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

Categories: Last Night
Photo by Erik Hess
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.
Photo by Erik Hess


New York Slipknot fans drink lemonade at Knotfest 2012 from Voice Media Group on Vimeo.

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.
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."

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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