It was with a sense of excited anticipation that we entered the SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow on a bitterly cold Saturday night, eagerly awaiting a potentially devastating lineup as the mighty Slipknot – supported by the equally mighty Behemoth – are in town; a double header of epic proportions!
We wander in a few minutes before Behemoth are due to start and the place is, surprisingly, half empty. Nergal and the boys are a pretty huge draw nowadays and we expected to see more folk in here. Anyway, lights down, wee intro and Behemoth hit the stage. They launch into a biting “Wolves ov Siberia”, quickly followed by “Daimonos” from breakthrough album, Evangelion, and they sound great…..which is no surprise as the Hydro is renowned for its great acoustics.
Next up is “Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer” from the modern classic that is The Satanist followed by recent ‘hit’, “Bartzabel”. Unsurprisingly, The Hydro has increased in numbers by this point and the crowd noise accompanying Behemoth is cacophonous! It’s worth noting that the Behemoth boys have an almost Rammstein-like obsession with fire, which is always a winner and only adds to the spectacle. A run-through of “Rom 5:8”, “Conquer All” and “Ov Fire And The Void” keeps the baying throng in raptures.
Entertainment is key and during the set, Nergal has kept us all busy chanting and waving our fists and all that malarkey while a few incantations throughout the set – with some burning cross type stuff – which means we’re probably Satanists now! Anyway, we digress. The set finishes with a rabid “Chant For Eschaton 2000” and we’re done, the lights go up and a huge Slipknot curtain is quickly raised, adding to the overall excitement.
Time for a pee and another round of beers and we’re back just in time for the main event.
The arena is now jam packed (it was a sold out show, after all) and it’s getting very cosy. The house DJ fires up AC/DC’s “For Those About To Rock” and everyone braces themselves. Slipknot’s intro begins and it’s “Insert Coin” from 2019’s We Are Not Your Kind. The curtain drops and the band wander onstage to a hungry crowd, seemingly amused by the sound of 10,000 baying Scottish voices and they play “Unsainted” to shut us up. It doesn’t work.
The new tracks go down well but it’s a handful of the older stuff – “Before I Forget”, “New Abortion” and “Psychosocial” – which hits the hardest and are all well executed and well received. The ground floor of the Hydro is one massive, sweaty moshpit and Corey Taylor’s reputation as an excellent frontman continues to be warranted, fully engaging the crowd after every couple of song without being a bore (are you reading this, Robb Flynn?)!
Just one thing – the two blokes in the ‘percussion’ section. What do they really do apart from twat about on stage? They must be heavily influential in the songwriting processes because, if not, they’ve got the easiest jobs ever. Anyway, back to the gig and the hits just keep on coming. “Vermilion” sounds amazing and ‘new one’, “Birth Of The Cruel”, is just as good while the classic-tastic “Wait And Bleed”, “Eyeless” and “Duality” finish the set on a high. Phew, what a show!
They’re not done yet, though.
“742617000027” starts up and Slipknot explode on to the stage to play “(sic)”, “People = Shit” and “Surfacing”. Completely bonkers. We’re played out with “’Til We Die” and everybody leaves exhausted but wanting more. That’s the sign of a great show.
If you’re going to get a band like Behemoth (8) to support you, you must be pretty confident in your own abilities onstage and Slipknot are in the form of their lives. Slipknot (9) came out the better act on the night, but not by much. Both bands have great frontmen and excellent material to work with, but on the night, Slipknot shone that little bit brighter. A lot of the dates are sold out on this tour, but if you can get to see them, we strongly recommend you do!