Monday 15 February 2016 saw Slipknot grace a Belfast stage for the first time since 2002 and it’s safe to say anticipation levels were at an extremely high level, helped no doubt by the news that a certain group of suicyco motherfuckers would be the special guests!
Shortly after 7.30pm, crossover thrash kings Suicidal Tendencies bounded on stage with a ferocious “You Can’t Bring Me Down”, which saw two massive circle pits breakout and remain for the duration of their time on stage. Their fifty or so minute set saw the band concentrate mostly on their 80’s material with rousing versions of “Subliminal”, “I Saw Your Mommy” and the all-time hardcore punk classic “Institutionalised”. Prior to “Possessed To Skate”, Mike Muir gave a rousing speech about self-empowerment which had him come across like a metal self help guru….and we thought all he wanted was a Pepsi! All in all, it was a great, feel good set from Suicidal Tendencies which well and truly laid down the gauntlet for the main event. 7/10
After a reasonably quick turn around Slipknot blasted onto the stage with “The Negative One” – which saw the Belfast maggots go absolutely mental – and the band wasted no time in covering every inch of the vast stage. “Disasterpeice” almost brought the walls of the arena crumbling down and “Eyeless” saw the band goad the crowd on to more extreme levels of lunacy.
While the sound was below par for the first forty odd minutes, with the various drums drowning out the vocals and guitars, the sound issues were thankfully sorted by the time a ferocious “Psychosocial” saw the arena go suitably mental. From then on in Slipknot ploughed through fan favourite after fan favourite, closing with the always impressive “Spit It Out”.
Having seen Slipknot just over a year ago, it was a relief to see how integrated the new ‘knot members have become. Jay Weinberg is a worthy replacement to Joey Jordison while bassist Alesandro Venturello spent much of his time at the lip of the stage interacting with the crowd, both adding their own style to proceedings; it goes without saying that Cory Taylor was his usual ebullient self and is the consummate modern metal showman.
This was a great show from Slipknot and a top quality arena metal show. Whilst the masks will always be gimmicky it’s easy to look past them as the quality of the music does all the necessary talking. These guys are still extreme as your going to get from, what is now, a mainstream metal band. 8/10