After seven weeks of playing shows across the United States, what is quite possibly the hottest ticket in rock has finally made its way to Los Angeles. The Knotfest roadshow invaded the Banc of California stadium, sending thousands of people from all walks of rock music to one of L.A.’s newest, state-of-the-art stadiums.
Outside the venue, the festivities already got started, from Slipknot museums, merch tents, street vendors, games, and all sorts of activities. And as the people made their way into the stadium, the madness kept on going. You could see people go all-in, from rare slipknot merchandise to full-on jumpsuits and costumes. Maggots, go all fucking in!
Getting the show started was Vended, a band known for having sons of Slipknot members, but honestly, I think their music could hold on their own without that. An energy-filled heavy set from these Iowa boys is definitely what this show needed to get going.
Next up are personal favorites of mine, Code Orange. I’ve seen this band play in front of 30 people not too long ago, but seeing them melt faces in front of thousands is a fucking treat. I’m always stoked when hardcore kids blow up like this. Cannot wait to see what other amazing shit lies ahead for CO.
After a quick change-up, the next band is literally energy personified, I have nothing to say about Fever 333 that you haven’t heard already. If you know, you know. This band go wild! And let’s add a ladder, some risers, and a skateboard. You get the picture.
The last time I saw Killswitch Engage was in 2007. So, seeing them in the bill got me all sorts of excited! I was in the seats during their set, but that didn’t change the experience. And the view from there was absolutely insane. Seeing a sea of people singing “The End of a Heartache” has gotta be the top three highlights of the day.
Next up, are my top two highlights: I never looked up who Cherry Bombs were prior to their set. I was just convinced that they must be a really good band to be so high up in the bill, but what I saw was quite unexpected. Combining daredevil stunts with dance and rock music, this dance troop just blew my fucking mind for 30 minutes. Not to mention, their group is just filled with very attractive people.
Continuing the music was a band who was added to the lineup just for this date, and an absolute crowd favorite, Sheffield’s very own Bring Me The Horizon. After playing a warm-up, intimate show at the Whiskey a few days prior, BMTH took their full production show to the Banc of California in front of thousands, and it was incredible. Slipknot knew what they were doing bringing this band along to close this roadshow.
Finally, it was the moment every, single person in that stadium was waiting for. They gave the crowd an hour to catch their breath and recuperate from the intensity BMTH brought. But that hour turned to more time for people to gather in the pit and packed the place up even more.
I looked around the stadium, and there were barely any open seats. The place was buzzing. Just like that, Slipknot dropped the curtains and proceeded and opened their set with a newer song, “Unsainted,” (Which is still an absolute banger).
Then, it was one hit after another. Then they hit us with a live debut of their new song “The Chapeltown Rag.” The whole set was just a mass of people chanting, horns in the air, mosh pits, and circle pits. The show ended with a tribute to Joey Jordison and Paul Gray, as the fireworks came flying. I definitely felt that. No lie, brought tears to my eyes. In my years of going to shows, this has got to be one of the craziest shows I’ve been to, and it could be the drinks talking, but I did tell a friend of mine that this seeing Slipknot live is not a show, it’s a holy experience.
Photos courtesy of Steve Thrasher