Knotfest 2019 brought together a loaded lineup to the Dos Equis Pavilion to showcase metal bands from around the globe.
The evening began with Behemoth, Poland’s offering to the fest that presents themselves in traditional black and white black metal makeup, but their sound strays into multiple metal genres and their stage show is never a disappointment. As with most shows, the opening band sets the tone for the rest of the show. Starting with a straight forward, kick to the face band like Behemoth certainly laid out what was to come from the bands that followed.
Next up was Gojira, who originates from France and have made quite an impression on the metal scene over the past few years with their hard driving sound and straight forward approach to live shows. Gojira wasted little time getting down to business and launching into a best-of set that had the crowd on its feet and heads banging everywhere in the 20,000-person capacity amphitheater. The band had an amazing sound and you could physically feel every drum beat and note played throughout their set. The only draw back was that their set felt too short and rushed. The band and the crowd both would have benefited from an extended set.
The final opening band of the evening was Volbeat. Originally from Denmark, they also have made an impression on the North American audiences over the past decade. Honestly, going into the day this was the band that I was the least likely to see because of the differences between the other bands on the bill. But, after seeing them live I can admit that it was a shortsighted view on my part. Before the band came on stage the PA played “All My Ex’s Live In Texas,” by George Strait, and the the band came on stage wearing cowboy hats. I am assuming someone took them by Bucee’s on the way from Austin the previous night. They started quick and took no prisoners in their approach to get the crowd involved and warmed up for the nights headliner.
Finally, Slipknot took the stage with a live show that is head and shoulders above what most other acts in any genre of music can compete with. The stage production alone was worth seeing them live, but they also sound amazing – which is a major accomplishment. Having nine performers on stage can easily lead to a muddy sound or instruments getting lost in the mix, but Slipknot is an example of many joining to create something better than the individual pieces. They played a set that spanned their 20 year history with many songs from their latest release We Are Not Your Kind.
Overall, Knotfest 2019 was an outstanding festival that is reminiscent of a generation of festivals that I grew up attending, like Ozzfest and Mayhem Fest. I hope they continue and expand the idea of a traveling metal fest to quench the thirst of a starving metal audience that often gets left out on most festival bills.
– Robb Miller
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