Slipknot embarked on a six-week long tour around North America and brought Polish extreme black metal blasphemers Behemoth along with them for the ride. Knotfest Roadshow 2019 was without a doubt the summer’s heaviest-hitting metal festival tour. I was fortunate enough to be approved to photograph Behemoth and all three of the other bands on the lineup.
Slipknot struck metal gold by having Behemoth as the opening act on the tour. Behemoth was one hell of a way to kick off a heavy metal show. Their live performance, visuals, and stage theatrics were stunning.
The show I attended was at Keybank Pavilion in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania on August 23, 2019. This was my first time at the venue and my first time seeing Behemoth perform live. I had been looking forward to seeing Behemoth for some time and it was worth the wait. Behemoth took the stage at 5:30pm and the crowd instantly rose to their feet upon first sight of the band. They played as if they were the headliners and their fans were obsessively head-banging, fist-pumping, and losing their minds during the entire set. The music just kind of makes you want to rock out.
The bands set began with “Wolves ov Siberia” and fan favorites “Daimonos” and “Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer.” As I entered the photo pit I was immediately struck by the sounds of a satanic ritual. I can’t say I have ever photographed a band that is labeled as being satanic (for real satanic). Theatrics aside, Behemoth is a great band and all the musicians are uniquely talented individuals and their performance on Knotfest Roadshow proved it. Other brutal songs that rounded out Behemoth’s setlist included; “Bartzabel,” “Conquer All,” “Sabbath Mater,” and “Chant for Eschaton 2000.”
Frontman Adam “Nergal” Darski was so much fun to photograph. His stage presence was dark and commanding. He stocked the stage and demanded attention from the crowd. This guy shreds guitar, wails into the microphone, and plays with fire all while looking quite menacing and nightmarish. I was lucky to able to take several great shots of him in such a short amount of time.
As you have seen by now, at one point during the show Nergal appeared proudly wearing an evil looking HR Giger-esque pope hat aka a mitre. A mitre is a ceremonial head-dress traditionally worn by bishops and abbots in certain forms of Christianity. However, Nergal’s religious head-dress was covered with upside-down crosses and images of an inverted/crucified Jesus. It was rather beautiful and stunning (if you can open your mind and realize that it’s art). Yeah, it may appear to be somewhat shocking and/or offensive, but I found it be to be fascinating and light-hearted. Of course, that was just my initial impression. I’m not a Christian or a Satanist so I’m sure that changes my view quite a bit.
Behemoth’s current lineup consists of Adam “Nergal” Darski (lead vocals, guitar), Zbigniew “Inferno” Promiński (drums), Tomasz Wróblewski (bass, backing vocals), and Patryk Dominik Sztyber (guitar, backing vocals). The bands most recent release is 2018’s, I Loved You at Your Darkest. This is Behemoth’s 11th studio album, and like its predecessor, The Satanist, was met with universal acclaim among music critics.
If you are a fan of heavy music and have not heard or seen Behemoth, I would highly suggest you check them out. This band gives all other metal bands something to fear and respect. Behemoth have been continuously changing and progressing as band, and they deserve a nod from all musicians, music fans, and music critics. Do yourself a favor and go rock out with the legions at a Behemoth show near you! All hail Behemoth!!!
Check out Behemoth’s Offical Website for all tour dates and other info about the band.
Here are some more photos of Behemoth performing at Keybank Pavilion in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania on August 23, 2019. These photos were originally taken while on assignment for These Subtle Sounds. All images copyright and courtesy of Andy Jillson. All images are the property of Andy Jillson.
Stream Behemoth’s newest album, I Loved You at Your Darkest, on Spotify: