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Mommy Goes Back To Metal: A Surly Middle-Aged Woman’s Review Of Ozzfest/Knotfest 2016
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Marissa Bergen   |  
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Ozzfest Knotfest 2016 banner

Don’t ask me why I decided to go to Ozzfest/Knotfest this year. Normally an annual rite of passage for my husband and our 13-year-old son, I somehow got it in my head that it would be a fun thing for me and my 9-year-old daughter to tag along this year. Perhaps it is all part of my middle-aged crisis that is also attempting to convince me that I am a somewhat relevant rock n’ roll star who is destined for success in my family band (#thecheesebergens), but anyway…

I was approaching the festival in what already looked like miserable conditions as hot winds kicked up dust storms all over the San Manuel Amphitheater in San Bernardino, CA. Early thoughts on the parking lot situation: Why do schlubby guys feel like it’s necessary to take off their shirts and stand in the beds of their pickup trucks? And why are there so many more of them taking off their shirts than the ones who actually look good without shirts? But there were plenty of those too…shout out to the twin shirtless heavy metal cowboys with man buns (yes, you are reading that correctly!).

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Knotfest 2015 Recap: Day 1
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Ides & Jesse Bergen at Knotfest 2015

On October 24th and 25, 2015, my 12-year-old son Jesse and I made our second annual pilgrimage to Slipknot’s giant, weekend-long heavy metal festival Knotfest. The event once again took place at San Manuel Amphitheater at Glen Helen Regional Park in San Bernardino, California. This is a recap of our experiences on Saturday, October 24.

The event actually kicks off on Friday night with a show just for those who are fortunate enough to be holding camping or VIP passes. We were not among those folks, so we missed out on Sepultura, The Faceless, and several others. A bit of a bummer, but nothing compared to the gut-wrenching decisions that we would have to make later in the weekend with so many quality bands performing opposite each other on the side stages (more on that in a few…).

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Massive Metal Monday: Clutch “X-Ray Visions”
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Clutch Band Photo

Hot on the heels of their stellar main stage performance at Knotfest in San Bernardino, CA, last night, this week’s edition of Massive Metal Monday is dedicated to metal stalwarts Clutch. I’ll be telling you more about Clutch’s performance and the entire Knotfest festival in the days to come. But, in the meantime, check out the band’s latest single. From their phenomenal eleventh album, Psychic Warfare, which was released earlier this year, this is “X-Ray Visions.”

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Massive Metal Monday: Judas Priest “Diamonds & Rust”
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Judas Priest

Judas Priest will be headlining the first night of this year’s edition of Slipknot’s massive Knotfest festival, which takes place in San Bernadino, California on October 24th and 25th. In honor of the metal gods, this Massive Metal Monday takes us all the way back to 1977 for one of the band’s earliest breakthrough hits. “Diamonds and Rust” was actually composed by folk legend Joan Baez in 1974 and allegedly recounts her breakup with Bob Dylan a decade earlier. The lyrically altered and sonically turbocharged Priest version appears on the Sin After Sin album. The track remains a fan favorite and a staple of Priest live shows to this day.

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Slipknot Premieres “Killpop” Video; Knotfest 2015 Announced
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Slipknot Band Photo 2015

Slipknot is back with the third video for the third single from their massively successful fifth album .5: The Grey Chapter. The song is called “Killpop” and is (with a few choice censoring beeps) a radio friendly slice of pop metal perfection. The video is not terribly original in its “creepy girls contorting in ominous warehouse ruins” theme, but does fit nicely in the Slipknot canon.

In related news, Slipknot has announced that its massive, weekend-long metal festival Knotfest will return for the second straight year to San Manuel Amphitheater in San Bernadino, California. Knotfest will take place October 23-25 and tickets go on sale Monday June 29th. No word on the lineup yet, but if it’s as good as last year it will be a must see.

Continue below to watch the new video.

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Reflections On A Father/Son Weekend At Knotfest (Continued: Day 2 and Wrap-Up)
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Jesse Bergen And Slipknot Megafans

When we left off with Part 1 of my Knotfest coverage, my 11 year-old son Jesse and I were crashed at the local Days Inn, worn out by a jam-packed day of killer heavy metal featuring stellar performances by Carcass, Hatebreed, Anthrax, Danzig, and live debut of the new lineup from Slipknot themselves.

Day two commenced around 11:00AM with a quick swing through the Taco Bell next door for some much-needed (and way cheaper than venue prices) grub to fuel the first part of the day. Then we were off to the ten minute drive to the parking lot and a reprise of the 20 minute climb to the actual venue itself. Conspicuously absent were the “salvation by any means necessary” religious protestors from day one. It was Sunday, after all. Or maybe they just heard all of the killer metal wafting out on day one and saw the light, threw down their signs and came to the dark side. I’m choosing to believe the latter.

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Reflections On A Father/Son Weekend At Knotfest (Day 1)
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Ides and Jesse Bergen Knotfest Selfie

Over the weekend of October 25 and 26, 2014, my 11-year-old son Jesse and I embarked on a heavy metal pilgrimage. San Bernadino, CA is 60 miles away from our home in Burbank and is home to the San Manuel Amphitheater. It was there that Slipknot was holding Knotfest, a three-day heavy metal summit featuring 60-plus bands on five stages over the course of three days.

This occasion was custom-made for some quality father/son bonding time and an early celebration of Jesse’s 12th birthday (which was on October 30th — Happy Birthday, Jesse!).

The festival actually commenced on Friday night with a special pre-event concert for the folks who purchased camping passes for the weekend and it featured performances from the likes of Suicide Silence, Chelsea Grin, and The Black Dahlia Murder. Since we aren’t really the camping type, we unfortunately missed that night.

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Slipknot Release ‘Custer,’ Third Advance Track from New Album
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Slipknot New Masks 2014

Slipknot has released the third advanced track from their highly anticipated new album, .5: The Gray Chapter. The track is called “Custer” and whereas the first two tracks sounded like a cross between the band’s second album Iowa and their third Volume 3: The Subliminal Verses, this new track harkens back to the raw brutality of their self-titled debut.

Listen to “Custer” here below.

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