Green Bay, WI
Knotfest Road Show Tour
The Resch Center is nestled across the street from Lambeau Field, the home of the Green Bay Packers. The area is decked out in Green and Gold, but when Slipknot comes to town the metalheads filled the bars and restaurants in black and red.
The Resch Center itself is a large circular arena that is mainly used for hockey and other indoor sports. This didn’t matter though. The stage was about 9 to 10 feet off the ground and situated in the open end of the arena. On top of the stage were 2 levels. On the first level from left to right, keyboardist Chris Jones has his Yamaha rig are set out. Then in the middle of the stage, drummer Jay Weinberg has his kit perched. Finally, at the far right on that level Sid Wilson’s turntables are set out on a covered table. Above that walkway is another level. That level is used as a walkway. It was primarily used by bassist Alessandro Venturella. Especially when he carrying his flamethrower bass. From up above, he would fire huge fireballs out over the middle of the stage. Back down on the main stage level were percussionists Shawn Crahan and Michael Pfaff’s elevated drum kits. These kits have three huge toms and an empty keg mounted to each. The percussionists crawl all over the top of them all show. To get to these kits though, they have to climb up ladders and across a short plank. These kits are positioned on each side of the stage. Finally, on the main level were 3 separate metal stands for James Root, Corey Taylor, and Mick Thomson to stand and lean on. Around and above the entire stage are massive video boards. Each is finely tuned to sync with the songs and pyro by the second. The accompanying images below will show this.
The performance itself was one of the craziest experiences of my life. For me, Slipknot is the pinnacle of modern metal. They are what metal and hard rock bands strive to be. Their growth was an exponential explosion done on the backs of fans and heavy touring early on. We know they are masters of their craft at this point. Their stage costumes are uniform, yet display their individual personalities. To some, that’s a major draw. Regardless, they each play their part. Sid is not only a DJ but as his alien character almost an MC without the talking. He roams the stage and interacts with whoever is in front of him. Photographers included. When not smashing kegs with bats or additional drums Crahan and Pfaff, roam the stage freely. Dishing out all sorts of madness upon each other. Not only that they are jumping off ledges and risers on stage. Daredevil-type stuff at times. Those guys alone are worth the watch if you aren’t too busy headbanging.
Slipknot has delivered monster hit after monster hit over their careers. The set list reflected that, but a few songs that really stuck out to me were “Spit It Out”, “Disasterpiece”, and “The Chapeltown Rag”. To understand the excellence of Corey Taylor as a frontman you have to acknowledge the fact that he demands your attention and will literally tell you when you are being a garbage crowd. The man commands participation throughout the night. When that massive Slipknot curtain drops and sucks back up to the ceiling after the guitar lead intro of “Disasterpiece”, Corey is already center stage perched on his metal stand and leaning into his microphone. His signature snarl and vocal growling scream were prominent and oh so very clean. Having this song as the opener was perfect. You felt the energy of the band flow from the stage through you. It was so intense you could feel your body shake.
“Spit It Out” is normally every Slipknot fan favorite, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone I picked this. Since the first album’s release, the band performs the song halfway through and then tells everyone to kneel down. Corey over and over tells everyone to get down. Meanwhile, drummer Jay Weinberg along with the two guitarists held the main beat until the explosion of people went off. That eruption happens when he screams “Jump the fuck up” and you do just that. It is one of the coolest experiences. Bodies fly everywhere. The pit opens wider than before. It really brings home the fact that concerts are about having fun and experiencing that special euphoria.
Finally, this song stood out among the rest simply because it was the newest release. Hearing a brand new release performed live is how you see its true form. Videos are nice and flashy, but the live experience is the true test. “The Chapeltown Rag” is a speedy and naturally aggressive song that passed every test with flying colors. James Root and Mick Thomson really really go to town ripping through riff after riff. Corey Taylor’s clean vocals during the chorus accentuate his vocal capabilities. Naturally, he spent the entire song screaming out pure brutality, but it is a compliment to the structure of the song to create those chorus’ without it. Additionally, Crahan and Pfaff play drums set up mid-stage in front of Weinberg’s kit. They were perfectly in sync and provided an unexpected layer to it all. Weinberg really stole my attention. He was so fast and efficient while destroying his kit. “The Chapeltown Rag” is such a fantastic tune as is, but live it plays very well. They surely have another piece of art that will be tough to remove from their already packed setlist.
Listen, we all know Slipknot are the title holders of metals live performance and I guarantee these nine men on that stage blew away each attendee’s minds. I know because I was one of them. This was not my first Slipknot show and I can promise that it will not be the last. Every album cycle is a new experience. They just keep picking up steam, flames, and creative opportunities to showcase each individual performer. Slipknot is a fine wine so to say. They are only getting better with age and experience.
2. Wait and Bleed
4. Before I Forget
5. The Chapeltown Rag
6. Dead Memories
8. The Heretic Anthem
10. The Devil in I
11. Solway Firth
12. All Out Life
17. Spit It Out
18. People = Shit