As we took to our seats near the stage of Wembley Arena, I watched the crowd form below and was reminded of the last time I was here, where I couldn’t see anything and how grateful I am to have a seat at Wembley, even though it’s a Slipknot show. Who is going to sit down for Slipknot anyway?
King 810 came on to the stage as first support band, and tried as they might, they didn’t seem to interest the crowd at all except a few people jumping about. Polite applauses at the end of each song was evident how much this band have a long way to go however it shows that this band knows what they are doing, and didn’t let the muted crowd deter them from crashing around the stage. Having seen them before at O2 Islington Academy, King 810 are the type of band to really play in smaller venues where the music would be more intense and have a crazier, appreciative crowd. The band ended with Fat around the heart, their most recognised song that had a few cheers when it started. David Gunn’s words show how much they are grateful to be on the tour, by telling us that “Slipknot are the only band that has the balls to bring us on tour”. The future for King is unknown but they’ve always said they would do whatever they wanted and that is at least to be commended.
Korn were the next band to be on stage, and as I have never seen Korn before, it felt completely overwhelming to be able to see this band , and being on tour with Slipknot, it was a definite privilege. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to experience a tour with two bands I’ve been interested in and the fact that it’s Korn made their set much more mental. Songs such as Falling away from me and Shoots and ladders pumped up the crowd, especially with the stage set up with flashing lighting from the floor. It was something I’ve never seen before, to see fans play to the hands of an experienced band that is supporting the main band. Jonathan Davis had this total stage persona that made the set more enjoyable. Then something happened that no-one ever expected. Members of Slipknot came out during Korn’s set and performed Sabotage by The Beastie Boys together. If you could have heard the screaming roar of fans the moment that it happened, it was so loud with excitement, that even everyone who was sitting down, stood up simultaneously to experience it. It felt completely surreal, that for me, I got to witness two of my childhood band to play together on stage and so basically London had it good for this show.
Before the UK leg of the tour, it seemed to show from previous shows for Slipknot in America, the band were using three different setlists, no doubt to keep the tour fresh every night. So with much palpable anticipation from the crowd, Slipknot came on behind a curtain, and opened with two new songs XIX and Sarcastrophe. As the curtain rose to show the band and their new masks, the whole place erupted with emotion that felt familiar like seeing an old friend again. The stage set up was interesting to see, a demon like carnival set up that held everyone’s attention in awe but didn’t distract them from the band. The set list consisted more songs from the .5:The Gray Chapter album than the All hope is gone tour, and each new song went down with a great reception. Custer was definitely a major highlight of the set, especially as I watched the audience below ferociously swarm together in giant mosh pits. I have been to many Wembley arena shows but for the first time, I felt the sound was definitely on point, making the set that much more intense and seeing how tight Slipknot are together. With that, Eyeless sounded as fresh as when the song first came out, and Duality created such a stir, and to hear a sold out show audience singing those words was a definite goosebump moment that won’t ever leave my mind. The show ended with 3 encores songs , in which Surfacing is still the song that gets every fan going. As I recollected my thoughts after the show, it has come to a realisation, that after many years of touring, Slipknot are still the relentless force that still keeps the fans on their feet. A band that, after everything they have been through, they are finally becoming alive again. It’s been 6 long years, and Slipknot are making up for it.