You are here
Home > Live Review >

Live Review: Knotfest Brisbane 2023


After 2 days of watching all the action on socials from Melbourne and Sydney, on Sunday it was finally Brisbane’s turn for our inaugural Knotfest Australia, and I can’t think of a better way to have spent the day! I can still remember the day we got the announcement…. Knotfest was finally coming to Australia! The Metal Community of Brisbane needed this and boy oh boy did Knotfest deliver. 

We arrived before the gates were open and congregated with the sea of fellow black clothed metalheads. Entry was pretty seamless and we were in before too long! As the rain started to drizzle we went straight to the Merch tent and geez I was happy we did because the lines got crazy within 15 mins! But how amazing seeing so many people supporting bands buying up a tonne of merch! 

After picking up our merch we headed to the arena just as Malevolence took the stage with the singer proclaiming, ‘Let’s get this fucking party started!!’. Right off the bat these guys bought it. The crowd was decent for the first band with the day’s first circle pits and plenty of moshing! The drizzle of rain eased off as this UK metalcore band set the tone for the day with their 6 song belting set. 

A decent and very grateful crowd formed to see the band on stage 1 up next, and after having to cancel their Melbourne appearance, Bad Omens certainly made up for the time they missed on stage. They whipped the crowd into a frenzy! Hailing from Virginia USA, these guys came to play and their 7 song set was epic! 

Melbourne band Void of Vision took stage 2 by the balls and tore it up! I am so fucking happy to see these guys on the lineup! Lead singer Jack Bergin has so much stage presence and is one of my favorite Aussie Metalcore legends! He leads the whole band to leave nothing in the tank and the crowd certainly showed their appreciation with the first wall of death of the day! 

Fellow Aussie born band Alpha Wolf hit the stage to a roaring crowd! These guys have been in Brissie quite a bit over the years and they are a favorite here, and another band I am so thrilled to see here! The band is tight as ever as they headbang all over the stage while lead singer Lochie screamed out lyrics and commanded the crowd to join him! Having seen these guys quite a few times, after a few songs I took the opportunity to go for a walk, get some food and check out the rest of Knotfest! 

There were plenty of facilities at Knotfest Brisbane and lots to see and do! I visited the Dark Stage and watched a chick lay on a bed of nails, and passed by the Wrestling Ring, enjoying the different side of entertainment Knotfest had to offer. I didn’t go on any rides, but it was good to see people enjoying them, and they added to the atmosphere of the day!

With my Dagwood Dog and a Drink, I headed back over to the stages in time to see Knocked Loose kick things up a bit! With every new band on the stage, the bar was set higher and higher! And as Knocked Loose, knocked it out of the park, the security guards behind the barrier got a workout catching all the crowd surfers! 

Much talked about for being the only female led band on the line up, Spiritbox certainly deserve their place on the bill! Lead singer Courtney LaPlante knows how to hold the crowds attention and I loved the mix of sing along choruses and screamcore! I cannot wait to see these guys back in Australia! 

90’s favorites Story of The Year bought so much energy onto the stage! Their 8 song set felt like it went an hour, I was still bouncing when they left the stage! Swedish band In Flames hit the stage with their real 90’s Heavy metal look and delivered a fantastic set. More crowd surfing and circle pits and by the time these 2 bands were done, the crowd had almost doubled! 

The stage set up form Viking band Amon Amarth is sensational, 2 big vikings either side of the stage, and as they take the stage the band’s presence fills the entire arena!! And there is nothing like seeing 100’s of metal fans all sit down and start rowing together! Absolutely awesome! These guys were brutal and ballsy and a band I thoroughly enjoyed seeing for the first time. 

Stage 1 was prepped for one of our Aussie favorite’s Northlane next and they came out to play!!! Marcus Bridge is captivating in voice and performance. All his emotions are right there with him on stage being expressed through every lyric and jolt of his body! Standouts for me were ‘4D’ and ‘Bloodline’. Northlane are, in my opinion, one of the fastest rising Metal bands Australia has seen for a while, these guys keep doing big things and I was so happy to see them part of the Knotfest lineup! A very deserved spot for this hard working band! 

Keeping up with amazing stage set ups on stage 2, Trivium was stunning! And they delivered a flawless 6 song set followed by our first encore of the night with ‘In Waves’ and ‘Pull Harder on the Stings of Your Martyr’! What a fantastic set! 

Stage 1 hosted the mighty Megadeth next and there were certainly a lot of fans here for these guys! Dave Mustaine doesn’t look or sound to have aged a day as Megadeth showed us some “old skool” metal! Playing hits ‘Hangar 18’, ‘Sweating Bullets’, Symphony of Destruction’ and closing out with ‘Holy Wars’ Megadeth had all the 80’s Heavy Metal fans throwing their fists in the air and reveling in the enjoyment that Megadeth was part of our first ever Knotfest!! 

As Megadeth played, the crowd around us began to grow quite significantly and I could feel the anticipation for the next band!

Byron Bay boys, and Knotfest feature artists, Parkway Drive headlined stage 2 and they were out of this world! Entering the stage surrounded by flame torches the mood was set and as the pyro lit up the night Winston screamed ‘Brisbane’ to open the set then roared into ‘Glitch’ and the crowd responded with heads banging and fists pumping! These guys have more Pyro that KISS and I love it! 

‘Prey’ and ‘Carrion’ followed as we chanted lyrics with Parkway! At the end of ‘Soul Bleach’ Winston proclaims ‘my voice just fucking exploded’. A quick meeting with the band then another announcement that he will go until he can’t fucking speak anymore and he asked us to help him get through he night! Met with a resounding response of support, the band kicked into ‘Vice Grip’ and Winston blew us away with his passion and dedication to keep going! Made clear up next when the crowd helped sing ‘Dedicated’ but Winston changed the lyrics from 12 years to 20 years and the crowd happily obliged! A few songs cut from the set to manage Winston’s voice, so they finished up with my favorite ‘Karma’ and ‘Bottom Feeder’ before the stage went black. Not too long went by before the stage lit up again with flames and a lone violinist performing the intro ‘Crushed’. This was amazing! And as the last song ‘Wild Eyes’ played the pyro went net level and so did the crowd! At the end of the song the Parkway boys congregated together on stage and appreciated each other for getting through to the end, and then Bass Guitarist Luke took the mic and asked the crowd to applaud their lead singers monster effort, and we did! 

Parkway Drive, even through the unexpected, 100% delivered at Knotfest! It’s clear why these guys play some of the biggest music festivals in the world! Go you good Aussie thing!!! I absolutely cannot wait to see Parkway Drive again and again and again! 

The stage went black again and everyone began to shuffle over to stage 1 for the band that bought us this amazing festival, the one and only Slipknot! 

As we waiting, Chilli Peppers Otherside played over the speakers and I swear the whole crowd was singing. A fun moment as we awaited the brutality! But as I heard the first note of ‘Disasterpiece, I knew it was time to go and when the song kicked in the curtain dropped, and Slipknot tore Brisbane apart!!! Straight into ‘Wait and Bleed’ and I was in heaven! My favorite Slipknot song was being screamed out throughout the RNA showgrounds! Slipknot are tight and oh so entertaining on stage, I almost don’t know where to look! But wherever I look I am always quickly drawn back to the incomparable Corey Taylor! He commands the Slipknot stage and has the crowd’s full attention. 

Next we are all chanting ‘We Are Not Your Kind’ as we hear ‘All Out Life’ followed by ‘Sulfur’ and ‘Before I Forget’. 

Corey checks in to see if we have all been listening to the new album and then kicks into ‘The Dying Song (Time to SIng)’ and the crowd sings along! 

‘Dead Memories’ and ‘Unsainted’ lead us into question time, with Corey asking, If I’m 555 and the crowd screaming in response, then I’m 666, and bang we are into ‘The Heretic Anthem’. The band disappeared off stage after this song as we waited for some numpty to climb down from one of the speaker towers! This seemed to happen at each Aussie Knotfest, so I have to wonder if it was ‘part of the show’ or if dipshits just come out to play at the same time each show….. I’m still undecided’ 

Anyway, idiot down and Slipknot return to the stage with ‘Psychosocial’, ‘Dualty’, ‘Custer’ and gave the stage a good ripping up with ‘Spit It out’ before leaving us wanting more. I think my favortie part of these last few songs, other than moshing my stresses away, was the definitive end to each song as Corey asked us – do you want 1 more! And of course we just kept saying yes! 

Back out on stage and Corey Taylor is asking us to sing with him again as he rips into ‘People = Shit’ I can see the entire crowd bouncing in time and pumping their first! What an amazing sight! The came the end…. Hopefully only the end so far, with ‘Surfacing’, and then Slipknot and Knotfest said goodbye to Brisbane and 30,000 metal fans made their way home smiling from ear to ear deeply satisfied with the amazing festival that we just enjoyed! 

Music is one of the most expressive tools of our generation and the ones following us, and a metal festival like Knotfest is the perfect place for fans to share in that expression with their favorite bands and each other! I saw people smiling all day, everyone was so happy! I witnessed fans cry when they saw their idol on stage, and jump and scream and headbang to their favorite songs! Circle pits and walls of death, crowd surfing and a shit tonne of moshing! I know I moshed my heart out and left all my pent up energy and emotions on the grass of the RNA Showgrounds! 

I will say it again, the metal community of Brisbane needed Knotfest and I have no doubt if this festival keeps coming back, we will keep selling it out again and again and again! 

To all folks that work so hard to put on this show, from publisists to roadies, bar staff and cleaners, thank you for all your efforts! 

To the bands, Malevolence, Bad Omens, Void of Vision, Alpha Wolf, Knocked Loose, Spiritbox, Story Of The Year, In Flames, Amon Amarth, Northlane, Trivium, Megadeth and Parkway Drive thank you for being part of this extraordinary festival! 

And to Slipknot. Thanks for bringing this amazing festival to Australia, for supporting some of our great Aussie Metal Artists by having them on the bill, and bringing bands across the oceans we otherwise may not have got a chance to see for some time! And for coming back to see us after a 7 year wait, Slipknot – Brisbane loves you! Please come back real soon! 

Until the next gig 


Hear2Zen Magazine
Hear2Zen is a "Non Genre Specific" publication that celebrates all things sensory.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: