Slipknot – Mayhem Festival
August 16, 2008
Reviewed by: Antonio Marino Jr.
It’s not everyday that a concert starts with a clown pushing a fellow band mate onto the stage in a wheelchair. Then again few things about Slipknot can be used to compare them to other bands. Sure, other bands have worn masks and make-up and because of that it would be easy to discount Slipknot as just another shock-rock act. What sets Slipknot apart is that unlike their masked predecessors you never get the idea that the “act” is done tongue in cheek. There’s a sense of expecting the unexpected at a Slipknot show. There is no script. So anything can happen. In fact, when Shawn (Clown) wheels Sid on to the stage it’s not a gag. Sid has two broken feet – injuries suffered the first night of the Mayhem Festival/Tour.
With Sid in place behind his turntable, guitarists Mick Thomson and Jim Root usher in the chaos with the opening notes of “Surfacing” and then tear through “The Blister Exists” and “Get This”, all in rapid fire succession. For the next hour the 9 Iowans evenly tap into their 3 studio releases. Stopping, only long enough, to let front man Corey Taylor catch his breath and inform the crowd that Sid isn’t the only wounded member of the posse. It turns out that 3 days earlier drummer Joey Jorgenson had broke his ankle (an injury that would force the band to cancel their European tour.) but if it weren’t for Corey making mention of it, there’s no way anyone would have known. Even with 3 broken limbs the band has never sounded better; raw, tight and inspired.
Visually the band looses a little of its animals-running-free-through-the-zoo nature with Sid’s injury. When healthy, he seems to channel into the psyche of a crazed Orangutans hell bent on killing itself or anyone in its way. One can only hope that a healed Sid will see him swinging from the keg/percussion risers once again.
The inclusion of their latest single, “Psychosocial”, fits seamlessly between “Disasterpiece” and “The Heretic Anthem”. The fact that the crowd sings along to a song that is on a CD that wouldn’t even be released until 10 days after the show is testament to the loyalty of their fan base. A fan base built on word of mouth and endless touring. Slipknot has never been a fad or radio-friendly band so the Maggots (as their fans are known) afford them the luxury of playing whatever they want. They can get away with dusting off a song like “Prosthetic” and not playing the more popular “Wait and Bleed”.
The set draws to a conclusion with their anthem to the disenfranchised; “People = Shit”. For their encore they choose “(sic)”. Complete with a levitating drum set and exploding backdrop it serves as the perfect end to an hour of musical chaos.
Once again Slipknot proved why they are the Kings of the Nu-American Metal scene. Hell, it’s hard to think of another band -period- that can stand toe to toe with Slipknot. Musically, they are unique to the point that it’s impossible to think of a musical sibling. They are a Heavy Metal Tom Waits. Visually, it’s as if G.G. Allin and KISS (circa 1974) mated…and had 9 really messed up kids. They take something that could very easily come across as hokey and they make complete sense of it – even to someone who thought they’d seen it all.
Check out TWRY’s Slipknot Live Photo Gallery here.
Slipknots new album All Hope Is Gone dropped on Tuesday August 26th.