The Knotfest Roadshow came to Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Sunday with one of the heaviest lineups currently touring the United States, starring Slipknot.
This was not just a tour, but the foundation for a yearly “Knotfest Roadshow” package that could continue to add heavy-hitting bands if Slipknot so desires. The traveling museum with the display of the band’s iconic masks and other items gave fans a much more personal touch and is another reason why this tour is so good.
Fans packed into the nearly sold out Darien Lake Performing Arts Center ready for one hell of metal show. Metal isn’t dead, and this show proves just that.
Behemoth took the stage as “Solve” echoed through the amphitheater with a giant backdrop of the United States and an upside-down cross in the middle of it. Fans unfamiliar with Behemoth were shown exactly what they are about with the satanic imagery, black skull masks, and chanting as the band took the stage. Immediately, Behemoth started their heavy and relentless set with “Wolves Ov Siberia”, which included some great pyrotechnics and followed right into “Daimonos”.
The only real break during their set was when Adam “Nergal” Darski went side stage and grabbed two flaming metal spheres and performed what appeared to be a ritual before blasting into “Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer” – the highlight of their set which was accompanied by tons of pyro.
Behemoth commanded the attention of everyone watching, with Nergal being a charismatic frontman. With the amount of pyrotechnics, showmanship, and overall incredible sound, one would expect this to be direct support to Slipknot. The only downside to their set was that it was only seven songs long.
Closing out with “Sabbath Matter”, and lastly “Chant For Eschaton 2000” – Behemoth left a very good impression. With a loud “HAIL SATAN!” yelled by Nergal the band ended their set and had the crowd on their feet wanting more.
Gojira was up next, and the progressive metallers from France would not disappoint. Opening up with “Toxic Garbage Island”, Gojira delivered a heavy eight-song set. Joe Duplantier displayed his impressive fretwork on the guitar, while still doing vocals throughout the night. The sound was flawless as the band played some of their biggest hits, including “Back Bone,” and the fan-favorite, “Flying Whales”.
While not as theatrical as Behemoth’s performance, Gojira had a stripped-down, raw, and heavy feeling that captivates you and draws you right in. Finishing off their set with “The Gift Of Guilt,” Gojira had an intense performance that left the crowd buzzing.
After a quick set change, it was time for Volbeat. Fans seemed to be pretty mixed on their feelings towards this band. Some really enjoyed them, while others were clearly there for the heavier acts of the night. Once frontman Michael Poulson took the stage, the band kept the spirit alive with “Devil’s Bleeding Crown,” an early rock and country influence with a taste of metal.
Volbeat also played some new material, including the song “Leviathan.” Other highlights from their set included the fan-favorite “Warrior’s Call” as well as the Slayer-influenced “Slaytan”. Ending their set with their most well-known song, “Still Counting,” the audience was very enthusiastic in singing along and seemed to pleasantly surprise even the more hardcore metalheads in attendance.
Finally, it was Slipknot time. After almost five hours from the time the show started (there was also a good 45-minute wait between Volbeat and Slipknot) the headliner was ready to take the stage. With a huge black tarp covering the stage with “Slipknot” written across lit up in an eerie orange glow, the hype was real. Fans were already screaming waiting for the curtain to drop, with the thought of Slipknot performing completely reinvigorating the entire venue.
The curtain dropped giving a view of the brand new stage production Slipknot has brought, and it is big. The new three-tiered stage is almost overwhelming when you first lay eyes on it. There’s so much going on you don’t really know where to start looking first. There’s video panel walls, air vent windmills, a treadmill that Sid Wilson marched on, and a couple of epic drum kits.
Each song was also uniquely lit to fit the mood. The heavy opener “People = Shit” was very red-hued, followed by a relaxing blue hue for “(sic),” and lots of pyro for “The Devil in I”.
With the very recent release of We Are Not Your Kind, Slipknot played a few new songs off the album. The crowd went nuts over “Unsainted,” which sounds amazing live. “All Out Life” was another new one that performed very well, and also included some awesome pyro and explosions.
Clown made his way down from up top with a flaming torch that he used to beat on a steel drum hanging from above during the performance of “Duality.” The performance of “Sulfer” seemed to raise the energy even higher than it already was with Corey Taylor going all out.
They ended their set with an encore of “Spit It Out” followed by “Surfacing.” The crowd did not seem tired at all from the amount of chaos they had been enduring. Corey Taylor is an incredible frontman and is absolutely dedicated to his art and performance. The Knotfest Roadshow is an absolute must-see for fans of metal and rock music. All the bands on the bill bring a unique, fun, and lasting experience. Each of these bands could have easily headlined, and the fact that a tour like this can be brought together makes it exciting for what future Knotfest Roadshows could entail.