Musical juggernaut Slipknot swept into the Valley on one of the hottest days of the year for a Knotfest Roadshow that only turned up the heat.
Behemoth and Gojira opened the night, playing to a slowly-arriving crowd. The sun was still shining and both bands and fans were drenched in late afternoon sweat, rocking out to Behemoth’s heavy sound. Gojira sounded almost light in comparison, but their tunes had fans in the pit singing along as well. Midway through, some fans rocked hard enough to draw blood, and the floor was spattered by the end of Gojira’s stellar set.
Volbeat was the evening’s direct support, taking the stage as the sun set. Sadly, temperatures didn’t fall with it, but fans continued to pour into Ak-Chin Pavilion to swelter with their favorite bands. Volbeat received negativity from sections of the audience, but the overall mood was lively and plenty of people put up their horns for the band. The band made creative use of pyro throughout their set as well, only adding to the high temps.
Singer Michael Poulsen even covered a slightly out of place acoustic rendition of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire”, before returning to the rock ‘n’ roll of the set. The band closed as darkness fell and the anticipation for Slipknot reached peak levels.
Slipknot lives up to their live reputation- and more. The nine (!!) members of the massive group spread themselves across Ak-Chin’s considerable stage to put on a show like no other. Singer Corey Taylor and co., dressed to kill in their stage costumes and terrifying new masks, jumped, prowled and screamed at the fans. In turn, the massive audience pressed as close as they could get, roaring the words back at the stage. The band played all the hits, lighting things up with video screens and plenty of fire. It was an evening of blood, sweat and ringing ears that no one could possibly forget.
Miss the show? Check out our photos!
Story and photos by Olivia Khiel