July 23 2014 Latest news:
By Alan Davies
Sunday, July 6, 2014
Iron Maiden ruled the stage – and the skies above it – on the second day of this year’s Sonisphere Festival in Knebworth Park.
In something of a rock festival first, Bruce Dickinson, the lead singer with the British heavy metal veterans, performed above the arena as part of a thrilling air show to mark the centenary of World War One.
A qualified pilot, Dickinson flew his replica Fokker Dr1 Triplane, the same model used by the infamous German flying ace Manfred von Richthofen, aka The Red Baron, as part of The Great War Display Team.
After showers earlier in the day, the skies cleared for the WW1 ‘dogfight’ re-enactment featuring nine aircraft, including a Junkers CL1, a Sopwith Triplane, a Royal Aircraft Factory BE2c and a RAF SE5a – all exact replicas of the planes used in combat.
Dickinson later returned to solid ground to perform classic Maiden tracks, including Run To The Hills, The Trooper, Can I Play With Madness, Fear of the Dark, The Number of the Beast and, fittingly after his earlier exploits, Aces High.
Day two of Sonisphere also saw main stage performances from Deftones, Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls and Anthrax, while Slayer topped the bill on the opposite Saturn Stage.
Performing on the same stage as Iron Maiden was a huge thrill for fan Frank Turner, who won Celebrity Mastermind earlier this year after answering questions on the heavy metal legends.
Rockney duo Chas and Dave also pitched up at Knebworth 35 years after supporting Led Zeppelin at the same venue.
* For more Sonisphere news and pictures, visit the Welwyn Hatfield Times’ Sonisphere Festival section here.