Knotfest in Somerset, WI
Putting together a solid line up for Metal fans is never easy but I think all fans were excited knowing bands Gojira, Prong, Cannibal Corpse, Machine Head, Lamb of God, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Serj Tankian, Deftones and closing the show Slipknot.
Split between two stages, bands wasted no time getting on stage and all times went off like clockwork.
The 2nd stage was set up on grassy field that became more of a dust bowl with the lack of rain the Midwest has been dealing with.
The 2nd stage was also the place for more of the hardcore metal fans stayed as bands Gojira, Prong and Cannibal Corpse laid waste to the grounds. Cannibal Corpse set the tone for the rest of the day as fans came to the 2nd stage to release their pent up aggression as they moshed and opened up circle pits.
As fans waited for Machine Head to come on they begin to chant MACHINE HEAD over and over. Machine Head opened with This is the End, all the guys seem to be enjoying this festival as they interacted with the crowd and even showing a smile beneath their scowls as they looked at the sea of people moving as one. The set ended with Halo and Davidian leaving the crowd hungry for more as they chanted for an encore.
Up next was Lamb of God of all the bands other than Slipknot this was the band metal fans came to see at Knotfest. We all know of the unjust bullshit that happened overseas with the jailing of Randy Blythe and now that he is home he made it a priority to play Knotfest.
As the skies became overcast and night failing it almost became fitting that the skies opened with lightning and rain falling as they opened with Desolation & Ghost Walking off their new album Resolution. Tonight’s show seemed different almost as if there was more than just seeing a metal band but seeing a man on a mission and with the weight of the world on his shoulders being uplifted as they played to the fans who have supported them and this all came together with Now You’ve Got Something to Die For.
Blythe thanked the fans for all their support during this time and having them come out and get crazy makes it all worth it, there set ended with The Undertow and Black Label. Huge props to Slipknot for pulling it together to have Lamb of God to play the festival with such little time.
Walking around Knotfest fans could go experience the museum tent that displayed all of Slipknot’s memorabilia and gave a chance for a fan to play the same drums Shawn Clown Crahan played. There were also performers dressed as creatures of the night. Once night fell the gates of hell opened up as huge flames erupted from the field, for sure one stunning site to see.
On the main stage The Dillinger Escape Plan opened with Dead as History which is a rarity to hear live.
After the first song; they launched into a brutal assault on their equipment and their own bodies as they threw themselves all over the stage. With nonstop energy they got the crowd right into it from the start and ended with Chinese Whispers & 43% Burnt. The Dillinger Escape Plan for sure set the tone on the Main stage as Cannibal Corpse did with the 2nd stage.
Up next was Serj Tankian; lead singer for System Of A Down, who had just ended touring dates with Deftones. Tankian has a new solo album out Harakiri and will be touring this fall.
Opening the set with The Unthinking Majority; this got the crowd right into it as well as songs Butterfly, Figure It Out, and Feed Us.
During the set one of the characters on the field looking like a devil worked up the crowd and became a part of the show. Tankian vocals were spot on and showed when he played one of the new songs Harakiri. The set ended with Empty Walls which sounded amazing and had the crowd going off.
Deftones followed and having seen them before a few years ago at Rock on the Range, I was not happy with their performance and was hoping tonight was not a repeat.
Opening with Rocket Skates the mood was set right away that this would not be a repeat but more a true showing the power this band is able to harness.
With a storm working its way closer it set an ominous mood that fit Deftones perfect.
Playing songs Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away), You’ve Seen the Butcher, and Engine No. 9.
By this time the skies opened up and drenched everyone at one point the monitors popped leaving no vocals, this did not stop Chino Moreno from rocking on.
The crowd exploded when Change (In the House of Flies) was played and seeing the mosh pits in the rain was a site to see. The night ended with Root & 7 Words that showed the sheer power and energy Deftones can still produce.
As Slipknot was prepared to take the stage you could feel the electricity of the crowd as it was time to see for the last time this year Slipknot live. This was my first time seeing them and I could feel the adrenaline kick in as I was waited for the curtain to fall.
With fire being set off in the background and the crowd chanting SLIP KNOT!!!!!!!! It was time.
As the curtain fell a loud explosion was set off to go along with the pyro on the stage, opening the show with (Sic) the crowd erupted and became a sea of bodies moving as one. Slipknot fans are known as maggots and it was fitting watching them.
With so much going on up on stage your eyes darted everywhere to try an soak it all in but you could never really and can see why fans become hooked.
Playing songs Sulfer, Wait and Bleed and Disasterpiece Taylor told the crowd to open huge pits to mosh in as they circled around that looked from afar like huge whirlpools sucking in bodies as it grew larger.
When Corey Taylor started the lyric If you’re 555 then I am; with the crowd yelling 666 as they played The Heretic Anthem they displayed the brutal assault on the sense’s Slipknot can create. The night ended with Psychosocial, Duality and Spit It Out. Taylor thanked the crowd for coming to Knotfest and other then playing the opening night in Iowa they had to also have a day in Wisconsin for all the support the state has given as well as the Midwest fans and that they would like to have this every year festival in different locations.
Slipknot came out for an encore of People = Shit and Surfacing to end Knotfest. If the inaugural festival is a prelude of what’s to come next year; this is a festival that you will not want to miss.
Review and photos by Peter Lizano