We were a bit skeptical at first when Slipknot made the initial announcement for the Knotfest Roadshow North American tour. We weren’t sure how the unique lineup consisting of Volbeat, Gojira, and Behemoth would pan out. While this is a fantastic lineup, it was interesting to see such diversity in one evening. However, all skepticism left when we attended their show on August 28th at the Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, NY.
The theme for the evening was family, which ironically started before the show began at a nearby 7-11. A thunderstorm with heavy rain hit just a few short hours before showtime as many fans were worried that the show would be cancelled. Pat, a store clerk at the nearby Wantagh 7-11, not only sold beer to fans who were ready to pregame, he also made handmade ponchos out of garbage bags for concerned photographers. Fans recognized each other as everyone remained hopeful that the show would go on as one person shouted, “you better make it to Behemoth’s set.”
The weather cleared up a half-hour later as fans arrived in the Jones Beach parking lot early to pre-game. The rainstorm, unfortunately, brought some unwanted visitors as the place was flooded with hungry gnats eager to grab onto human flesh. This somehow brought fans closer together as people not only shared beers, they also offered bug spray.
Luckily the gnats seemed to have disappeared once the concertgoers entered the venue. While this show kicked off early for a Wednesday, Behemoth took the stage at 5:30 PM and performed as though it was their headlining set. These Polish blackened death metal giants never disappoint. Seeing them live will give you the same effect every time, which is, wanting to see more. Despite performing in daylight, Behemoth brought I Loved You at Your Darkest to the stage filled with pyro and diabolical execution. Songs include: “Wolves ov Siberia,” “Daimonos,” “Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer,” “Bartzabel,” “Conquer All,” “Sabbath Mater,” and “Chant for Eschaton 2000.”
Gojira were up next, and at this point, this was a blissful day to see two incredible acts performing next to each other. Similar to Behemoth, these French metallers never disappoint. Between drummer Mario Duplantier invincible behavior to bassist Jean-Michel Labadie’s unpredictable interactions, there’s never a dull moment. The group performed a short but sweet set with songs “Toxic Garbage Island,” “Backbone,” “Stranded,” “Flying Whales,” “Love,” “The Cell,” “Silvera,” and “The Gift of Guilt.”
While it was unique to see both Gojira and Behemoth open for Slipknot, Volbeat was the act we questioned due to their rockabilly style. With that being said, their one hour set was the break everyone needed. Sometimes you have to trust why a lineup is made in a certain way and give all acts a chance. High tide and some rain appeared during their set, and even that didn’t stop the crowd to mosh in three inches of water. Later during their set, vocalist/guitarist Michael Poulsen invited two young kids to the stage to rock out on the platform. It was one of the most humbling moments of the evening and most likely, a moment that these two kids will never forget. The band’s set included songs: “The Devil’s Bleeding Crown,” “Lola Montez,” “Sad Man’s Tongue,” “Black Rose,” “The Everlasting,” “Slaytan,” “Dead but Rising,” “A Warrior’s Call / I Only Want to Be With You,” “Last Day Under the Sun,” “Pelvis on Fire,” “Seal the Deal,” and “Still Counting.”
Finally, the big Slipknot curtain was up making everyone wonder what their stage setup would look. The group is known for changing up their masks and look after each album, which is no different from their latest effort, We Are Not Your Kind. For someone who has seen Slipknot perform quite a few times, there are a few mixed thoughts on their most recent stage production. Slipknot have always appeared in bright colors such as red, orange, and even blue. However, their new white look with updated digital screens is either something I have to get used to or isn’t their best. For bringing Knotfest to a city near you, you want to see the fire, the carnival from hell with dramatic colors. Something similar to their insane stage setup from back in 2012. Unfortunately, that didn’t make it, and it bothered me more than Corey Taylor’s mask.
With that being said, let’s move on to Slipknot and their overall performance. Slipknot carried out an incredible setlist, which also comes with constant interactions and onstage goofs. With nine members to look at, anything goes. At one point, I think I saw Clown or DJ Starscream attack the mysterious “Tortilla Man.” Looking at their performance even further, you will notice the importance of each member. It wouldn’t be the same seeing eight instead of nine people on the Knot stage. While the stage production missed the Knotfest mark for me, the band evened it out as they essentially created a human carnival on the platform.
Before performing “All Out Life,” Taylor reminded the entire venue how vital the metal family was. Taylor stated that no matter what anyone’s background is, they are all part of the same community and should always look out for each other. Following that highlight, the band continued to change their setlist as “Custer” was once again replaced with “Wait and Bleed.” In terms of the new album, fans seemed to have embraced the two singles “Unsainted” and “Solway Firth.” Still would have liked to have heard “Nero Forte” or “Orphan” live. Maybe next time.
Overall, Slipknot has a unique magic on stage, which would make anyone and everyone in the room let go of all inhibitions and rock out. This also includes Taylor demanding all to “jump the fuck up” during “Spit It Out.” It also wouldn’t be a Slipknot show without the “fuck it” anthem as they closed the night out with “Surfacing.”
People = Shit
Before I Forget
The Heretic Anthem
The Devil in I
Wait and Bleed
All Out Life
Spit It Out
‘Til We Die
The Knotfest Roadshow is an event you need to take the day off of work for and enjoy. All bands are a must-see on this brilliant package.
As far as “who is Tortilla Man,” after seeing Slipknot live, I must join the theory game and say it’s Chris Fehn himself. One fan brought this theory up back in May, and if you look at Slipknot’s website, their initial statement addressing Fehn no longer being a member has been removed. “Tortilla Man” had too much chemistry and appeared very comfortable on the stage, which made me wonder or believe that it’s Fehn himself. If this turns out to be accurate, Slipknot are geniuses.