It has become accepted that Slipknot can fill venues like the Hydro. However, when you sit down and think about it, that fact is insane. 9 masked men wearing boiler suits and playing pretty extreme metal, should not be coming close to filling places like this. Yet, here we are.
Before we get to the main course though, we’ve got a couple of pretty good starters and as the supposed most dangerous band in the world, King 810, hit the stage, it is clear we are in for an interesting night. These guys are riding a wave of expectation and this is the first time in the UK they’ve been put on a stage this big. The last they were in Glasgow they played to a not even sold out Classic Grand. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that they don’t quite feel there yet. There is still a little bit too much filler in the set and they need something a bit different to really make the step up. However, when they are good, they are really good and the likes of “Fat Around the Heart” have the potential to be heavy metal anthems.
The next band is at a very different stage of their career and in fact feel like one reborn. Since the return of Head, Korn have found a new lease of life and it is clear they are enjoying themselves. Jonathan Davis seems to be happier than he has been in years and when he pulls out the bagpipes the crowd are suitably excited. Those nu-metal anthems are still as good as ever and the likes of “Freak on a Leash” and “Shoots and Ladders” sound huge. They sound so big in fact, that you can’t help feel that in only a slightly different world, it would be them headlining these arenas. In the here and now, the band will take solace in the fact that the likes of “Hater” are already being treated like old friends. Korn are back and damn they are good.
Of course, Slipknot did make it to this level and they did it with sweat, blood and tears. Alongside a few other bodily fluids you probably don’t want to know about. The last few years haven’t been easy for them either. The loss of Paul Grey was a tragedy and when you throw in Joey Jordinson leaving the band, it is fair to say this is a new look Slipknot. Vol. 05 The Subliminal Chapters was maybe not a perfect album, but it showed these guys can still write a song and some of them are on show tonight.
In fact, one of them kicks us off, as they come flying out of the blocks with “Sarcastrophe”. The set looks awesome, like some gaudy club from the mind of a lunatic and both Clown and Chris Fehn’s drum kits spend more time up in the air than on the ground. While Sid does have some stairs up to his decks, he prefers to make his way there by leaping from the set onto the platform. It’s the insanity we have come to know and love from Slipknot and with Corey standing in the centre like some demented ringmaster, it is a show you can’t take your eyes off of.
After “Sarcastrophe” they rip, through a thunderous “Heretic Anthem”, which sends the crowd insane. “The Devil in I” is a perfect live song, with its big chorus rivaling “Psychosocial” in the sing along stakes. While “The Negative One” has all the jagged edges of classic Slipknot. Those classics haven’t lost their shine either, “Before I Forget” is still huge and the ‘jump the fuck up’ moment in “Spit it Out” is still one of the best live moments any band has ever come up with. (There is a reason so many others are now copying it). The biggest surprise comes with set closer “Custer”, which live, sounds even better than it does on record. It’s a behemoth of a song and it sends the audience to the brink one last time.
There is still the encore to come, but by this point it is clear that Slipknot have already done what they came to do. Over the years they have become one of the best live bands on the planet and with their return that has just been confirmed. Slipknot are back and there isn’t anything anyone can do to stop them.