Not so long ago now, Green Ranger and I celebrated our third year anniversary.
And this year we did it in style by seeing Metallica at Sonisphere – the music festival we went to just before we started ‘officially’ being a couple. I guess, music for us, is a big thing. It’s the first thing we bonded over and it’s one of those themes that just run throughout our relationship. We try and go to gigs as much as we can (despite the wedding budget) and we’re always on the look out for new talent, then letting the other know. I’d love to say we have exactly the same taste but I love a bit more indie and he loves a bit more metal, so we even each other out a little 😉
First band we were looking forward to seeing were Reel Big Fish, we’d seen them a couple of times before and always love them for a bit of a skanking session. They played their usual hits, despite the music being cut for one of their songs, where they just played on regardless with the fans singing instead. It was great to be around a crowd who clearly loved the same music, smiling away and having a fun time. The couple in front of us were having a right boogie, the guy maybe a little less so!
Next up were the Dropkicks who I’d never seen before but Green Ranger had. He told me they played most of their decent songs and with the crowd swelling just minutes before they were due on, I think the crowd were expecting a good show. I’d been told beforehand that they were a bit hit and miss but I really enjoyed them. If you can imagine Irish-American pirates then you’re halfway there. We even had a 4 or 5 year old with bright orange ear plugs dancing alongside us with his dad – too cute for words!
As soon as the Dropkicks were over, Green Ranger had heard who he had been searching for all day – the Blaas of Glory; an extremely random 80s-looking band from the Netherlands. Playing all kinds of orchestral/folk covers from Iron Maiden’s ‘Run to the Hills’ to their finale, ‘The Final Countdown’ by Europe, not one person wasn’t tapping their feet before the end of their short-lived set. Apparently, they just buy festival tickets, turn up with their kit and play wherever they feel like in the Sonisphere site!
The highlight of the day was undoubtedly watching Metallica headline. 3 years before we’d seen them play the same stage but this time it was different. It was days after their Glastonbury set and we knew they’d had to save their pyrotechnics for Sonisphere because of Glasto’s green policy – and we were so grateful they did. This was the best time we’d ever seen them live. It felt so great to share this gig together, it made the whole day.
Doing a ‘By request’ show where we got to pick the set list (once we’d bought a festival ticket), they played all their greatest hits, including the rarely-played ‘Whiskey in the Jar’. It was a spectacular show filled with lasers, smoke machines and bouncy balls, which really felt like their ‘home’ audience as they played away to their heart’s content. As ever, the best song was ‘One’ with the screens depicting soldiers walking to their demise, it always has such an emotional build up where you can really feel every word James Hetfield sings. Painfully sad at times but epic.
When it was all over, it felt like we’d really done our anniversary proud and partied with a few of our favourite bands while we were at it!
Do you listen to any of these bands or have you ever attended Sonisphere? Did you start a relationship at a festival?