Knotfest -- Somerset, WI -- August 18th, 2012
I didn't keep track of setlists, but here are my thoughts on each band.
Awesome. Best performance of the day, IMO. It's a shame they only got 30 minutes. I wasn't sure how many people would be into Gojira since they were the first band of the day, but the second stage area was mostly full and people got into it as soon as the opening riff to Oroborus kicked in. These guys need to come back around and play a proper headline set at First Ave. Soon.
(I did keep track of Gojira's set: Oroborus, Heaviest Matter of the Universe, Backbone, L'enfant sauvage, Toxic Garbage Island, Explosia)
People scattered after Gojira finished up. Those that stayed kept chanting for Gojira to come back. As Prong came out, people slowly started filing back to the stage area and it didn't take long for Prong to win the place over. Excellent performance, including a cover of London Dungeon to close the set with Randy Blythe on vocals. That got people all wound up.
The Dillinger Escape Plan (7/10)
These guys opened the main stage. The singer immeidately endeared himself to the fans by proclaiming that they didn't care if anyone liked them or not. I love bands that antagonize the audience instead of whining about a tepid response. Anyway, I don't know too much about DEP, but I'm going to check them out after seeing this performance. They would've been a better fit on the second stage, but did just fine on the main stage. They won the place over by the end (and even seemed to care a little bit).
Cannibal Corpse (9/10)
My first time seeing these guys. How long before Corpsegrinder needs neck surgery like Tom Araya had? Holy windmill headbanging. The best part about CC's set was watching the reaction of non-CC fans. They just stood there in awe with this weird bemused/puzzled look on their face as CC tore through an amazing set and the audience created one of the largest and dustiest mosh pits I've ever seen.
Serj Tankian (6.5/10)
Serj was a little late coming on because he said he was watching Cannibal Corpse's set. I never envisioned Serj -- a namby pamby politically correct liberal -- as a CC fan, but whatever. Cool. I'm not a fan of Serj's solo stuff, but might give him another shot after watching him live. He was great and his band is very talented. Impressive.
Machine Head (7.5/10)
Typical Machine Head performance. Excellent as usual, but nothing I hadn't seen before. They probably could have played two more songs if they didn't leave the stage after each song and if Rob didn't blab for so long about this or that.
I hate the Deftones and never understood what people saw in them. Their sound is so....sleepy. It's not fair for me to review their set because I think they're terrible. Sorry.
Lamb of God (10/10)
It started raining and lightning during the Deftones so everyone was cold and wet by the time Lamb of God came out. This was my eighth time seeing Lamb of God so I was expecting a show similar to Machine Head: Good to great (as usual), but nothing memorable. I was wrong. Lamb of God exceeded expectations. Maybe it was Randy getting out of jail, maybe it was the vibe created by the rain and lightning, or maybe it was the audience's enthusiasm, but Lamb of God totally killed it. Probably the best I've seen them since they played a tiny bar in Minnesapolis before As the Palaces Burn was released.
I could take or leave Slipknot, but always am entertained by the spectacle of their live show. This was no different. The audience was tired and cold at this point, so Corey needed to do a little more coaxing than usual to get movement, but people were into it. It's easy to forget that Slipknot has been a "thing" since about 1999 at this point. Their fans aren't all younger kids any more and might not always want to jump in the air and circle around in a mosh pit. Also, I think each song was accompanied by at least 54 explosions and at least one member flying through the air or doing something gimmicky.
Somerset, Wis., used to be the spot for metal festivals and shows. It died out around 2002 due to a combination of factors and this was the first metal show at the venue in a long time.
I'd give the day a 10/10. It was just a great day of metal, people watching, drinking and chilling. Maybe it was my nostaligic side kicking in, but I texted my wife during the day and told her that Knotfest has been beautiful and relaxing in a weird way. Those are two words you usually wouldn't associate with a metal festival, but that's how I felt.
I thought about going to Ozzfest and other metal shows here when I was younger and how wound up and out of control I would get. I always had an absolute blast. At Knotfest, I saw younger fans doing many of the same things I used to do and it just made me smile. Everybody was having a great time and you really couldn't look at any of the bands and say to yourself, "What the fuck are they doing here?" (Yes, even Deftones).
I'm hoping Knotfest marked the return of metal shows to Somerset, but if it doesn't, I had a hell of a time anyway.
Last edited by Cross Face Chicken Wing; 08-20-2012 at 07:40 AM.