Following Bruce Dickinson's aerial dogfight is no easy task, but the festival veterans know how to whip up a crowd.
With the threat of rain looming over everyone’s heads all day, it’s an interesting juxtaposition that the sun finally pokes his face out when Deftones hit the main stage. The gallons of beer that Soni has downed so far acts as the perfect catalyst to get your bouncing shoes on and run down front to see Chino and co. in their glory.
Despite playing festivals in the UK seemingly every year, Deftones have never actually played Sonisphere. And what a debut they make. Mixing the high impact fan favourites of My Own Summer with (as Chino calls it) “ancient times shit”, this is a Deftones fan’s dream.
Moreno’s vocals soar over the sun-soaked, sozzled audience who sing back like a metal choir. The ethereal nature of Deftones’ delicious noise probably worked as a lullaby for the casualties strewn across the arena floor, but once Head Up drops it’s all business from the barrier to the sound stage as Knebworth jumps to catch the clouds.
Realistically, Deftones aren’t opening for Maiden - they’re opening for Slayer who are about to attack the second stage. And what band could do so with more passion and veracity than ‘Tones? It’s not their strongest performance and there are some song omissions that are a little disappointing, but it’s a solid 60-minute moshfest from their expansive back-catalogue. What more do you need?