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Slipknot's Knotfest at Somerset Amphitheater, 8/18/12

Categories: Last Night
Slipknot_Knotfest_Erik_Hess_1.jpg
Photo by Erik Hess
Knotfest
With Slipknot, Lamb of God, Deftones, Machine Head, Serj Tankian, Cannibal Corpse, Dillinger Escape Plan, Prong and Gojira
Somerset Amphitheater, Somerset, Wisconsin
Saturday, August 18, 2012


See Also:
Slideshow: Knotfest 2012 Music Performances
Slideshow: Knotfest's People & Scenes
15 gorgeous GIFs from Knotfest 2012


Iowa metal clan Slipknot took over Somerset Amphitheater Saturday with several thousand members of its extended family. It was a dusty and rainy day to experience nine or so hours of brutal guitar work, larynx-ripping vocals, and toe-curling bass drums. Concerned parents can breathe easier knowing that this was tightly organized "chaos." Sure, there was an ever-building buzz among attendees as the air filled with medium-grade pot smoke and the ground became littered with crushed beer cups, but a high level of kinship carried through these ranks.

A timeline of events -- with an introduction to Dracula Cat, Deftones' electrifying rainstorm set, recently incarcerated Lamb of God's Randy Blythe laying his emotions bare, and the pyro-fest of Slipknot to close it out -- at the second of two Knotfest dates (Friday's was at a racetrack in Western Iowa) follows.


1:17 p.m.: Gimme Noise and photographer Erik Hess parked near the Somerset grounds and saw a crowd of hundreds of early arrivals -- many in black T-shirts emblazoned with one of the nine bands on the bill --  waiting for the gates to open. The music didn't start until 3 p.m., so the first song of Knotfest for many was Curtis Mayfield's "Superfly" echoing through the empty grounds.

1:38 p.m.: We stopped by the lemonade and "Smurf juice" stand peopled by young entrepreneurs Audrey and Ethel. They said they have never heard Slipknot, but a coffee can stuffed with bills showed business was brisk. Among their customers was a crew of five friends who drove all the way from New York.
CP-Knotfest-People-06-.jpg
Photo by Erik Hess

 
1:55 p.m.: We met Ace, Cooter and Rob from Manitiwoc, Wisconsin. The hospitable trio offered us some of their beer. Then some of their Jägermeister.

1:57 p.m.: In a final act of generosity, Cooter pulled some strawberries from the cooler to offer up.

2:12 p.m.: This Minnesota based crew was working on some of that honey-flavored Jack Daniel's, which tastes much better straight from the bottle than regular Jack Daniel's. Time to head to work.
CP-Knotfest-People-10-.jpg
Photo by Erik Hess

2:57 p.m.: French metallers Gojira began the barrage with blast beats and hilarious banter on the Second Stage. "Sad news for you guys," singer Joe Duplantier said from the stage. "Slayer is not on the bill."

Gojira_Erik_Hess.jpg
Photo by Erik Hess
3:12 p.m.: The cordial Frenchmen growled and headbanged through "Backbone" AKA "fucking Back fucking Bone." Up the hill from the stage, there was a fenced-off area housing several large pyro rigs that would be lit up more frequently as the day went on. After a particularly large ball of orange subsided, a perfect black smoke ring formed and drifted into the sky.

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13 comments
Michael Radke
Michael Radke

I hope I wasn't blocking your shots! I was ducking and trying to be very courteous to everyone else. I definitely got some heads and cameras in my shots as well.

steveskavnak
steveskavnak

@fivesixzero That shot w/ the lightning bolt is just killer.

Skav
Skav

For a genre that doesn't much interest me, this was quite the entertaining review (and awesome pics).

AprilEl
AprilEl

Whos hand is in the very first photo?

fivesixzero
fivesixzero

@steveskavnak There’a another, in the slideshow, during Lamb of God’s set, with lightning off camera lighting up the hillside. Was epic.

fivesixzero
fivesixzero

@steveskavnak Thanks. Was exhausted and soaked on the hill, had the idea to try a slower shutter speed shot. Was like, “What?!”

ErikHess
ErikHess

 @Skav Thanks dude. For a genre that doesn't much interest me, it was one of the best summer fests to attend, much less photograph. Easily the kindest, most un-judgmental crowd I've ever been in. Even got a few compliments on my KMFDM shirt

ErikHess
ErikHess

 @AprilEl Probably another photographer that was in front of at least half of my photos. Wasn't the most packed photo pit but etiquette was in short supply, as it sometimes goes at summer fests. We were also told to stay back thanks to no-warning pyro that singed some arm hairs even at the back of the barricade. Would've preferred to post a shot sans hand but, hey, you've gotta run with what you've got. :)

steveskavnak
steveskavnak

@fivesixzero Turned out awesome...and gave a good feel for crowd size as well. Seemed like a solid turnout.

fivesixzero
fivesixzero

@steveskavnak Definitely. Ticket price of $45 ($25/35 early) definitely helped. As did the laser-focused, highly credible lineup.

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