Slipknot’s “Knotfest Roadshow” made huge news throughout the metal community when it was announced back in March. That twenty-nine cities run is now in full swing and Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska had the opportunity to host a brilliant night of music. The line-up is certainly a global affair as it featured the extreme metalists from Poland, Behemoth, the technical powerhouse Gojira from France, and the hard rocking outfit Volbeat from Denmark. Slipknot would close to the show in a fashion of chaotic perfection that only they can deliver.
With a backdrop of the United States and an upside down cross in the middle of it, black metal giants Behemoth took the stage as “Solve” echoed through the arena. The onslaught started with “Wolves Ov Siberia” and they didn’t allow you to take a breath until they were done. The band released ‘I Loved You At Your Darkest’ in 2018 and along with the open song they managed to include “Bartzabel” and “Sabbath Mater” in the short set. The show revolved around the bands unmistakable frontman Adam “Nergal” Darski. He demanded your attention the moment he took the stage and he worked tirelessly to bring the crowd into his world. He truly did it all as he sang, played guitar, dangled fire, and even flipped me off, which I took as I sign that he really liked me, but whatever he chose to do it was hard to take your eyes off him. That’s not to say that the rest of the band was a sideshow. Inferno was a machine on the drums and Patryk “Seth” Sztyber (guitar) and Tomasz “Orion” Wroblewski (bass) matched Nergal’s intensity. Behemoth blistered though “Daimonos,” “Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer,” and closed with “Chant For Eschaton 2000.” It was an amazing set that was only hampered by its shorter timeslot.
Gojira masterfully delivered the heaviest set of the night. They hit with precision that was like a sonic sledgehammer. They opened with “Oroborus” and then launched in “Backbone” with a tremendous blast of smoke from the smoke canons lined up across the stage. Joe Duplantier (guitar, vocals) led the charge while Mario Duplantier (drums), Jean-Michael Labadie (bass) and Christian Andreu (guitar) powered the band through some intricate material. They have developed a sound unique to themselves with their varying time signatures, melodic passages, death metal styled vocals, and at times an atmospheric styling. One of the highlights was “Stranded” which came off the bands sixth studio album, ‘Magma,’ back in 2016. Some other songs that made set were “Flying Whales,” “Love,” and “Silvera.” Gojira are sitting on the forefront of metal music and based on the support they got from the crowd a new record cannot come soon enough. They closed the set with “Vacuity” and the ferociousness in which they started show was still in full force though the closing notes.
Volbeat took the stage next and opened with “The Devils Bleeding Crown” and then “Lola Montez.” The band just dropped ‘Rewind, Replay, Rebound’ and squeezed in “Last Day Under The Sun,” “Pelvis On Fire,” and “Parasite” from the new album. Volbeat’s main man, Michael Poulsen, vocals provide the signature for the bands sound as he blends Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash together to create a heavy metal rockabilly vibe. The auditory evidence was showcased as he took to the acoustic guitar for a snippet of “Ring Of Fire” before kicking into “Sad Man’s Tongue.” The band, guitarist Rob Caggiano, bassist Kaspar Boye Larsen, and drummer Jon Larson, sounded tight as they made their way through a rocking set that included “A Warriors Call,” “Dead But Rising,” and “Seal The Deal.” There wasn’t any question about the amount of fans there to see them. There was a sea of Volbeat shirts moving around the stadium and it clear the hard work the band has put in is starting to pay off. The closer, “Still Counting,” had everybody singing along in perfect unison.
With three bands done, it was now time for the Slipknot to put a stamp on the Knotfest Roadshow. The curtain dropped and the madness that is a Slipknot show ignited with “People = Shit.” You could feel the energy coming off the stage but the energy coming back to the stage was just as great. There is something magical with these nine masked and jumpsuit wearing guy’s play. The kept it old school as they played “(sic)’ and “Get This” which had Clown coming up his drums and making his way to the front of the stage for some vocals.
As much as I always want the classic stuff, I was ready to hear some of the new material. It has been five years since the last album and the new record entitled ‘We Are Not Your Kind,’ would drop about an hour after this show ended. It was clear I wasn’t the only one ready for the new stuff because “Unsainted” sounded huge and the maggots were singing just as loud as they did for for the hits like “Before I Forget” and “Psychosocial.” Corey Taylor showed he is still one of the best front man in rock. He has the “it” factor and is able to find the pulse of the crowd and crank it up. He feeds the crowd exactly what they need and vocally can deliver the haunting verses of “The Devil In I” and then can unleash fury on the song “Disasterpiece.”
The guitar players Jim Root and Mick Thomson continue to anchor the band as they flanked Taylor. DJ Sid Wilson was all over the stage and had a moving treadmill in front of his turntable that he utilized throughout the night. The rhythm section contained Jay Weinberg behind the kit and Alessandro Venturella on bass. Shawn Crahan (Clown) had the crowd’s complete attention every time he came off drum riser. He is without question a crowd favorite while Craig James or best known as “133” stuck behind his sampler and bobbed that spiked head all night. The newest member and percussionist, nicknamed “Tortilla Man,” was very busy as he moved around the stage and engaged the crowd and at times other members the band.
Slipknot held the arena captive for almost two hours and threw out everything they had. The power of the nine was non-stop as they played “Duality,” “Sulfer,” “All Out Life,” and “Vermillion.” In all they managed to play seventeen songs and closed the night out with “Spit It Out” and “Surfacing.” It was everything you would come to expect from a Slipknot show with the added bonus of hearing the new material live for the first time. It is safe to say they are back with a vengeance and I look forward to catching them again in the future.
Knotfest Roadshow, in my opinion, was an all-out success. What a rush of music that also came with a buffet of visuals that sucked you into the each bands set. The variety of the music was something that really made my night. I like that you can experience different styles and sounds all in one evening. This is an event not to be missed if it comes near you.