Last night as heavy-metal royalty Slipknot burst into “Sarcastrophe” from new album 5: The Gray Chapter (released on October 17th), a sea of black t-shirts surged toward the barricade in anticipation. The song’s gloomy opening notes, pounding drums and frenzied guitar opened the show with a gut-pounder, a reminder that Slipknot will outlast any doubters with the lyrics “Kill, kill everything that kills you”.
In the late 90’s & early ’00’s, Slipknot became poster boys for the Nu Metal movement with identical uniforms, unique masks, and tracks like “Wait and Bleed” and “Spit it Out”.
The stage at Air Canada Centre was a mix between a goth-themed circus and prom, only in this case the devil is awarded prom king as frontman Corey Taylor screamed “We’re all from Toronto tonight”, and the septet launched into “The Devil in I”, one of eight singles from their new LP. “Undo these chains, my friend / I’ll show you the rage I’ve hidden,” Taylor growled as the staircase leading up to drummer Jay Weinberg became engulfed in flames and the crowd willing obeyed the primal urge to go nuts. Later, Taylor prefaced the classic “Spit It Out” saying “whether you’ve been with us for the last 15 years or the last 55 minutes you all know what time it is”.
Taylor showcased the gold plaque that the band had received Canadian sales of their new album, proclaiming this night to be a “big fucking deal” as Canada became the first country to award the plaque to the new LP, “thanks for keeping the spirit of metal music in Canada.”.
Co-headliners Korn, expected to release their twelfth studio album in 2015, opened their 11-song set with “Twist”, a brief (49-second) track that features frontman Jonathan Davis’ signature scat vocal style over the only intelligible lyrics being the word “twist”.
Davis showcased his uncanny ability to make a seamless transition between clean vocals and a low growl with tracks like “Love & Meth”, much like Slipknot tour-mate Corey Taylor.
What are the chances that you’ll ever hear bagpipes at a metal show? Davis delivered an impressive performance on the traditional Scottish instrument during the intro to “Shoots and Ladders”, demonizing the quaint nursery rhymes of your childhood as a return their alleged darker roots –nursery rhymes like “Ring Around the Rosie” described the black plague. In addition, they teased fans with a snippet of Metallica’s classic track “One”, which proved that Davis is a dead ringer for frontman James Hetfield.
With its gigantic-sounding opening riff and raw vocals, set-closer “Blind”, the lead single from their 1994 self-titled debutalbum, rounded out a memorable performance as Davis exclaimed“20 years ago this was the song that started this motherfucker”. Afterwards, they gave away everything from picks to drum sticks and hurled drum skins into the crowd like Frisbees.
Tour openers King 810 were barred from entering Canada, “Due to criminal past we’ve been denied access to your country. We are working on clearing this up and will try to come back as soon as possible”, according to the band’s Facebook page. King810 released their debut album, Memoirs of a Murderer, on August 19th, 2014 via Roadrunner Records.
Click here to see our photos from the show!