Slipknot is more than a band, they are a subculture, their concerts are more than a show, they’re demonstrations for the devoted. It’s no longer just a Slipknot tour, but the Knotfest Roadshow, a celebration of an ever evolving metal titan.
Genres Be Damned
Newark’s own demented sons Ho99o9(pronounced Horror) were tapped for this leg of the Roadshow, and it was an amazing decision. The band mixes elements of Hip Hop, Industrial, Metal, and Punk into a hard to pin down style of music. And it’s only more chaotic live, with singer TheOGM stalking around the stage looking like the cat in the hat from a bad acid trip. Much like Slipknot, in the early days, Ho99o9 is hard to pin down, they’re simply a force of nature, hard to describe, yet enthralling and a sight to behold.
Smoke ’em if You’ve Got ’em
When leg two of the Knotfest Roadshow 2022 was announced there was a collective confusion online, with many wondering why a Hip Hop act would be playing the main support role. Yet, if you look into Slipknot’s past, this isn’t the first time they’ve shared the stage with the legendary Cypress Hill. Rewind your clock almost 13 years to a chilly 2009 evening in San Bernardino, CA and you’ll find Slipknot headlining Cypress Hill’s own SmokeOut Festival. And just like that night Cypress Hill delivered a solid set, lifting the audience’s spirits and mental states.
The noticeable absence of co-vocalist Sen Dog left B Real to handle the sole MC duties for the band’s set. Blunt in hand, he delivered a great performance with poise and swagger. The set was packed full of hits, “Dr Greenthumb”, “Hits from the Bong”, “Rock Superstar”, “Insane in the Brain”, and a set closing, crowd pleasing cover of House of Pain’s “Jump Around”.
A Legacy Built on Aggressive Acceptance
There is no other band like Slipknot, equal parts introverted and aggressive. They’re a band who channeled the frustrations and feelings of isolation of so many into a both a sonic force and a safe haven for the outcasts. Beyond the amazing music, theatrics, masks, and pyrotechnics there’s a singular vision of both hope and despair.
Their fans are affectionately referred to as Maggots and has always been more concerned with their vision and the fans than the current trends. This focused approach to craft and their fans was on full display last Saturday night. The band started things off teasing the audience as the opening chords of “Disasterpiece” blared over the speakers, curtain still up. Corey’s recognizable laugh almost taunting the fans. Then the curtain was sucked upward into the void and an almost two hour long display commenced. The set solidifies Slipknot as one of the best live bands of the past, present, and future.
A Controlled and Beautiful Chaos
The past collided with the present with songs two(“Wait and Bleed”) and three(“All Out Life”) showed how the old and new can co-exist seamlessly. And then there was the absolute massive amount of pyrotechnics used during “All Out Life”, which took the evening from chilly to the gates of hell. Part metal band and part roving troupe of circus performers, the band makes sure to use every inch of the stage.
Good luck tracking your favorite members as they jump around stage, dance, and hang stories above the stage from towers. The stage was covered in video screens, with three separate horizontal ones, one right behind the band, just above the band, and one that was basically on the ceiling. There were even video screens on the elevated drum kits used by percussionists Michael “Tortilla Man” Pfaff and Shawn “6”/”Clown” Crahan.
Slipknot slammed through a career spanning set, only slowing down the speed during a blue and pink soaked performance of “Snuff”, which hadn’t been played since 2013. From there is was back to the chaos with the required ‘jump the fuck up’ during “Spit it out” and then a much earned rest before the encore. The band closed out the set with “People = Shit” complete with a fireworks display during the song’s climax. And, finally the national anthem for the Maggot Corps, “Surfacing”.
If you haven’t seen Slipknot live, I have one question for you. Why the hell not?