Live Review: Slipknot — Comcast Center, Mansfield
Mon, 06 Aug 2012 07:49:03
In this day and age, everything feels so manufactured, especially music.
We're trapped in an era where artistic mediocrity isn't only accepted, it's encouraged. There's a void for something tangible and pure. That's why Slipknot continues to be so important.
When these men hit the stage, it's unflinchingly as raw, real, and rapturous as it gets from the mind-blowing musicianship to the violence each member physically and spiritually endures. During the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival in Mansfield Massachusetts, the Iowa collective hypnotized and haunted the packed Comcast Center like only it can. A red curtain rose after the intro from their classic self-titled debut, all eight musicians stood still staring out into the night hell-bent on performing a show no one forgot or dying in the process.
Immediately, "(sic)" pummeled powerfully driven by Joey Jordison's flawless, fleet-footed double bass. Transmissions of evil emanated from Sid Wilson's turntable and Craig Jones's sampler, while Chris Fehn and M. Shawn "Clown" Crahan rode their drum risers to the sky while pounding the kegs as if their very existence depended upon it. Mick Thomson and James Root remain the most impressive modern metal guitar duo, thrashing through technical assault and battery while anchoring the grooves as well.
As far as singers go, Corey Taylor can't be bested. He's one of the most emotional, entrancing, and engaging performers the genre has ever seen. His screams of "Fuck this shit. I'm sick of it. You're going down this is a war" could've awakened the dead, while his delivery of the track's crescendo "You can't kill me 'cause I'm already inside you" proved as chilling as any of Hannibal Lecter's words. Wilson dove from the riser as Clown, Fehn, and Taylor barked the words. It was majestic and marvelous madness personified.
"Eyeless" brought everything into the heart of darkness with a guttural stomp and schizophrenic wail, leading into a pit-inducing riff. "Is that what the fuck you want?" asked the singer. "Let's give them what the fuck they want".
The audience got even more than it bargained for during a scorching and scathing "Sulfur". Flames rose to the sky as Taylor's voice echoed and Root drove the lead with true finesse, adding eerie flourishes that sounded like Radiohead with balls. "Wait and Bleed" engaged a massive sing-a-long, while "Before I Forget" stood out as the band's very own "Walk" or "Enter Sandman"—an anthem that stays etched in the listener's psyche for a lifetime. Taylor let out a laugh before the grindcore grime of "Disasterpiece", fueled by Jordison—the genre's best drummer, period. He's also at the top of his game in terms of creativity and technical prowess.
The tension converged brilliantly during "Gently" as snow fell onto the stage and the guitars and drums cascaded into a real exorcism. Taylor writhed on the ground at the end of "Vermilion Pt. 1", while "The Heretic Anthem" got the entire amphitheater screaming. "Duality" and "Spit It Out" made history, while "People = Shit" and "Surfacing" gave the perfect bookend to the perfect show.
Slipknot is even more than that though. During the day, Clown stood at his booth for nearly two hours signing copies of his book The Apocalyptic Nightmare journey and interacting with each kid. He'd talk to them, look them directly in the eyes, and connect. Merely 20 feet away, Wilson signed autographs by an RV and gave the same attention. The culture surrounding Slipknot stands stronger than ever.
That's what matters at the end of the day, and that's also why there's none more real than Slipknot.
Were you there? What's your favorite Slipknot song?
See our exclusive feature on Slipknot where Korn, Rob Zombie, Slayer, Anthrax, Staind, Asking Alexandria, Hollywood Undead, and more talk the band's impact here!
See our review of Slipknot's Antennas to Hell here!
See our interview between Clown and The Devil's Carnival director Darren Lynn Bousman here!
Also, see our exclusive interview with Corey Taylor here and a list of his favorite concerts here!
Check out our "Five Reasons We Can't Wait for Slipknot's KNOTFEST here!
See exclusive photos from the amazing Scott Uchida of the band live here!
Be sure to get Slipknot's Antennas to Hell collection and don't miss them on Mayhem or at KNOTFEST August 17 and 18!