Knotfest 2021, September 25, Indianola Balloon Field, IA
Indianola. Home of the Indianola Indians. Actually, I have never seen any NDN Taco Stands or Powwow Grounds in Indianola. Ever. But change is coming. Bringing Slipknot into town and a bunch of Metal and Rap acts is a sign of the turning of the inevitable tides. Now can they get away with selling 30,000 tickets and cramming the concertgoers into a few acre field?
No. The event was poorly organized and the Mam Moth Pro Mo Shuns (<<<protecting my libelous ass here.) joint will go down in history as one of the worst events of all time...logistically.
Imagine if the day was a few degrees hotter, and a day longer. Hospitalizations and lawsuits would be inevitable.
The lines were an hour+ long. I spent an hour and a half to get bottled water as kids around me were leaning on each other. A heavier kid behind me could do nothing but sit down. A younger kid ahead of me leaned on his dad and asked him if "this is how it feels to die?" A woman passed out. People were chanting for water. Some began cutting through the crowd and bribing the underpaid and overwhelmed staff as they went through three pallets of water during my time in that mass of humanity. Three. Not exaggerating.
And this was just the WATER line. The food lines were just as long. The booze lines...forget about it. If you were a drinker, you're missing 80% of the show.
The bathrooms were the only thing that was competently supplied. People=Shit. I should've known.
I'm not blaming the bands and crew. The sound was the best I have ever heard at an outdoor concert. Not everyone got to see their band. When I did manage to catch some bands it made the logistical problems go away for a bit.
I finally got in as Knocked Loose were finishing up. Those sick detuned guitar chugs over the thundering breakdown beats were a balm to this line-waiting soul!
I missed Turnstile, Gatecreeper, Vended, and Widow 7, regrettably.
Fever 333, who I got turned onto by their collabs with Poppy, were FIRE! The singer was all over the place!
Kansas City's own Tech N9ne knows how to work the crowd and is a consummate performer. This was the first video I could get. (There was no cell reception on the whole acreage!) He comes around here quite a bit. I'd like to see a full set by him!
I missed Trivium, and Gojira due to my line-waiting. My brother got knocked out from a damn crowdsurfer! He's fine now, he wasn't alone. But once again, if I wasn't in that line I might've been there to protect him.
Lamb of God played as the sun was setting and I could tell they were enjoying themselves! To me, being onstage when the sun is going down is the best time because of the obvious epic-ness of the natural lighting. They have the songs to pull off the epic-ness, too. Frontman Randy Blythe's raging dreadlocks vs. the sun was a masterpiece. I got this shot as the able Metalheads were helping this handicapped Metalhead. It really captures how the culture SHOULD be for its own. Double masterpiece!
$uicide Boy$...I could see enjoying their set while being shitfaced at somewhere like Misfits Pub on the east side of Des Moines. Their approach is cool, but it really comes down to the SONGS. 2-to-3 minute studio samples as the two dudes are rapping over their studio vocals was okay for the first ten minutes. I'm completely sober, so I didn't enjoy it as much as the crowd did. $uicide Boy$ is like bringing a small can of Pringles and a can of warm Busch Light to an elegant all-around-the-world buffet. But that's just me! Not a good segue to Megadeth.
Megadeth encapsulates musicality in a live setting. A complete 180. This might be the last time I see Dave Mustaine do his thing. I treated this night as such. His voice and physical condition is not in top form. But, his guitar playing is top notch as always. The rest of the band was great. If this is his last performance in Iowa, I'm glad it was THIS show. I could tell he was truly appreciative of it as he said that this was the largest crowd they have ever played to in Iowa! "You have been great, we have been Megadeth!" Thank you Dave!
The 21-Gun Salute of AC/DC's "For Those About To Rock" cannonballed Slipknot onto the Stage. Wow! I have never seen a bad show from these guys and I watched the whole thing from the sides where the sound was perfect and away from the mass of humanity. I will probably never see this again, at least in Iowa, a crowd of this size at a Metal concert. I shudder to think where metal would be if Slipknot hadn't taken the reigns as the ambassador and curator of all things metal. The local news stations still won't say METAL. It's hard rock. Or heavy rock. Like Metal is a bad word. The mainstream and their cunt-like tendencies if you ask me.
The woes of 30,000 concertgoers made their rounds on all of social media during and after Knotfest Iowa 2021. Myself included. I was waiting in the water line. So, be wary of the promoter and skip the event if you can sacrifice. I don't regret a thing though. If Faith No More would've played instead of cancelled, I would've been gung-ho about the whole thing. "All of this disorganization is OK! It'll all be worth it when Faith No More comes on!" But, that didn't happen. Perception is everything. Sour is sour. Sweet is sweet. But experience makes us wiser!
I survived Knotfest 2021.