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  • Live Review: Slipknot – The Forum, Citizens Bank Arena, Los Angeles

    Wed, 18 Mar 2009 10:36:44

    Live Review: Slipknot – The Forum, Citizens Bank Arena, Los Angeles - Slipknot annihilate Southern California twice and ARTISTdirect.com has exclusive photos and a review…

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    At the end of "Purity," Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor asked The Forum's packed crowd, "Have you ever seen God?"


    Slipknot | by Kevin Estrada


    No, but I have seen Slipknot—a lot. I'll never forget the first time that I saw metal's most magnificent masked marauders. I was 14, and it was on OZZfest 1999, the band's first "official" national tour before their now legendary self-titled album dropped. These nine psychos from Iowa basked in danger and evil beyond anything that the crowd had ever experienced. Even though they played for only 20 minutes that day, no one in the audience would be the same, and soon after, heavy music would never be the same.


    Slipknot | by Kevin Estrada


    A decade and three more mega-selling albums later, during two Los Angeles-area shows in support of August 08's All Hope Is Gone, Slipknot proved that they're still as dangerous and deadly as they were when they first assaulted pop culture consciousness. However, these days, they're a bit more calculated in their metallic mayhem. At the Forum, tension mounted as soon as the band cut off "Runnin' With the Devil" to cue their intro music. Some of that maybe a result of the L.A. longhairs' chagrin for anyone cutting Van Halen short, but most of it can be attributed to the storm that Slipknot was about to unleash. The ominous bass line from "Iowa" began, and as the lights came down, it segued into the band's intro from their first record. A chopped and screwed voice repeated, "The whole thing I think is sick" over and over again. The curtain raised, and the crucifixion began.


    Slipknot | by Kevin Estrada


    Slipknot nailed the songs into the crowd furiously. The onslaught began with a vitriol-laden "(sic)," which saw all nine members psychotically raging. Taylor ran around the stage like he just escaped the Cuckoo's Nest, while delivering every guttural growl flawlessly. Joey Jordison's atomic double bass simply devastated, while Paul Gray bashed out a bass line that would scare Satan himself. Jim Root and Mick Thomson weaved violent riffs together in dark simpatico. The rage didn't stop there either. The band blazed through a schizophrenic "Eyeless" and then caused the first massive sing-a-long with their first "hit," "Wait and Bleed."


    Slipknot | by Kevin Estrada


    Slipknot's brilliance lies in the fact that they mix death metal musicianship with tangible, cathartic lyrics. They're the only act that equally nods to Deicide and Kurt Cobain, and they do so without regret. The curling riff rapture of "Before I Forget" saw Root (one of rock's most underrated players) drop in some tasty intermittent soloing. Then there was the highlight of the show—the psychedelic, psychotic haze of "Purity." Taylor crooned about kidnapping and murder in the most hypnotic fashion. The enigmatic and vibrant frontman took the packed venue back to Iowa with him for a trip into the darkest recesses of Middle America where Slipknot was born. It was rapturous and raw.


    Slipknot | by Kevin Estrada


    Jordison and Gray are metal's most furious rhythm section, drawing blood on "The Blister Exists," "Get This," "Psychosocial" and "Disasterpiece." Taylor spewed more empowering venom on "Surfacing" and "People=Shit," both of which saw Thomson rip and shred. In terms of the set list, both The Forum and Ontario shows were the same. However, Slipknot felt like they were on a mission to make L.A. believe at the Forum, and they accomplished it. The one edge Ontario had came with a massive crowd floor rush. It was a full blown prison riot, and the stampede was the catharsis these "maggots" had been praying for.


    Slipknot | by Kevin Estrada


    Support act, Coheed and Cambria's vibrant and fiery proto-prog kept the crowd thinking. The band delivered an intriguing and energetic set that was the perfect balance to Slipknot's uncurtailed aggression. Coheed skinsman, Chris Pennie even threw in some flawless double bass for good measure.


    Slipknot | by Kevin Estrada


    I won't forget these shows like I won't forget my first 'Knot experience in 1999. Oh yeah, I don't think I'll see God any time soon, but if I do, I'm going to thank him for Slipknot.


    Slipknot | by Kevin Estrada



    Slipknot | by Kevin Estrada



    Slipknot | by Kevin Estrada



    Slipknot | by Kevin Estrada



    Slipknot | by Kevin Estrada



    Slipknot | by Kevin Estrada



    Slipknot | by Kevin Estrada



    Coheed and Cambria | by Kevin Estrada



    Slipknot | by Kevin Estrada



    Coheed and Cambria | by Kevin Estrada



    Coheed and Cambria | by Kevin Estrada


    Check out more work from photographer Kevin Estrada on his official website and blog, listed respectively below:

    http://www.kevinestrada.com/
    http://kevinestrada.wordpress.com/

    —Rick Florino
    03.11.09




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