Feb 13, 2009

Slipknot - First Mariner Arena

By Bob Suehs



Baltimore, Maryland

If you've ever wondered what it's like to do what we do here @ Rock N Roll Experience, if you've ever thought, "wow, it must be so cool to meet rock stars, take pics of bands & do that kinda crazy stuff.", well, I'll admit that is it a blast doing what we do, BUT, it's also alot of work & when things go wrong, they seem to snowball...let me set up things in context for you in regards to this particular concert. Slipknot's toured rolled through the Maryland area on Friday the 13th, 2009 & on the bill were Trivium & Coheed & Cambria....the thing that alot of people attending this show did not realize was that Trivium went on at 7 PM, & I happened to be one of those people, so when I finally got to the venue Trivium were finished & Coheed were taking the stage almost as soon as I got there. I had a slight problem getting my photo pass from the venue, so after a few minutes of confusion, that matter was taken care of, then I had to locate Trivium's tour manager so we could coordinate my scheduled interview with lead guitarist Corey from the band...on top of all that, I saw Black Light Burns the day before & posted my show review along with some quotes from Wes Borland that caused quite a stir in the hard music world, so I was at this show while my inbox was filling up with emails asking me about my review & what Wes had said...that's honestly irrelevant though, because Slipknot & Trivium were the matter at hand, so quite literally, like 5 minutes after my interview ended with Corey from Trivium, I was whisked away to the main stage of the venue where the large red curtain was dropped & Slipknot were getting ready to take the stage...I'll admit it, I was a bundle of nerves this entire night, it always feels like the larger the concert, the larger the headaches & the better chance for things to f**k up! Honestly, I can't complain though, because it all did work out very well & after all my non-stop running, I found myself looking under the blood red curtain literally seconds before Slipknot were to start their set, & I look under the curtain to see lead singer Corey looking directly back at me as he was perched dead center on top of a small step that he stood on to elevate himself throughout the night.

I literally looked at Corey for a few seconds then glanced away, because I felt like I was looking into the eye of the storm, seeing something I shouldn't be, so literally seconds after that moment, the house lights went down, the curtain was raised like an old time movie & the band was there, allowing the mood to build as the bands intro track rolled & the masked members of the band stared at the packed venue...Joey had these weird things on his hands that kinda made him look like a tree or something & after the odd little intro, all hell broke loose as the band ripped into their non-stop, no holds barred, full on metal attack!

Clown's drum contraption was the only one that went really high in the air at this particular show & at one point Clown ran around the venue while the band played, but I'll admit that I missed that spectacle because I was too busy taking pics. If you ever try to photograph SLipknot, let me give you a pointer...there is NO bad angles because you've got a stage full of chaos, lotsa action & I guarantee you EVERYONE taking pics got totally different, really cool shots from each side of the stage! Mick is a big guy offstage, but onstage he's even bigger & when I was backstage he actually wanted by me & I was thinking to myself, wow, he's one guy you don't wanna mess with because he's built like a football player & looks like he could kick your ass without even trying!

Jim Root's guitar playing is what really shines when I see Slipknot...the first record had NO real guitar solo's & over time the band has broadened their horizon's & added guitar solo's randomly & in their live show Jim adds quite a bit musically to the overall sound with his solo's & lead licks!

I was quite honestly glad to see that the band had cut out their DJ solo's that they had on previous arena tours & instead of actual solo's on this tour, the crowd got non-stop songs that covered all of the bands releases & the only thing that was missing from the set list was "Heretic Anthem"..other than that, the band covered all the "hits", all the fan favorites & they delivered a strong, solid, kick ass show that never let up & it is a true testament to the band that they've been doing it for 10 years now & Corey commented that the band would love to do it for another 10 years before the band said their goodnight & the large red curtain dropped.