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Saturday, 6 December 2008

And then it happened

The day after Filth Fest was one of the most exciting of my life. Chugging a brew on the train into town, I got that "I'm so excited I might need more then a few poos" gut. I was only hours away from finally seeing the mighty Slipknot.

Public transport conspired against me and Hot Chick and we got to the venue late, which meant we missed Children of Bodom. To describe this as annoying or frustrating would be like describing Robert Mugabe as "a bit tetchy". However, Hot Chick helped me not go mental and kill someone by leading me to the merch stand. I do love a tour T. I found out Bodom are playing a headline show at the same venue in February so it's not the end of the world.

Machine Head came on with the inevitable "MACHINE FUCKING HEAD" chants reverberating around the room. And they absolutely destroyed it. When you watch Machine Head you feel like you're at the apex of the evening. After them, it must be time for bed. Hammering through "Imperium" and new banger "Halo", the crowd was immersed in their Bay area thrash from start to finish. Rob Flynn managed to cane some of the lazier members of the crowd, asking them if they were ever going to headbang or whether they'd prefer a sandwich and a glass of milk, before chucking some Jaegermeister their way. I couldn't believe there was anyone standing still; as Flynn said, this wasn't a fucking Good Charlotte concert. He is an awe-inspiring front man and truly adds to the performance. This is the third time I've seen the Fucking Head and every time, Flynn has owned the venue. He never fails to introduce the whole band, is grateful for the support and hates people who don't headbang. Oh, and he loves a good pit. I have never seen a band that could follow these guys............(you can see where this is going)....

Until now.

Joey Jordisson's new mask/gloves have become the new face of Slipknot and as the curtain opened, there he was atop a fucking epic drum kit. The rest of metal's biggest line-up followed and quite simply, it went off.

Pounding through "Surfacing", "The Blister Exists" and quite awesomely, "Eeyore", I felt like I was being raped in the ear by a selection of large mammals. The lights, sounds, pyro, vocals all combined to make the most intense live experiences I have ever been witness to. Corey Taylor is the only front man I have ever seen who could follow Rob Flynn for interaction and entertainment. After virtually every song he gave us a bit of chat, told us how much they loved us fucking maggots - really makes you feel wanted. The crowd interaction on "Eyeless" and "Duality" was predictably perfect but it was during "Spit It Out" that you couldn't help feeling like you were part of something special. Allow me to explain; you all sit down as the song builds and then, guided by Mr. Taylor, the whole crowd jumps the fuck up as the tune crescendos. Simple but effective. 4,000 people sitting in lager and spit, brought together as one. The cock in front of me who didn't sit the fuck down got half of my beer over him - I do hate a killjoy.

Throughout the whole show, DJ Sid went a-wandering, doing pull-ups on Clown's barrels as they were continually lifted up and down on a pneumatic plinth. The cameras pointing at the crowd and playing on a screen in front of Mr. Crahan was inspired as it kept the maggots in the pit going insane. If you looked at any area of the stage, from the gargantuan form of Mick Thompson to the unexpected windmill headbanging of Jim Root, to Chris Fehn beating off his dick nose to Craig "133" Jones standing dead still apart from a vicious nail-ridden headbang, there was always something going on. The whole band were immersed in the gig and this really affected the crowd. It's not just Corey Taylor's passion that gives this lot momentum but the fact that each and every one of them add a different, equally important ingredient to the recipe. I'm going to stop gushing now before I end up felating them.

An encore of "(515)", "People = Shit" and "sic" kept the intensity until the very end. Joey's now infamous pneumatic drum stand went up tilted, rotated, and kept us going ballistic up to the final chords of the evening. "Thank you"'s were uttered, horns and drum sticks were thrown - in one instance, Joey personally singled out someone in the crowd for his burly security guard to give a stick to. If he'd have gone in himself, we would have almost definitely witnessed an Alice Cooper/chicken incident.

I cannot think of enough positives to describe this night. With the exception of the fucking queue for the cloak room, it was simply phenomenal. Slipknot performed material from all four main albums and didn't rely on the singles. A personal highlight for me was "Disasterpiece" - love that tune. For a band to combine such brutality with eloquent expression and respect for the people that got them where they are shows that they are some of the most level-headed rock stars out there. And for a band that used to puke on each other and throw shit across the stage, that's a big fucking surprise.

The bar for every future gig has been raised, beaten up, kissed, punched and shat on. Slipknot: I love you.

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