Slipknot - "Summer's Last Stand"

It's been almost 12 years since I last saw Slipknot and even then I think they were playing amphitheaters. This is a band that had a vision for their brand of insanity from day 1. It's seems like it was one Ozzfest as an anomaly on the second stage, a Coal Chamber tour, one headliner around the same venues and the rest was history. This show was no exception. To see them pack the same venue that Mayhem struggled to even marginally fill completely packed was a direct testament to their appeal. Slipknot was never meant to be anything but a headliner and Corey Taylor has finally taken the prominent spot as one of this generations most inspiring frontmen. His presence in front of his band as they take time to tune while he addresses the crowd is absolutely stunning. This is a man who alongside his bandmates addresses hundreds of thousands of people on a regular basis. It's truly remarkable to see the draw this band has and the hold it grasps over so many people and his leadership in choreographing the group's set. Sid still runs around like a monkey fueled on Red Bull, and Craig, his complement, stayed consistent with his stagnant pinhead presence. Shawn was wearing an odd mask, but was really vivid looking and Chris wasn't as grotesque with his long snout as he had been for many years in the past. Mick and Root owned as they always did when we were kids, and it was great seeing the 7 mask stay true, being quite possibly the only one that didn't change or evolve throughout the band's tenure. Paul & Joey's absence was felt as the drumming was a little short of some signature double bass bursts ("Heretic Anthem" definitely an obvious shortcoming) and that classic pig mask was totally gone. It's obvious that Iowa doesn't get much exposure on the set list quite possibly being their most challenging record for the rookies. I was a little surprised to not even see a blatant homage paid ala the recent Slayer or Suicide Silence sets, but maybe it's their way of letting go and moving on. Lamb of God is another scene heavyweight, but anyone who plays before Slipknot just seems microscopic in nature when attempting to open. If you've sat on the sidelines for years and never bothered or if you've been a fan from the beginning and disengaged like I did as I got older, it's a great time to reconnect and watch them pack festival size venues with ease and carry the crowd from the first note to the final songs of the debut that still close their sets after so many years.

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