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Concert Reviews:
Slipknot celebrates a fiery "All Out Life" at DTE
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

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INDEPENDENCE TOWNSHIP -- As Slipknot wound down the main portion of its Knotfest Roadshow set Monday night, Aug. 12, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, frontman Corey Taylor declared, in song, that "all we've got is insane."



Truer words have seldom been spoken.



On its first tour stop in these parts in three years, what Slipknot did on stage Monday was, as always, just...crazy. The nine-member troupe of costumed and masked Iowa headbangers may angst over the state of the human condition on its records -- including the just-released "We Are Not Your Kind" -- but on stage Slipknot specializes in high-velocity catharsis and celebration, giving its fans (aka the Maggots), many sporting their own Slipknot attire, a relentless fusillade that had the vast majority of the sold-out crowd asking "please sir, may I have another?" And another. And another...



The interim has brought some changes within the mayhem on Monday, however. Another founding member, percussionist Chris Fehn, is gone, replaced by a musician who so far has remained nameless. He and Shawn "Clown" Crahan, performing on raised platforms, were also less of a frenetic presence than in previous shows. Meanwhile, two knee surgeries have rendered Taylor less mobile than before, but he compensated with his bellowing, guttural vocals and a sinister stage presence as he stalked from one side to the other.



DJ Sid Wilson, meanwhile, stepped up significantly on the visual side; Cloaked like a cross between a macabre desert sheik and Marvel Comics' Dr. Doom, he was in near-constant motion, navigating all four of the stage's levels and dancing atop a conveyor belt positioned in front of his turntables.



The overall impact made Slipknot seem a bit more ensemble and, yes, even less chaotic -- formation fighters rather than theatrical anarchists. The members' new white, bar-coded uniforms gave the show a striking, clean look, while the pyrotechnics were also dialed down but still used as effective accents.



Following similarly punishing sets by Volbeat, Gojira and Behemoth, these new adjustments made Slipknot's blend of industrial rock and thrash metal hit arguably harder than ever as it pounded through full-on favorites such as "People = S***," "The Heretic Anthem," "Psychosocial," "Vermillion," "Duality," and more during the 100-minute show, any musical nuances subsumed by the sheer blast of sound coming from the stage. And the new songs -- "Unsainted," "Solway Firth" (in just its second performance) and the anthemic "All Out Life" -- fell easily in line, treated like favorites by the Maggots who had clearly consumed them online and, given their rabid dedication to Slipknot, grabbed all of "We Are Not Your Kind" just three days prior.



As "Surfacing" brought the night to a fiery, pulverizing close, the connection between band, brand and Maggots -- the "heavy metal family" Taylor boasted of onstage -- was solidly, and ferociously, retrenched. They are definitely each other’s kind, and wouldn't have it any other way.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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