The Knottiest Roadshow closed out their current tour at the North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre in Chula Vista, California on June 18, 2022, with sets by Ho99o9, Cypress Hill, and Slipknot. Before I get into the review and photos, I want to take a moment to digress and talk a little about the camaraderie and friendships that exists in the Southern California concert photographer’s community. Part of what makes this job fun is the people you get to work with in the pit. Do this for long enough, and you’ll get to know the photographers working beside you, and after a while you’ll start calling them friends. Shooting this show was made even more enjoyable because a bunch of great photographers from Los Angeles and Orange County were down here in Chula Vista shooting the show. I had met many of these guys back when photographing the Mayhem Festival in San Bernardino California. That was during the 2012 Mayhem Festival that I first photographed Slipknot, ten long years ago.
Up first were Ho99o9, a high energy trio that was really fun to shoot. The crowd was really starting to fill in and by the time we left the photo pit, the fans were streaming in.
Next up was Cypress Hill, or at least most of Cypress Hill. That’s because Sen-Dog had to sit this tour out due to health issues, but rest assured, it was a great set by B-Real with Eric Bobo and DJ Lord. As you would expect from a Cypress Hill show, there were just a few references to marijuana and quite a bit of smoking on stage. The artificial smoke and the real smoke made for some really great captures.
Finally, it was time for Slipknot to take the stage. As the night had progressed, the photo pit had become increasingly crowded, and by the time we went behind the barricade for Slipknot we had quite a crowd. There were about 16 local photographers, a couple of guys working for the bands and tour, couple of video camera operators and crew, and lots of security and the tour manager and local pr person. If you read my Santana review, I mention that you don’t always have the amount of time you think you have. Well, with all those people in the photo pit, there ended up being a miscommunication about when we were supposed to leave the pit. One pr person started to usher us out of the pit after song 2 but was then corrected by the tour manager and we continued to shoot for the last song. No harm, no foul. Well, it did make me have to change my plan mid shoot. I was in the center of the pit when I was moved out and ten couldn’t get back into the same spot, so I wasn’t able to get the full wide shot of the whole stage or as much of it as possible. Other than that, photographing a band with nine members is tough. Getting a photo of everyone is very tough. Then the familiar “For Those About To Rock” stated playing through the speakers, followed by “Get Behind me Satan and Push” … the show was starting… The curtain drops, then goes flying up in the stage rafters, and we are off. It is everything you expect from a Slipknot show, high energy, great visuals, and sound… and an audience enjoying every minute of it all.
Alan Hess is a photographer based in San Diego, where he lives with his wife and two rescued boxers.
Alan is currently the house photographer for a large concert and event venue in Southern California where he photographs everything from major musical acts to ice hockey. When he isn’t out taking photographs, he spends his time writing books and is an accomplished photography educator and trainer.
Alan’s images have been published in a variety of places including news papers, magazines, websites, promotional materials, album artwork, and press releases. His clients include The Associated Press, Fox Television, FX Network, USA Network, Hasbro, Framus Guitars, Gibson, The Dead, Picture Group, Photoshop User Magazine, Steel Pulse, Ziggy Marley, and many more.
He is the author of sixteen photography and technology books covering everything from night and low light photography to multiple shot techniques. His books are sold around the world and have been translated in other languages including: Chinese, French, Polish, Japanese, Thai, and Italian.