Once feared and renowned for their subversive and terror-inducing reputation, Getintothis’ Laura Coppin found less danger and more well-honed slickness when Slipknot played the Echo Arena.
There has been a great deal of buzz of late surrounding Slipknot and Korn‘s latest Prepare for Hell tour, in part due to Paul Cooke‘s rather bizarre (and funnily enough now absent) rant in Manchester Rocks regarding how some metal fans – specifically those he imagined would attend the shows – choose to dress.
The crowd filling Liverpool’s Echo Arena was undoubtedly diverse, with many attendees looking as though they were geared up for an evening in front of the fire nursing a large glass of merlot rather than about to fling themselves against one another to a background of growling vocals and chugging guitars. Contrary to Cooke‘s beliefs, therein lay its beauty.
Individuals from all walks of life, from a wide range of age groups, all gathered beneath the Echo’s lofty rafters to indulge in an evening of unadulterated nostalgia. And what an evening it was.
Korn were the first of the two to take to the stage, giving all they got and yet somehow managing to fall slightly flat. Their set wasn’t bad by any means – Freak on a Leash notably having the crowd howling along – but somehow they didn’t quite manage to create an atmosphere that filled the room.
Perhaps it’s simply Getintothis‘ inner curmudgeon rising to the fore, but we could swear shows like this used to be louder; the vibrations so strong they replaced your own heartbeat (though admittedly the last time we saw them the sound was dubious, so perhaps it was in keeping with tradition).
As it was, there felt as though there was a distance between Davis‘ motley crew and the vast sea of fans before them. All of the songs were very well performed, Davis sliding around the stage with his trademark panache delivering near perfect vocals, but something nonetheless felt like it was missing.
Our youth, perhaps? Moving on…
Between the two bands there was quite a hefty pause, the result of which was one of the most impressive stage designs Getintothis has had the pleasure to see for some time. A combination of what seemed to be a fairground and hell itself, the set-up boasted countless lights and strips of rippling flame – plus a bank of eight oil drums which rose on circular rotating platforms, all the while being smashed by sticks or baseball bats. The effect was dramatic, setting the tone for what would prove to be a fantastic set.
From the outset frontman Corey Taylor worked the crowd effortlessly, and having either done his research or been briefed thoroughly used the legendary rivalry between Manchester and Liverpool to have the throng before him eating out of his hand.
A constant sea of hands were thrust into the air, surrounded by bodies jumping around to classics like My Plague and Before I Forget. Duality was the standout track of the evening, with almost every member of the audience enthusiastically singing along to each word.
As with any band who has been around for two decades, Slipknot are a very different animal to the group who blew the mind of our much younger selves in 2005. Ten years ago Slipknot were the terror of America’s suburban housewives, their hideous masks emblems of their supposed corrupting influence on the nation’s innocent youth. Nowadays the shock value has gone from Slipknot‘s performances, instead having been replaced by the slick confidence of a well oiled musical machine.
That is no bad thing of course – while Slipknot can no longer promise their fans a sense of danger what they do offer instead is a very good show, and it is most certainly what they deliver. Even if they didn’t play Pulse of the Maggots…
We’re fine, honestly.
UPDATED: Watch footage of Slipknot before, during and after their date in Liverpool below!
Pictures by Getintothis’ Sakura