Live Review: Slipknot
Wed, 05 Aug 2015 12:42:00
We caught the 'Summer's Last Stand Tour' in Mansfield, Mass.
"Take a look around," urged Slipknot singer Corey Taylor. "This is the heavy metal f***ing family."
A wide smile cut through the vocalist's mask as he addressed the packed crowd at The Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA. He went on, "All of the other artists will never be as f***ing close as the heavy metal community is. You know why? Because we grew up in it, we fight for it, and we live it every f***ing night of our lives!"
He's got a very powerful point there. That's why, even in a "streaming age" where, "no one buys records," heavy metal and hard rock remain as healthy as ever. Slipknot's phenomenal Summer's Last Stand Tour serves as shining proof too. The group put together one of the decade's best metal packages. The Iowa outfit, of course, top the marquee, but they're supported by Lamb of God, who just enjoyed a #2 debut for VII: Sturm und Drang [Epic Records], Bullet for My Valentine, on the cusp of releasing their magnum opus to date Venom [RCA Records], and Motionless in White—who continue to amass an incredible cult following.
Somehow, Slipknot continue to progress and pummel more than ever live. First unveiled at last year's KNOTFEST, their gargantuan stage setup resembles the ultimate funhouse in hell with its giant demon head, pyro everywhere, and striking central mirror. They use the setup to their advantage, welcoming everybody into this warped world. However, it's the music that really does all the talking. Two red curtains emblazoned with the band's logo parted after the "XIX" intro from 2014's mind-blowing .5: The Gray Chapter as the group engaged a sensory onslaught with "Sarcastrophe." Jim Root and Mick Thomson played as if their lives depended on it, ripping through chaotic polyrhythmic thrash with speed and precision and once again showing why they're the 21st century's premier guitar pair. Drummer Jay Weinberg powered through with poise and punch, while visionary and percussionist M. Shawn "Clown" Crahan and percussionist Chris Fehn augmented that tribal madness. From behind the stage, bassist Alex Venturella kept the grooves airtight. Sid Wilson couldn't be contained as he and Craig Jones tapped into an eerie electronic alchemy. Taylor sent it home with the scream, "We are kill gods."