After the release of Slipknots 5th studio album .5: The Gray Chapter in 2014, I found the anthemic pounding hit The Devil In I rocking through my speakers on a daily basis.
It is part of my morning wake up ritual.
On Monday night, I walked into Rogers Arena with a smile on my face. It had been six long years since I had seen Corey Taylor, and the rest of the band, destroy a stage.
I showed up nice and early to catch the openers.
Motionless In White were first up to bat. They are an American metalcore band from Pennsylvania, and they fucking rock. Chris Cerulli, the lead vocalist, has a commanding stage presence that allows him to generate an immediate rapport with the crowd. Their set was loud and fast and made me want more. I hope they come back through soon, I would really love to sit down and talk to them. Plus they have a unified horror-based style across the band, and that is always welcome to a horror junkie like myself.
Next up was Bullet for my Valentine, a Welsh metal band with years of experience. While their set was pretty solid, I feel like their recent explorations in music have left me disconnected with their sound. The music is lighter and the vocals are softer, not that I dislike this approach but the final product feels to generic for me. I did enjoy their set, but it was at this time that I decided to leave the stands and go check out the merch booth.
The last opener of the night was Lamb Of God, those American metallers from Richmond, Virginia. I cannot say enough about how amazing their set was. The visuals were outstanding, the band was tight, and Randy Blythe was a goddamn madman. Blythe was leaping around the stage like a kangaroo on crack. That energy quickly filtered into the audience, and it was soon a swirling mass of metal moshing mania.
And for the main course we had Slipknot.
This band was making me crazy before they even played one note. I was anxious. I was ready to rock my ass off for the next ~90 minutes.
They started the night off with Sarcastrophe from their latest album.
The members of the band started into their dark, eerie persona’s and pulverized every note with devastation.
The mob on the floor came alive into a single amorphous mass of metal fuelled chaos.
Corey Taylor is definitely the centrepiece to this circus of misery. He stalks around the stage like a powerful king of the jungle.
It was hard not to get lost in the whole spectacle. At time I would be banging my head in rhythm to the pulsing beat, and others I would staring in awe as walls of flames shot up from the stage and licked the rafters with their long yellow tips.
Perfection for me came in the encore when they played (sic) from their 1998 self-titled debut album. My love of this song is equal parts a nostalgic trip and love of the aggression its helps to pull out from me. Its hard to hear it without rocking your head and furling your brow.
After the last flame had fired and the last note had rung out, I felt spent.
The band had delivered a powerhouse set, something that is common place in their long career standing career but should never be taken for granted.
They worked hard and they delivered heavy, heart pounding music mixed with an experience that will last those in attendance a life time.
Slipknot is one of the greats, and they prove it every time they take the stage.
Thank you to all four bands, I look forward to seeing you all again very soon.
For those interested, the entire set list is below.
The Heretic Anthem
The Devil in I
Frail Limb Nursery
Wait and Bleed
Before I Forget
The Blister Exists
The Negative One
Spit It Out
People = Shit
‘Til We Die