Who would’ve thought metal legends stage great metal festivals?

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Who would’ve thought metal legends stage great metal festivals?

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It's pretty obvious when you think about it - Slipknot would know all the ingredients for a killer metal festival.

Good Things really set a high standard for metal festivals in a city that had previously suffered a dearth of action. More than anything, the sell-out of both Good Things and Knotfest proves that these genres have been woefully under-represented, as if anyone needed a reminder.

Of course, it helps that both festivals had killer lineups. You only need to look at the upcoming World is a Vampire festival from Smashing Pumpkins to realise that huge bands don’t need to rely on barnstorming lineups to sell lofty tickets to their own festivals – people are that keen to see them, the rest of the lineup is almost a bonus.

Keep up with the latest music news, features, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

Slipknot certainly aren’t resting on their laurels with Knotfest, it was a bonafide major festival lineup with fantastic diversity, perfect set time arrangement, and every act performed to the absolute best of their ability. To have Megadeth supporting Slipknot (funnily enough, after Slipknot supported Metallica’s latest Australian tour) was a massive coup for the festival and from the moment you hear Symphony of Destruction live, you realise Dave Mustaine still has it in spades.

Trivium still sound so bloody good live, 20 years on from their first Australian performance at Big Day Out. Amon Amarth are just too much fun, but any corny metal pandering or theatrics (and there was so much of this, especially from Slipknot) were blown out of the water by the sheer quality of the musicians on stage.

Spiritbox were an inspired inclusion, both refreshingly different and totally in their element simultaneously. They really represented the contemporary relevance of the lineup as well, as did Northlane, who played an absolute blinder of a set. Both bands, as well as the helium-induced Knocked Loose, showed the versatility such a lineup can offer without ever sacrificing the head-pounding mayhem. It was clear from the outset, this was a festival lineup curated by metalheads, pure and simple.

Our highlight of the day was Parkway Drive, who played one of the greatest metal gigs we’ve witnessed in a long time. Hooded figures in cloaks wielding flaming torches, violinists, ballads, flames shooting into the crowd, a stage that was set on fire, fireworks and of course, Winston McCall jumping into the crowd and singing lofted above the pit – it could have easily been called Parkfest and we would have left happy, such is the utter amazement of watching the Byron lads live.

And then, of course, the main attraction, who basically everyone I talked to said were the best of the lot. Corey Taylor is 49 years young – he actually admitted early on that he’s an older man now – and as funny as it is to say, you can actually hear the kindness in his voice. He talks to the crowd near-constantly, a barrage of encouraging one-liners – “you crazy motherfuckers” et al, that he almost certainly trots out at every gig.

But that’s the beauty of metal, dig beneath the surface and it very rarely takes itself too seriously. Ultimately, it’s about fun, acceptance, expression, banging tunes and a hell of a lot of pyrotechnics. Perfect festival fodder.

Keep up with the latest Knotfest news here.