Setting the Stage: It was in March of this year that Slipknot announced plans to take their flagship Knotfest festivities on the road this summer for a six-week-long North American jaunt. The trek, christened “Knotfest Roadshow”, features a stacked lineup in the form of Danish rockabilly favorites Volbeat, French heavy metal giants Gojira, and Polish extreme metal fiends Behemoth.
With their new album, We Are Not Your Kind, arriving to much acclaim earlier this month, Slipknot headlined the outdoor Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater on Wednesday, a day plagued by intermediate showers and threats of thunderstorms in Long Island, New York. Luck was on the Maggots’ side when the venue gave a big thumbs up on social media, confirming that the show will indeed go on as planned, and warning concert-goers to bring rain attire. Slipknot, who hadn’t performed in Wantagh, New York, since their tour with Marilyn Manson in 2016, were destined to set the Jones Beach Theater ablaze once again.
Taking the Stage: Fast forward to 9 p.m. that evening, and a massive curtain with the Slipknot logo obscured the view of the mighty stage, as thousands of fans awaited the arrival of their masked metal heroes. The house music leading up to The Knot’s headlining set consisted of gems by Pantera, AC/DC, and other big acts, helping keep the venue’s vibe at its highest intensity. It was 9:15 p.m. when Iowa opening intro “(515)” blared through the main PA, almost immediately revealing the nine arcane members of the band as the giant kabuki drop instantaneously disappeared upwards into the truss high above.
“People = Shit” would kick off the set, sending the Long Island crowd into an uncontrolled frenzy filled with numerous mosh pits breaking out in the General Admission section, and nonstop cheers coming from those cursed with designated seating that reached all the way up to the tippy top of the 15,000 capacity amphitheater. For this evening, Slipknot wore their new white jumpsuits, which they first revealed at the start of August in Auburn, Washington. Older tracks “(sic)” and “Get This” kept the momentum going as red-hot pyro and a sky filled with flashy red and green lights filled the stage.
“What the f**k is going on out there, Jones Beach!?” exclaimed singer Corey Taylor prior to kicking off new anthem “Unsainted”, adding, “The soggiest f**king place in New York state, as always. We could have set our f**king watch to the fact that it was going to dump on you. But goddamnit, that means that only the craziest motherf**kers in all of New York state are in this f–king place tonight!” The many in attendance agreed with Taylor, cheering and howling in joy for the fact that Slipknot were finally back on the Beach. “Let’s see what the f**k you got on this,” yelled Taylor as the angelic choir off “Unsainted” kicked into gear.
New for this tour are the percussion sets for Shawn “Clown” Crahan and (the also new) Tortilla Man; the kits were wrapped in LED panels flashing in sync with the stage’s visual cues. Also fresh, a lengthy treadmill, which lined the upper level of the stage and was used by Clown, bassist Alessandro Venturella, and DJ Sid Wilson to traverse across the fiery battlefield. “Before I Forget” from Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) helped usher in another new track, “Solway Firth,” which, since its premiere last month, fans have been eager to experience live.
Rounded out by OG shredders Mick Thomson and Jim Root, plus drummer Jay Weinberg and the cryptic Craig “133” Jones providing the band’s signature erie samples, Slipknot roared through their set, dishing out cuts like “The Heretic Anthem”, “Psychosocial,” “The Devil in I”, “Vermilion” and much more during the meat of their display. Additional highlights include classic numbers “Wait and Bleed” and “Prosthetics” — tracks that were not performed during the band’s last visit to Long Island.
No Slipknot show is complete without a rendition of “Spit It Out”, which, as usual, the band saved for the encore. Corey brought out a video camcorder, which he then handed to Clown, who used it to capture and transport the audience to the upstage video walls during the song’s “jump the f–k up” climax. And just like that, Slipknot conquered Jones Beach once more. The clock neared the 11 p.m. hard curfew, but the band couldn’t rush off without delivering another oldie, “Surfacing”, which some sang as they dashed to their vehicles to avoid the oncoming late-night showers.
Volbeat preceded Slipknot in the direct support slot, shaking pelvises with their 12-song set that kicked off with groovy tunes “The Devil’s Bleeding Crown”, “Lola Montez”, “Sad Man’s Tongue”, and “Black Rose.” “Let me see those crowd surfers!” implored frontman Michael Poulsen as the sea level rose at Jones Beach, wetting socks from the photo pit to at least the front of the Orchestra section. The band teased a bit of Slayer’s “Raining Blood” before heading into the heavy but short “Slaytan”, which the band notes was influenced by said thrash metal legends. “Dead But Rising” continued the flow, leading into a “A Warrior’s Call” / “I Only Want to Be With You” medley, and arriving at uplifting new song “Last Day Under the Sun”. The band invited a few younglings up on stage to help them conclude the set with popular single “Still Counting”.
French metal monsters Gojira hit the stage early in the evening, annihilating ear drums from start-to-end of their 8-song rager. “Toxic Garbage Island” caused bodies to fly nonstop across the pit and above the front barricade into the safe hands of security. Snazzy lights and heavy smoke engulfed the stage as frontman Joe Duplantier and band chugged away at rippers like “Flying Whales”, “Stranded”, “Silvera”, and others. Cryo-cannons blasted off onstage throughout the performance, replacing the band’s usual fiery presentation, which, as you might remember, caught lead guitarist Christian Andreu right in the face at Sonic Temple Fest earlier this year.
Those able to leave work early were treated to a 5:30 p.m. set from Polish blasphemers Behemoth, who doubled-down on the stage special effects, slaying in a cloud of haze with bursts of fire emerging in the near distance. Newer song “Wolves ov Siberia” and classic track “Chant for Eschaton 2000” bookended the band’s ritual, which was led by main heretic Adam “Nergal” Darski. “Daimonos”, “Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer”, “Conquer All” and other songs rounded out the band’s brief but punishing set.
Photo Gallery: Slipknot, Volbeat, Gojira, and Behemoth at Jones Beach, New York (click to enlarge and scroll through):
People = Shit
Before I Forget
The Heretic Anthem
The Devil in I
Wait and Bleed
All Out Life
Spit It Out