Slipknot’s KNOTFEST Roadshow Hammers New Jersey With All Star Lineup
KNOTFEST Roadshow Is The Best Metal/Hard Rock Tour Of The Summer
2019 has delivered an onslaught of great hard rock and metal tours, but I can confirm none deliver quite like the KNOTFEST Roadshow. Metal giants Slipknot have brought their festival to life by bringing it on the road for the masses to experience, and what an experience it is.
The tour features black metal titans Behemoth, who will also be joining Slipknot on The UK and European KNOTFEST Roadshows in 2020. Also on the tour is the mighty Gojira and hard rock heavyweights VOLBEAT.
The show kicked off with the black metal outfit from Poland, Behemoth! Behemoth is out in support of their latest album I Loved You at Your Darkest which was released in October of 2018. If you’ve never experienced Behemoth live, it’s an absolute must see especially on this tour.
I’ve had the privilege of seeing them a few times but this was one of their absolute best performances yet. Guitarist and vocalist Nergal knows exactly how to command the attention of an audience and he does it impressively well. Seeing Behemoth perform is a ritualistic experience as the band plays songs like “Daimonos” and Nergal makes his way to the speakers in front of the stage screaming to the crowd on the barricade as the band’s thunderous drums pound your chest cavity and lightning fast guitar riffs ring your ears.
When the band delivers a performance of “Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer” Nergal appears on stage with two torches, one in each hand in a very ceremonial fashion before diving deeper into the track.
The live performance is heavy, the perfect kinda heavy to kick off a Slipknot show. Even if black metal isn’t your thing, Behemoth are captivating performers and make it impossible to not watch the show. Everything from the band's lighting which captures their aesthetic even with sunlight still peeking through, to the thunderous sounds that feel like they’re coming straight out of hell, the show is an absolute masterpiece..
Next up was in my opinion one of the best metal bands on the planet, Gojira! Brothers Joe and Mario Duplantier along with their bandmates Christian Andreu (Guitar) and Jean-Michel Labadie (Bass) are not your average metal guys. Not only are they some of the most talented musicians around, they also give a crap about real world issues like climate change and humanity.
Gojira kicked off their performance with the track “Toxic Garbage Island” from 2008’s The Way of all Flesh. These guys are pure heaviness with perfectly timed moments of melody. Drummer Mario Duplantier, I’m convinced is not human. I’ve never seen someone hit a drum kit with such precision and look effortless while doing so.
Vocalist Joe Duplantier took his stance and roared into the mic during “Stranded” and “The Heaviest Matter of the Universe”, nailing the notes flawlessly. Gojira aren’t just known for being heavy but also being an insanely tight live band and tight they are as each individual instrument and note can be heard perfectly cutting through. Gojira was, is and always will be one of my favorite live bands around. The guys closed out their eight song set with “The Gift of Guilt”, met at the end with a huge reception from the New Jersey crowd.
The direct support for the evening came from Denmark’s hard rock titans VOLBEAT. The band whose influences include everyone from Elvis and Johnny Cash to Metallica and Social Distortion have made quite an impact on the rock world.The band took to the stage led by vocalist Michael Poulsen and kicked off their set with “The Devil’s Bleeding Crown”, now on paper VOLBEAT may appear to be an odd edition to this line up however in reality they were perfect and right from the get go the NJ crowd loved them.
The band just released their latest album Rewind, Replay, Rebound on August 2nd and they treated the packed BB&T Pavilion to some new songs which included “Pelvis on Fire”, “Last Day Under the Sun” and “Cheapside Sloggers”. The set of course featured some classic fan favorites as well, songs like “Still Counting” and “Sad Man’s Tongue” were heard echoed through the audience and fans were treated to a rendition of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” in the beginning of “Sad Man’s Tongue”.
Guitarist Rob Caggiano made his way across the stage and pulled out some beautiful guitar work, soloing at moments right in front of the barricade whipping his guitar around and smiling at the fans. VOLBEAT were insanely good live, not only entertaining with their stage presence but also deliver an incredible display of musicianship and they kept the crowd consistently hooked through their twelve song set. They’re a must see on this tour and were a great pick to break up the heaviness before Slipknot’s set.
After nearly a 45 minute set change, you heard that right a 45 minute set change, you’ll understand once you see the insane level of production the Iowa based metal band has put together. As a black curtain with the classic red Slipknot logo hung in front of the stage, the Slipknot chants begun and on schedule Corey Taylor and company took to the stage to dominate their legion of fans.
The show began with “People = Shit” and the crowd erupted with the front section of the amphitheatre becoming a most pit and crowd surfers hauling themselves over the barricade. It was wild from the beginning and there was no slowing this train down. Corey Taylor screamed his heart out while utter chaos was happening behind him. During “Sic” fire shot out behind guitarist Mick Thomson while DJ Sid Wilson moved along on a treadmill belt contraption.
Slipknot were firing on all cylinders and with an energy similar to their stage presence 20 years ago when I saw them at The Electric Factory in Philadelphia, a show vocalist Corey Taylor alluded to while addressing the crowd with his fist high in the air.
The band’s set is filled with a catalogue of material from every album and songs they haven’t played in a while like the fan favorite “Wait and Bleed” which they played because of the 20th anniversary of the band’s self titled debut album back in 99 with Taylor telling the crowd “I’ll need your help with this one my friends, it’s a tough one,” of course the Maggots were happy to lend their voices to the song.
Slipknot’s production this time around featured an array of screens with nearly constant visuals, of course they brought back their hydraulic drum risers and lots and lots of pyro. The 17 song set included We Are Not Your Kind singles “Solway Firth” and “Unsainted” which sound huge live. Other Slipknot tracks “The Heretic Anthem”, “Vermillion”, “Duality”, “Before I Forget”, and they closed out the show with the encore tracks “Spit It Out” which Taylor got the entire crowd to kneel down and jump on command before closing out the show with “Surfacing”.
Slipknot have returned, new album, new masks, same chaos and carnage. Just how we like it, the band sounds as phenomenal as ever and the production is new and bigger than before. The fact is 20 years later Slipknot have become one of the biggest metal bands in the world and they’ve now brought the biggest tour of 2019 through North America. If KNOTFEST Roadshow is coming your way, I tell you don’t miss it, don’t miss a single band you will regret it!
KNOTFEST Roadshow Tour Dates:
09/06 – Austin, TX @ Austin360 Amphitheater at Circuit of The Americas
09/07 – Dallas, TX @ Dos Equis Pavilion
09/08 – The Woodlands, TX @ The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion