Three words sum up this year’s Knotfest (or any other festival for that matter), expect the unexpected. 

Walking in to Brisbane Showgrounds the stage location is a little different and major grandstand is not accessible due to construction, a bit of a bummer as this has always been a major “hang location” for punters at previous festivals, but that just meant the crowd got a little more up close and personal with each other.

Brisbane delivered a super gloomy Knotfest Sunday, but the faithful didn’t care about getting a little wet, they were there to lose their inhibitions and their minds. King Parrot definitely made sure they got the day off to an amazingly brutal start. Windwaker made sure to not have any let up,even if they bought the Melbourne weather with them.

Skindred brought the metal-reggae vibes and after their set I could sense many a new fan in the crowd, they truly stood out as one of the acts of the day for many. The crowd was really starting to build by the time the opening of “Forgive Me” signaled the start to Escape The Fate’s set, and it was a steamroller from beginning to end.

Now one of the most anticipated sets of the day was from local legends Thy Art Is Murder. With new lead singer Tyler Millers. The Brisbane fans let loose and a half hour set was nowhere near enough. While it was a career encompassing set, it was not long enough and the band really needs to be back for a headlining set, real soon.

Wage War followed, and it was an onslaught of power and energy. The band owned the stage. Simple There was a real connection between the band and its fans, and the fans were pretty soaked by the end of what was another all too brief set.

Danny and the boys from Asking Alexandria hit the stage next. These guys never failed to deliver. Danny’s vocals are just flawless. The connection between band and fans is second to none, and over the 11 song set the punters drowned out the band on many many occasions.

Mongolian Metal Men, The Hu have visited us a few times now and you can see their fanbase grow with each visit. The heavens opened up and the gray skies provided the backdrop of their dreams. The Hu really made a great connection between their traditional instruments and metal as we know it, and I can see them only getting bigger and bigger.

The amazing Halestorm was up next. Lzzy, Arejay, Joe and Josh are still touring on the back of their smash album Back From The Dead, and they play every show like it’s their last. The world has seen this grow up in front of their eyes, so to speak, and they have developed into a super tight freight train from hell. Songs like “Get Off” , “I Miss The Misery” are just as fresh as the day they were written, and you know its not a Halestorm show until Arejay rips into his Super Sized Stick Solo. Love Halestorm. Anywhere, Anytime.

Now the “Best On Ground” award goes to Lamb Of God. Randy Blythe stalked the stage and delivered his trademark growls along with his amazing drum riser high jumps. From “Redneck”, “Descending”, and “Laid To Rest”, there is just no let up, and a huge shout out to newest member of the band Art Cruz for just punishing the living shit out of his drums all set.

Disturbed have not been on our soil for almost a decade, and have just finished a major arena run in the states, so they were in top form, while I know the band are known for the two covers “Sound Of Silence” and “Land Of Confusion”, I honestly feel they didn’t need to be in their set. With it being a festival, time is limited, and they should have just been all on the Disturbed catalogue and nothing else. That said, they were great.

And to end the night, the band everyone waited for, the mighty motherfuckin Pantera are up. The evening kicked off with Zakk Wylde’s ominous guitar tones, the scrim dropped and there they were, ripping into “A New Level ”, but the power was short lived, literally. The front of house PA blows out, but the band are not aware as the in-ear mix they are working, is still there. Now I do need to address this, many many fans complained about the sound. This was unavoidable. I’m amazed with the bad weather and rain it didn’t happen earlier. The band’s crew did the best they could to re-route the stage rather than cancel the show, so let’s all focus on that.

After a break, they came back and ripped through the set, but also had the most amazing visual tribute to the band and importantly the Abbott Brothers. Songs like “Mouth For War”, “Fucking Hostile”, “Strength Beyond Strength”, “Cowboys From Hell”, and of course “Walk” sound so fucking great. Honestly so fucking great. What an end to the day.

Knotfest may have confused some people to why Slipknot were not on it, but Knotfest is a brand, not just about Slipknot, but hey never mind, they will be back for the 2025 edition and I am sure the stadium will just be as full as it was today.