Next up on the Rock n Roller Tour Across America is the Knotfest Roadshow at the Climate Change Arena in Seattle, Washington. I am Michele and I am Robert, and we are the Rock n Coaster’s podcast. Here we share our love of music and roller coasters on epic trips across the country.
We arrived in Seattle very early after a rough 6:30 am flight from Minneapolis on Sun Country Airlines. This was our first time on Sun Country, and I will not recommend it. It is one of the many low-cost airlines, and you feel it as soon as you sit down. We landed at 9:00, rented a car from Budget, and thankfully got an early check-in at the Hilton Garden Inn near the airport. It is where we always stay, and they are always extremely helpful. We hung out for a couple of hours and got some work done before we headed into town.
We arrived at about 3:00 and found out that Robert had bought tickets for parking for an event almost a month later on Ticketmaster, but we quickly found a garage right across the street from the arena and headed to grab some food and check out the scene. Before food, we hung out at the KEXP Gathering Space, which is awesome. Robert had an Espresso Old Fashioned, and I had an orange creamsicle drink. I bet we spent more than an hour there before we went to Agave Cocina, which is excellent. Robert even went out of his comfort zone and ordered enchiladas for the first time ever.
After dinner, we headed over to stand in line and found out that we were in the wrong one. Of course, Robert being a guy, always refuses to ask for any type of directions, so we moved in line just as the doors were opening. Robert remarked that it was not your typical looking rock show crowd. Slipknot affectionately calls their fans “Maggots,” and many embrace that fully.
This was our second visit to the new Climate Change arena in Seattle Washington. The first time was Kraken hockey game on Robert’s 51st birthday and this time for Knotfest featuring Ho99o9, Cypress Hill and Slipknot. I will argue that we had the best seats in the house, except down on the floor but we leave mosh pits to the festivals and even then, we are so old that we buy V.I.P. passes. We were in section 120 which is the “fancy” section of the Climate Pledge area with its own elevator and food vendors.
We grabbed a couple of slices of pizza and headed in. Our seats were in the first row of the section, so no lumberjacks were standing in front of me, and there was even a side table for Robert to set his junk on. We waited for about an hour before the lights went down.
First up was Ho99o9; whoa, is all that I can say. Ho99o9 sounds to me like a mash-up of Rage Against the Machine and Fever 333 but on a whole other level. The three-piece did not disappoint. They quickly let you know that their name is Horror not H-O-99 or anything like that. While it was tough to understand a lot of their lyrics, they did play “Firefly Family” which of course is an ode to Rob Zombie’s The Devils Rejects, “Speak of the Devil,” “Lower Than Scum,” and “Bite My Face.” It was interesting because the drummer looked like he belonged in Wheezer and all their sounds other than the drums came from one of the guys playing the keyboards.
Cypress Hill was up next, and they brought down the house! DJ Lord killed it with a long set of the song after song on the kit, and I mentioned to Michele this guy is by far the best DJ I have ever seen. Sadly, Sen Dog missed the show because of a medical issue, but Lord, Be Real, and Eric Bobo didn’t miss a beat. This is our second time seeing these guys after last year’s Louder Than Life.
Dr. Greenthumb and Cypress Hill have benefited more from the legalization of marijuana that probably anyone else in America. Their entire persona is based on cannabis, but I’m not hatin’…
Surprisingly Robert and I knew almost every song in the set. Of course, they played all their hits including, “I wanna get high,” “Hits from the bong,” Sound of da Police,” “Throw your set in the air,” “Kill a man,” “Rock superstar,” and “Insane in the brain.”
It took a bit for the stage to be set for Slipknot. But when the curtain dropped. Oh my God. We were in for two hours of some of the most intense music I have ever heard in my life. This is our second time seeing Slipknot, and I am a huge Corey Taylor fan including his solo stuff and Stone Sour but nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, prepares you for a Slipknot experience. It’s like a Steampunk Symphony, and Corey Taylor is like a heavy metal Las Vegas lounge singer. This is the loudest concert I have ever been to. Robert said the same thing, and he has been to literally hundreds of concerts in his life.
First off, a Slipknot show is visceral. It is in your face. It gets in your bones and makes you feel truly alive. This is what I think bands like Kiss, Zombie and Alice Cooper want to do in terms of a stage show, but this is on a whole other level.
Leading into Slipknot’s performance were two classics to set the tone truly. AC/DC’s “For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)” and Billie Jo Spears’ “Get Behind Me Satan and Push.” The latter was off-putting but the eeriness and hushed tones that fell over the crowd-built tension as we waited for the Slipknot adorned stage curtain to both literally and figuratively drop.
It certainly is Slipknot’s tour, and they had an epic 20-song setlist that spanned the decades of their career. While Robert and I may be getting older, I must admit when I heard songs like “Wait and Bleed,” “Before I Forget,” and “Duality,” it brought me back to the earliest days of meeting Robert and driving around in Colorado with the kids in the backseat. I remember like it was yesterday, Nicole, as young as three rocking out to Slipknot with her sippy cup in her car seat while most kids were watching Barney.
We have all aged sometime since then, but the band has not missed a beat. Their stage performance was top-notch. Left to right, up and down, there were screens everywhere. I am a huge fan of visual art during shows. It gives attendees imagery to help their minds go exploring while absorbing the music and atmosphere. This gives each attendee a unique experience they can look back on and relive. Speaking of attendees, I couldn’t help but notice the ever-increasing age range of concertgoers. It’s a true feat to build such a fanbase that you continue to draw in those who started following you 20+ years ago and attract new younger fans simultaneously.
Corey hushed the crowd and said they were playing “Snuff” for the first time on this tour in over a decade. It immediately brought me back to the video we saw of the old dude covering the song on YouTube in the early days of the pandemic. They also played my favorite song, “Psychosocial,” and Corey introduced new music with “Chapeltown Rag.” He promised new music later this summer. We shall see.
There is an old saying that I am sure you have heard. If it’s too loud, you are too old. Well, I guess I am not dead yet! Slipknot brought the heat. Literally. There was pyrotechnics throughout a lot of their songs. Fireballs shooting across the stage from one side to the other, giant flames coming straight up and out towards the crowd, and, even at times, a torch attached to bassist Alex “V-man” Venturella’s instrument while hanging out at the very top and center of the enormous stage. One of Robert’s favorite guitarists, Jim Root, absolutely killed it and the percussion dudes were literally everywhere on stage. There is just so much going on, if you don’t stop and look around you just might miss it!
The whole festival lasted about five hours and our ears were still ringing much into the next day. The following day Robert and I bought a new car, a 2020 Toyota Rav4 from Enterprise Car Sales that we are leaving parked in Seattle for two months until we come down and kick off a massive leg of the Rock n Roller Tour Across America and we hope to broadcast from the road every day.
We hope you like the format of the new show. This is how we intend to cover events in the future on the podcast. We want to share our thoughts, our experiences, places to eat, and places to see as you hit up your favorite rock shows and theme parks across America.
Oh, one last thing, did you know the single best thing you can do for our show is to tell your family and friends how to listen, who knows they might just become a rabid listener just like you. And hey if you really want to show the love, head over to Patreon.com/firstpawmedia and become a patron.
Set List for Slipknot
For Those About to Rock: We Salute You (AC/DC)
Behind Me Satan and Push ay Billie Jo Spears song
- Wait and Bleed
- Before I Forget
- The Chapeltown Rag
- Dead Memories
- All Out Life
- The Heretic Anthem
- The Devil in I
- Spit It Out