The Knotfest Roadshow tore into Jiffy Lube Live recently, featuring a quartet of some of the heaviest metal bands from around the world. The tour’s creators, Slipknot, were joined in support by three bands from Europe- Behemoth (Poland), Gojira (France), and Volbeat (Denmark).
AC/DC’s “For Those About To Rock” blared through the speakers on Sept. 1, alerting everyone to what was about to occur — some of the heaviest metal from one of earth’s most exciting live bands.
With a stage set to look like an industrial factory that could blow at any minute, Slipknot exploded onto the Jiffy Lube Live stage with “People = Shit.” Wearing the latest set of their signature masks, Slipknot opted for the all white jumpsuits for this show.
Five years since their last record, Slipknot released We Are Not Your Kind in August. With a few singles released from the album already, two songs, “Unsainted” and “Solway Firth,” found their way into the set list. In advance of the release of We Are Not Your Kind, Slipknot released the single “All Out Life.” While that song ultimately did not make it onto We Are Not Your Kind, the title for the album was taken directly from lyrics from the single. When preformed live, it was a major highlight in the set.
Opening the song with a massive explosion on stage, and the crowd chanting back “We Are Not Your Kind” at the end, the new song drew an embrace from the crowd as big as any of the band’s major hits.
Watch the official music video for “All Out Life” by Slipknot on YouTube:
Witnessing a Slipknot show is an experience in sonic brutality. Not even four months post-surgery on both knees, Corey Taylor still put on a performance with all the aggression one has come to expect from him. The back and forth with the crowd in “The Heretic Anthem” had all the energy of a rocket launch.
One thing that puts Slipknot’s sound above any other’s is their use of three percussionists. The impact of drummer Jay Weinberg, and percussionists Shawn “Clown” Crahan and “Tortilla Man” (a fan given nickname due to his mask, his identity has still not yet been revealed), can be physically felt due to the thunderous nature of their playing. This effect was especially impactful in the performances of “Psychosocial,” and the final song of the main set, “Duality,” which had Clown bashing a beer keg with a flaming baseball bat.
It has been 20 years since Slipknot released their self-titled debut album. This anniversary was clearly on the mind of Corey Taylor during his performance, as he mentioned it multiple times throughout the night. This also was a reason to bring back one of their earliest and biggest hits, “Wait and Bleed.” Slipknot had not performed this song live on tour in a few years, but it was a welcome return to the set.
Corey said that the band was grateful that everyone kept turning out to see them after 20 years, and that if everyone continued to show up, they will hopefully be able to continue for another 20 years! Based on the performance and the crowd reaction on this night in Virginia, it seems like a whole new generation of “maggots” will get to witness the spectacle of carnage that is a Slipknot show over the next two decades.
“We are Volbeat from Denmark, and we love Johnny Cash!”
No single sentence may sum up the essence of a band more than what Volbeat lead singer Michael Poulsen said before going into “Ring of Fire.” The Danish metal band has found a way to meld metal, rockabilly, and country into a sound that is completely unique and totally enjoyable. Volbeat started gaining popularity in the United States early in this decade. With this August’s release of Rewind, Replay, Rebound, their fourth album since 2010, Volbeat’s popularity continues to grow.
With Michael Poulsen’s deep, melodic voice leading each of the band’s songs, Volbeat seemed like an odd choice for a tour that was outfitted with three other bands who predominantly scream. But starting the set with the riff-heavy “The Devil’s Bleeding Crown,” Volbeat showed that they belonged on the same bill as their heavier brothers in metal.
Volbeat continue to create songs that require their fans to reach for their encyclopedias, or, most likely, Wikipedia, to fully understand their meaning. Volbeat’s music entertains as well as informs. On Rewind, Replay, Rebound, Volbeat have a song about Bonnie Parker, the bank robber from the infamous couple Bonnie and Clyde. There is also “Leviathan,” a song about a biblical sea monster. For the second song of the night, Volbeat performed “Lola Montez” off the album Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies, which is a song about a real-life woman who was a dancer and mistress of King Ludwig 1 of Bavaria.
Volbeat managed to fit three songs from the new album into their 12-song set. “The Everlasting” was played halfway into the show, and radio singles “Last Day Under the Sun” and “Cheapside Sloggers,” were played back to back late in the set. Volbeat’s hit songs “Dead But Rising,” “Still Counting,” and “A Warrior’s Call” were all part of the rocking set as well. “A Warrior’s Call” flowed directly into the 1960s Dusty Springfield hit “I Only Want to Be with You.” It was an odd transition that caught many in the crowd off guard, but ultimately it was received with joy and dancing.
While maybe not as heavy as the other bands on the Knotfest bill, the circle pits and crowd surfing throughout the set proved that Volbeat were widely enjoyed by the metal heads at Jiffy Lube Live.
Polish extreme metal band Behemoth opened the Knotfest show. Dressed in all black with white face paint, Behemoth’s set, full of pyrotechnics and anti-religion imagery, was a thunderous way to open the show. Gojira out of France is one of the heaviest bands going today. Riff heavy, and eardrum destroyingly loud, their music could be felt in the chests of fans deep into the pavilion.
Here are some more photos of all four bands performing at the Knotfest Roadshow at Jiffy Lube Live. All photographs copyright and courtesy of Chris Smyth.