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Arts and Entertainment

Photos: Black Sabbath Played Their Final California Show At A Metal Fest In The Desert

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A metal festival in San Bernardino in September can be quite grueling. For one thing, temps soared up to 100 this past weekend, melting off corpse paint and roasting the all-black clad patrons. Harsh winds kicked up dust into the air. By the end of the weekend, my lungs felt like two sacks of particulate matter crammed into my chest cavity. But this was something of a monumental fest, as it was touted as legendary heavy metal band Black Sabbath's last appearance ever in the state of California.

Knotfest, a festival organized by the band Slipknot for their fans (affectionately known as maggots) has been happening every fall for the last few years out in the Inland Empire. It is marked by lots of goats' heads and lots of metal, with acts like Judas Priest and Danzig hopping on the bill. This year, Knotfest merged with Ozzfest for a two-day metal extravaganza.

Entering the grounds, we passed a number of protestors trying to convince attendees to go to church instead. Probably not the highest conversion rate, considering fans were going to see bands with lyrics such as, "I keep the bible in a pool of blood, so that none of its lies can affect me," but at least they're dedicated. Inside the fest, there was a sideshow where you could subject yourself to a dunk tank that was rigged to look like you were being peed on by a clown, as well as a few carnival rides. On the four stages, bands including Slipknot, Megadeth, Anthrax, Slayer, Trivium, Opeth and Suicidal Tendencies thrashed and shredded their way through the weekend. Amon Amarth, a Viking metal band from Sweden, told San Bernardino that they were actually very metal for living in the desert. In a very 1999 moment, Disturbed showed up to serenade us not only with their trademark "Ooh wah ah ah ahas," but also their cover of "The Sound of Silence." The real highlight, of course, was seeing Black Sabbath open with their self-titled 1970 hit for what may be the final time for many of the attendees.

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