As fans filed into Banc of California Stadium for the highly-anticipated return of Slipknot to the Southland, the excitement for the first artist kick off the festivities warranted a bit more energy than usual.
Rather than convening at the merch tents or plowing though a few pre-game beers, the floor was lined with a considerable amount of fans in the early afternoon as Vended was set to kick off the proceedings.
Amid the hazy sunshine and the downtown Los Angeles skyline, Simon Crahan got to work from behind the drumkit, laying down what felt like a tribal cadence prior to going into battle. With a crash of the cymbals vocalist Griffin Taylor barreled into the microphone, emphatically announcing not only the commencement of Knotfest LA, but the national arrival of heavy music’s next on deck in Vended.
Charging through selections from their forthcoming November 12th EP, What Is It/ Kill It, the Des Moines outfit ensured they used every minute of their stage time to leave a lasting impression among the punctual, passionate fans in the stands.
The frenzied fretwork of guitarists Cole Espeland and Connor Grodzicki, in tandem with Taylor’s innate command on the microphone ensured that tracks like “Bloodline” and the band’s introductory single in “Asylum” set the bar for night.
Rising to the level of the moment, Vended solidified their hype with the live iteration of sorters like “Burn My Misery” a track in which young Crahan’s pulse from behind the kit rumbled from the stage and around the concourse.
In a brief bit of banter from the stage, Taylor offered a genuine appreciation of the crowd’s support and reiterated the weight of the moment - with Knotfest Los Angeles being only the 4th show ever the band has played. Explaining the long road he and his cohorts have trekked to get to this point, Taylor shared that this was something he had been working toward since he was 14 years old.
Encouraging the fans to give him their all, and leading by example, Vended closed out their time with their most destructive weapon in their arsenal in “Anti-Body”. The scorcher served well in firing up the circle pits early as fans officially Christened Vended a part of heavy music’s new school.