I had imagined writing so many things for this show but the truth is… you had to be there. I know, cliché right? There is a gigantic shimmering Slipknot banner covering the construction of the set and lit by stage lights behind it, it’s an iconic logo and even the sight of it gets fans gathering around the stage way too early for the show.
To let fans know to get in place (as if they didn’t know already) AC/DC’s For Those About to Rock is blasted over the sound system and once it ends abruptly it is replaced by the uncomfortable sounds of (515) from ‘Iowa’. The dialing code for central Iowa including Des Moines, (515) is a perfect opener, it’s squealing, squirming sounds are designed to let you know one thing: you’re in Slipknot territory now. Just like on the record itself the song is followed by the iconic People=Shit which I saw previously in Ireland from them but there was no way Dublin’s RDS could match the vocals of this Spanish crowd crucifying the chorus on Slipknot’s fiery altar in front of them. It was breathtaking. The banner covering the stage is whisked away and the 9 are revealed beneath.
Slipknot have transcended a generational boundary and now a whole new wave of younger people get to experience Slipknot as well as their original followers. Veteran maggots are eager to welcome more to the fold.
In between (sic) and Get This, Corey speaks to the crowd about the importance of family and how so many things in our lives are designed to divide us but that music is a uniting force. We move onto new song Unsainted off their upcoming August release studio album ‘We Are Not Your Kind’ named after a line in their first single off the album, All Out Life.
Slipknot’s catalogue is so jam packed now that it allows the band to put together any ass-kicking setlist you can think of. It was a veritable anthology of many of their greatest songs spanning most of their records. Hold on to something because Disasterpiece is next up followed by Before I Forget and the band’s national (Heretic) anthem “if you’re 555 then I’m 666!”.
This is a carnival of sound, light, and action. A show, a trip to the theater. Fully controlled poetry in motion. And right now, Slipknot would put any band in the world to shame for their sheer effort both in designing the show and performing it all. From 2008’s ‘All Hope Is Gone’ we get Sulfur and Psychosocial interspersed with Custer and The Devil in I from ‘.5: The Gray Chapter’, the first record not to feature deceased bassist Paul Gray.
We are now twenty years on from that iconic first record from Slipknot, released two years after their initial demo recording, they came to the world with a heavier more impulsive brand of metal than ever seen before and that great sound continues today. They may not have the original nine members they started their journey with, in fact the newest member who’s been performing all tour with the band has yet to be revealed, but the message is the same; we are not your kind.
They come back on for their encore, a 1am rendition of Spit It Out. Just like the last time I saw them, everyone was instructed to sit down and even though I’d seen it before and taken part it was a joy to behold so many people doing it once again.
I’m pretty sure I headbanged myself unconscious because when I woke up we were on to the high pitched screeches of Surfacing. I saw Slipknot opening for Metallica more than a decade ago in Dublin, Ireland and they were amazing. At the time I was more than convinced that they were an incredible live act but this thing they’ve become is a whole new beast. A beast number 666!
Slipknot’s European tour has reached new heights. I do wish they had played Eyeless or Wait and Bleed but that’s just being greedy. In all honesty, this was probably the best metal show I have ever or will ever see. Slipknot have set the bar very, very high.
People = Shit
Before I Forget
The Heretic Anthem
The Devil in I
All Out Life
Spit It Out
Playing Time: 90 minutes