After teasing us for a month or so now, Sonisphere organisers have announced their return after a bad couple of years with one of the most amazing announcements in the history of metal by confirming that the two biggest bands in metal, Metallica and Iron Maiden, will share a bill for the first time in the UK.
"All of Maiden love a good celebration and we have one coming up on July 5 – or two, actually!" notes Maiden's Steve Harris. "Firstly it's an honour to celebrate 40 years of rock at Knebworth, especially when you look at the list of great British bands who have appeared there over this period. Secondly, it's the last show of our Maiden England tour, so it's fantastic to be able to close this on home turf and in front of a lot of friends. You can be sure we will pull out all the stops!"
"We all grew up in England well aware of the importance of the legendary concerts at Knebworth, and scarily it all seems quite recent!" notes frontman Bruce Dickinson. "Without being clichéd, it really is an honor and privilege to return to play there with the purpose of celebrating some of the finest moments in British rock history from inspirational bands like Pink Floyd, The Who, Zeppelin, The Stones and Genesis.
"This will be the last concert of our 'Maiden England' Tour and it is very fitting to end a long and hugely enjoyable tour in our own back yard. We have tweaked the 'Maiden England' set list a bit to make it more representative of our whole 80s era and to give the fans something a bit different, especially as this will be the last of our three tours with an historical perspective. If you are there on the day it is highly likely that you will hear some of these songs played live for the very last time ever. So on an occasion like this, a celebration and the end of a chapter, you can be sure we will do our utmost to give our fans one hell of a show and go out with all guns blazing."
"This just works on all fronts," adds Metallica's Lars Ulrich. "Metallica and Knebworth, Metallica by Request, Metallica and Iron Maiden. To be invited to co-headline the 40th anniversary celebration at the legendary Knebworth House is truly a mindfuck. Considering the iconic bands whose performances at Knebworth are part of rock and roll history, it's not only a next level honor, but a somewhat humbling undertaking."
Sonisphere 2014 takes place July 4-6 at Knebworth Park. Tickets are on sale now from www.sonisphere.co.uk.