Last night (July 26), I attended the opening night of Slipknot’s “Knotfest Roadshow” at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA and it was one hell of a concert.
Behemoth kicked off the night with a dose of blackened death metal. The group took the stage with skull masks and blasted into “Wolves ov Siberia” much to the excitement of those who showed up early to catch their set. From there, the band removed the masks to reveal their corpse paint, before powering through tracks like “Daimonos” and “Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer.” The group’s sound was completely on point and they definitely proved that they are a top notch live act. Some highlights from their set included the aforementioned “Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer,” “Bartzabel,” which frontman Nergal donned a Pope hat for, and “Chant For Eschaton 2000.”
After Behemoth, it was time for Gojira. The band’s brand of groove oriented death/progressive metal captured the audience from the get-go. The group opened with “Oroborus” before rocking tracks like “Backbone” and “Stranded.” They were definitely one of the strongest acts of the night with unmatched musicianship and technicality. If you have yet to see Gojira live, you are definitely doing yourself a disservice. Some highlights from their set included the aforementioned “Oroborus,” “Flying Whales,” and “Silvera.”
Once Gojira finished, it was time for the hard rock stylings of Volbeat. The band were firing on all cylinders and gave the crowd something they could dance to after the heavier nature of the previous acts. As frontman Michael Poulsen said: “Did Behemoth steal your soul? Did Gojira rip your face off? Well, we’re here to make you beautiful again.” The group kicked things of with “The Devil’s Bleeding Crown” and after that it was nothing but killer tracks and impeccable guitar work from Rob Caggiano (ex-Anthrax) and Poulsen. Some highlights from their set included “Sad Man’s Tongue,” which was complete with a partial performance of Johnny Cash’s “Ring Of Fire,” “Slaytan,” “Doc Holliday,” “Seal the Deal,” and “Still Counting.”
After Volbeat, it was time for the headliners of the evening, nu-metal legends Slipknot. A giant banner with the band’s logo was on display as AC/DC’s “For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)” rocked the amphitheatre. “(515)” then started to play through the speakers as everyone screamed. After the track, the banner fell as the group launched into “People = Shit” followed by “(sic).”
The band sounded absolutely perfect. Between Corey Taylor’s insanely powerful vocals, Mick Thomson and Jim Root’s masterful guitar work, Alessandro Venturella’s grooving bass lines, and Jay Weinberg’s incredible drumming, everything was solid on all fronts. Percussionist M. Shawn “Clown” Crahan, the new percussionist, who fans have been calling “Tortilla Man,” and DJ Sid Wilson were also extremely entertaining with their stage antics. Furthermore, Wilson and sampler Craig Jones seemed to be more audible in the mix, which was cool to see. On top of the phenomenal showmanship, the band also had awesome stage production that only added to the experience.
The setlist was amazing too. Fans got all the hits like “Before I Forget,” “Psychosocial,” “Duality,” and “Vermilion,” mixed with a couple of new songs including “Unsainted” off their new album “We Are Not Your Kind” (out August 9) and their 2018 single “All Out Life.” They even pulled out a deeper cut with a performance of “Prosthetics.” It’s too hard to even choose a highlight, but “Spit It Out” is always amazing, especially since the band have everyone get down on the floor only to have them jump back up when Taylor gives the signal.
All in all, it was a stellar show and if you have a chance to catch this tour, it will definitely be worth your while.