Knotfest Roadshow: North America Tour 2019
Dos Equis Pavilion – Dallas, TX – September 7, 2019
The Knotfest Roadshow
The Dallas stop of the Knotfest Roadshow, wielding an equally powerful roster from start to finish, opened as the sun beat down on concert goers and performers alike.
BEHEMOTH, a polish blackened death metal band (and my personal favorite of the evening), began their sonic assault on the senses with the opener to their most recent album “Solve”, from controversially titled “I Loved You At Your Darkest”. As the introduction played through the PA, a buildup led to the fall of the curtain which they readied themselves behind. Behemoth wasted no time diving headfirst into the aggressive and dark music they are widely known for, with vocalist and guitarist Nergal bearing a pitch black skull mask in addition to the regular battle-worthy attire.
Unlike many tours with notably less interesting opening acts with a smaller production, etc., Behemoth bring their A-game each time I’ve seen them and despite the 30 minute set time, did not disappoint in any way. Be it pyrotechnics, smoke FX matching and emphasizing, the sheer massive sound of their performance, blood spitting, or the incredible stage presence, their live show was one that may have overshadowed the rest and for good reason. I’ve seen Behemoth 5-6 times at this point and each time I find myself smiling and welling up like an idiot; they seemingly get better every single time. Bias aside, Behemoth set the energy for the evening at an exceptionally high and tangible level.
Wolves ov Siberia
Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer
Chant for Eschaton 2000
GOJIRA brought forth a comparable yet incredibly different energy – a massive, undeniably heavy and catchy emphasis on rhythm, loudness, and fun. Whoever is running sound for these guys is without a doubt one of the best in the game PERIOD. There’s a reason these guys are referred to by many as the heaviest band in metal today – not defined by breakdowns or beatdowns or slow tempo riffs for the sake of the gimmick, somehow the already overpowering becomes earth shaking live.
The synchronicity is a result of doing this for quite a while, forming initially in 1996 as “Godzilla”, later changing to Gojira in 2001. Drummer Mario Duplantier hits the skins of his drum kit harder than I’ve ever seen anyone do so and with razor sharp precision, and all string players have close to robotic looking picking hands. At the end of their performance, I didn’t hesitate to add this band to my list of bands who I absolutely will NOT miss when they come through.
Toxic Garbage Island
The Heaviest Matter of the Universe
The Gift of Guilt
VOLBEAT changed the tone a bit with a softer, more rock oriented 1.5 hour set. Opening with a rendition of “A New Level” by Pantera, they led the evening a bit away from the heavy but more into the catchy, hard rock atmosphere. While some may find this polarizing, their performance allowed for insight into both, as most fans of heavier music may not have given them a chance before, the other is true as well. I hadn’t listened in quite some time and still found myself humming along with a few familiar lines, and vocalist Michael Poulsen absolutely belts his lines with a different kind of power yet equally as impressive.
The funny thing about bands like this is no matter how devout those are who swear to not listen to rock music lest they lose metal “clout”, there’s always at least a dozen or so great riffs that only the ignorant would choose to brush off.
The Devil’s Bleeding Crown
Sad Man’s Tongue (with Ring Of Fire intro)
Pelvis on Fire
Slaytan (preceded by South Of Heaven tease)
Dead but Rising
A Warrior’s Call / I Only Want to Be With You
Last Day Under the Sun
Seal the Deal
Finally, SLIPKNOT made their grand entrance, blacking out all light as the sun had finally set. Hoisting a banner with the logo, a backing track played as they took to the stage, shortly sucking the banner upward and opening with the charmingly titled “People = Shit”.
6th grade me (and 27 year old me) was elated to have finally witnessed a song I’ve probably screamed in the car with my friends 50+ times. The stage setup was beyond ludicrous in the best way, with a single member spending the majority of his time running in place on a treadmill-esque platform or across the stage. Gimmick or no, the pandemonium of the music paired with the absolutely insane stage performance had me mesmerized and slightly terrified I would witness one or more member fall to their death from the timpani drum about 20 feet off the ground.
I’ve been an on and off slipknot fan for 15 years. Bearing this in mind, they sounded exactly how I would’ve expected them to 1.5 decades ago, with vocalist Corey Taylor sounding as fresh and furious as he did on the albums all those years ago. Slipknot closed out the evening with both old and supporting new tracks from their recently released album “We Are Not Your Kind”. The era difference ranges quite a change in sound, though you wouldn’t have been able to tell watching the crowd alone. Slipknot kept the audience engaged through, expressing both gratitude for the support over the years as well as daring them to lose their minds as they were on stage.
Though the evening proved to be yet another punishing one in the sun at Dos Equis Pavilion, those who endured were treated to a fantastically wide range of music to enjoy. Tours of this kind do wonders to grow the overall metal scene across the country, as Slipknot recently have been credited with keeping heavy music alive on the charts. With something for everyone, you’d be foolish to miss the tour featuring those who remain at the forefront of heavy music.
People = Shit
Before I Forget
The Heretic Anthem
The Devil in I
Wait and Bleed
All Out Life
Spit It Out
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