January 20, 2015 Slipknot & Korn tear up New Jersey 12-6-14
As one of the last shows reportedly taking place at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey, Slipknot pulled out all the stops to make this juncture of their tour a memorable one. Closing up a six week run on Saturday December 6, 2014 that kicked off after Knotfest on October 25th-26th, the penultimate show in the Prepare for Hell Tour rocked the Meadowlands with Corey Taylor’s resounding, beastly vocals, Jim Root’s squalling chords, the combined roundhouse percussion from Shawn “Clown” Crahan, Chris Fehn, newcomer Jay Weinberg, along with Mick Thomson on guitar, Craig Jones on keyboard/samples, Sid Wilson on turntables, and another newcomer, Alessandro Venturella, on bass. Joining them on tour was California legends Korn and Roadrunner Records newbies King 810. After a hiatus and questions if the band would ever be seen again, Grammy Award winning Slipknot returned to their roots with their most recent album, .5: The Gray Chapter, released October 21st, 2014 through Roadrunner Records, giving listeners a combination of the older, more abrasive sounds from 1999’s Slipknot with the more melodic sounds of recent albums Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) (2004) and All Hope is Gone (2008). This was also the first album since the band’s loss of founding member Paul Gray, leading to the album being devoted to the late bassist. As for this combination of Metal masters, Corey Taylor had this to say, “We’ve been waiting a long time for this. Not only do we get to tour with friends who we respect, we’ve also chosen a band that represents the fury of the future. Slipknot is coming to your town, and hell’s coming with us.”
Opening the night was King 810, a relatively new Metal band consisting of singer David Gunn, guitarist Andrew Beal, bassist Eugene Gill, and drummer Andrew Workman. Taking their name from the area code of their hometown of Flint, Michigan, King 810 did not bother warming the place up – they jumped right into the heavy stuff. Clad completely in black, Gunn took the stage, followed by Beal, Gill and Workman. Behind them hung the face of a king of clubs taken straight from a deck of cards. The lights, clothes, backgrounds and instruments were all in shades of black and white, giving the performance a monochrome appearance. As Workman counted off the beginning of “810,” Gunn tore straight into the vocals, his voice a sandpapery growling that the audience felt all the way to their fingertips. Gunn ran around the stage, swinging his microphone stand and pouring himself into his music. Beal’s fingers flew across the frets in a blur. Although the music was loud and proud, the crowd was a bit leery of this newer band and held back, but were quick to cheer in appreciation at the end of each song, which included tracks “Killem All,” “Murder Murder Murder,” and “Boogeyman.” King 810 show, as they make impressions with this tour and a successful run on the Mayhem Festival 2014, that they have a bright future ahead of them.
The mood in the room took a complete 180 degree turn when Alternative Metal band Korn hit the stage. The entire venue roared in excitement when they spotted the Korn members, Jonathan Davis (vocals/ bagpipes), James “Munky” Shaffer (guitar), Brian “Head” Welch (guitar/backing vocals), Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu (bass), and Ray Luzier, who replaced David Silveria, the band’s original drummer, sitting at the iconic Korn kit. Lit up with stage LEDs, Davis jumped right into “Twist,” where he showed off his amazing vocal talents. Davis even pulled his bagpipes out to play the first bars of “Shoots and Ladders.” The Grammy Award winners also played some old favorites, “Freak on a Leash,” “Got the Life,” and “Falling Away From Me,” as well as their newest number one single, “Never Never,” from their most recent album, Paradigm Shift, released back in October of 2013. Packed tight up against the stage, the crowd surfed and formed tense circle pits in the little room they could elbow out. As the band played, the momentum increased, and the performance peaked as these twenty year music veterans wrapped things up. Although they were excited for the night’s headliner, the crowd begged the band to stay on stage, to no avail. Korn now embark on a European trek in early 2015 before returning to the USA for the Epicenter Rock Festival on March 14th in Inglewood, California.
Finally, the time came for Slipknot to appear, and the adrenaline glowing from the audience was boiling over. With slowly spinning drum sets and a huge, white goat head grinning above the stage, the scene was set for a night of debauchery. From the darkness, Taylor started screaming the chorus to “XIX,” encouraging the ecstatic crown to sing along before the band had even made it onto the stage. People were literally bouncing off the walls and each other. A blue light shone down from above as Taylor jumped up onto the riser, throwing his fist in the air. With the melody of “XIX” still playing in the background, Taylor shouted, “Okay, Jersey, let’s fucking do this!” Red lights now swirling with blue, he roared into another new track titled “Sarcastrophe.” The drum kits spun, up, down, and around. Flames shot into the air and the energy was electric as the Des Moines natives played to the crowd.
Halfway through the set, Taylor stopped singing to announce to the crowd, “Wow, Jersey, you are the best fucking crowd we’ve had on the tour so far! You Jersey people are fucking nuts and I can’t be more proud of you guys. Thank you!” Here Taylor’s encouragement merely made the audience that much more pumped up and the noise level seemed to only get louder from there. At one point, Clown was walking through the crowd and messed around with some balloons that the band’s sound engineer had been using to help them figure out where they were in the set. People were hugging him and trying to take selfies as he pushed his way through the stands during a pause in “Spit It Out.” Rejoicing in the moment, and completely ecstatic to see Slipknot in the New York/ New Jersey area for the first time in a while, fans devoted their lungs to sing along with favorites like newbie “The Devil in I,” “Psychosocial,” “Duality,” and “Wait and Bleed.” Closing the main set with lyrically startling “Custer,” Slipknot treated the devoted crowd to a three song encore of “(sic),” “People = Shit,” and “Surfacing.” Exhausting every ounce of audience emotionally, the sense was everyone felt free, drained, but inevitability satisfied.
With a lineup for the ages, the combo of Korn and Slipknot was one fans had been waiting years for. Combining them with King 810 was a great warm-up and a perfect way for Roadrunner Records to get their newest addition the recognition they deserved, with many more shows in the future. This was an experience that left the senses of spectators overloaded. Between the lights, fire, masked members, layered stage, screaming vocals, steady headbanging, and gyrating instruments, one is left wondering how much of the show was even absorbed. Perhaps a second time around is in order, odds are fans would have no argument there.