, Abba-inflected (seriously, listen to those choruses) heavy rock drawing an impressive response. Their cover of Roky Erickson's 'If You Have Ghosts' is an obvious highlight, which probably says a lot. Even if the gimmicks have worn thin for some, the band themselves seem to be heading in the right direction."
1409: Our snapper Giles Smith on the day so far. BABYMETAL'll do that to ya, mate.
Today has been literally a roller coaster of emotions, and I haven’t even had breakfast yet.— Giles Smith (@giloscope) July 5, 2014
1308: So what did we actually think of Japanese phenomenon BABYMETAL? Deputy Editor David McLaughlin reports back:
"As if the prospect of three Japanese teenage girls fronting a metal band wasn't bizarre enough, BABYMETAL begin their set with an intro video 'Metal Resistance: Episode II' that seems to tell the tale of some kind of great cosmic fox that came to them with a mission in a dream. Or something like that, the narrative wasn't exactly clear. Initially the huge crowd seems to be a mix of cynicism and curiosity. By the second chorus of 'Give Me Chocolate' though, that's mostly replaced by legitimate love and good will. The novelty - which is what it is - does wear kind of thin, but the repurposed thrash and nu metal riffs, synchronised dances and all round WTF-appeal makes BABYMETAL's debut UK festival appearance a triumph overall."
1230: Babymetal are on stage right now. BABYMETAL. BABY.METAL.
1200: Good afternoon! Before too long, this page will be crawling with the cream of Sonisphere today. Want a taste of what's coming? Here's a recap of what went down yesterday...
Those gents in Limp Bizkit stomped all over the Apollo Stage:
Hardcore bruisers Brutality Will Prevail got all acrobatic:
HIM were very sultry indeed...
and Anti-Flag jumped higher than anyone has ever jumped. Possibly.
Oh, and The Prodigy headlined. The bloody Prodigy!
Aside from that lot, there was more from Devil You Know, Carnifex, Yashin, Comeback Kid, Straight Lines, The Defiled and looooads more. And you can read all about it on our live blog from Friday.
Here's the line-up....
We all clear? Okay then, let's do this.