Knotfest Invades Keybank Pavilion 

                                      By Brian Francis

The Knotfest Roadshow, featuring Behemoth, Gojira, Volbeat and Slipknot has been blazing across the U.S. for the past few months. Witnessing this spectacle on a hot summer night at The Keybank Pavilion was exhilarating to say the least, and not soon to be forgotten. 

Behemoth opened the show. They owned the stage with their all black costumes, corpse paint and a barrage of fire and brimstone. Their electrifying set was the perfect appetizer for the main courses that were yet to come that evening. Nergal and company opened with the hard hitting “Wolves of Siberia” and straight into “Daimonos”. Fan favorites “Bartzabel” and “Sabbath Mater” were included before they finished the evening with “Chant For Eschaton 2000”. The crowd couldn’t help feeling a little sympathy for the Devil as Behemoth delivered with some of the best Black Metal ever composed by mere mortals. 

French Metallers Gojira were up next. They came out swinging with “Toxic Garbage Island”, “Backbone” and “Stranded”. Their set consisted of favorites and a couple more obscure tracks ending with the almost sing along “The Gift of Guilt”. Gojira was on a mission to prove all the naysayers wrong, and that they did effortlessly. They left the stage looking tired and exhausted from their energetic performance. 

Volbeat was up next as direct support for the headliner. Their Elvis meets Johnny Cash vibe seemed almost out of place, but their performance was nothing less than stellar. They hit the stage with “The Devils Bleeding Crown” “Lola Montez” and a snippet of the Cash classic “Ring of Fire” into “Sad Mans Tongue”. New songs “Last Day Under the Sun” and “Pelvis on Fire” helped round out their set. Volbeat closed with the catchy “Still Counting” as the crowd joined in for the choruses. They took a bow and left the stage as the anxious crowds energy built to a fever pitch. 

Finally it was time for the main event of the evening. The opening blast beats of “People = Shit” had the crowd in a frenzy as the curtain fell for all to see the chaos unfold. The Nine were on fire with no signs of slowing. Their set was crushing with a mix of old and new that spanned the bands career. Fan favorites “Before I Forget”, “The Heretic Anthem” and “Psychosocial” were mixed in with modern classics “All Out Life”, “Solway Firth” and “Unsainted”. The band pummeled the audience for two hours with an unmatched fervor, then returned to the stage for encores of “Spit it Out” and “Surfacing”. The energy from the bands invigorated the crowd. Will this tour return in 2020? Will it be an all day event harkening back to the Ozzfest days of yore? Keep your fingers crossed, I know mine are!