The first time I saw Slipknot was in 2008 and it was, as I imagine it is for most people, an experience I’ll never forget. I saw them again at Download Festival in 2009 but since then my life has been depressingly Slipknot free. That all changed when they released .5: The Gray Chapter, their first album in six years.
Along with the new music, they also announced a tour and there was no way I was going to miss seeing them live again. That’s why I, along with nearly 15,000 other maggots, descended on the Barclaycard Arena last night.
As I walked into the arena I was welcomed with the unique vocal styling of Jonathan Davis as Korn took to the stage. The nu-metal heavyweights were understandably perfectly at home on the large stage and it was great to see the bagpipes out for ‘Shoots and Ladders’ and the crowd going wild for ‘Freak on a Leash’.
After being suitably warmed up by Korn, it was time for Slipknot to take to the stage. Coming on to ‘XIX’, the band launched straight into ‘Sarcastrophe’. Their new music sounded great but the classics were what really got the crowd going. As they went from ‘Before I Forget’ to ‘Duality’ to ‘Wait and Bleed’ and ‘Spit It Out’, there was little time to rest before they were back on stage for their encore.
There’s a reason that Slipknot have remained one of the biggest metal bands in the world and that is largely due to their live shows. Crowd participation is a must at a Slipknot gig and most of the 9,000 capacity standing crowd were crouching for ‘Spit It Out’ way before Corey Taylor told them to.
Slipknot return to Birmingham in 2016 and will be performing at the Genting Arena, Birmingham.
Even though there were no large screens on the stage, the band’s two rotating drum kits and Corey’s inimitable growl were more than enough to fill the venue.
Reviewed by Charlie Smith