The queue snaking around the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham is buzzing with excitement as Iowa metal heavyweights Slipknot roll into town bringing Korn and King 810 with them for the penultimate UK date of what is undoubtedly the biggest metal tour of 2015.
Flint quartet King 810 are first up and play to a surprisingly busy and appreciative audience. With Corey Taylor bigging them up at every opportunity prior to this tour, it was no surprise when they landed the opening slot and, watching them batter through the likes of ‘Kill ‘Em All’, the quartet are certainly in no mood to mess around given their limited time on stage.
Like the headliners, Korn are old-hands at this arena lark and, for the best part of an hour, simply own the Capital FM Arena stage. Plundering their genre-bending back catalogue, Korn manage to cram as many of their hits into their set as they possibly could. From ‘Here To Stay’ to ‘Good God’ to ‘Falling Away From Me’, Korn are in unstoppable form tonight as Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor stands a few metres away singing along to every word. The familiar sight of Davies wheeling out his bagpipes for ‘Shoots And Ladders’ sets the tone for the back end of the set before the track that started it all off in the UK, ‘Blind’, brings their set to a brutal conclusion.
Slipknot are undoubtedly the biggest metal band on the planet right now and deliver a performance that matches their fearsome reputation. As the curtain raises on a gargantuan stage set and the band smash into opener ‘ Sarcastrophe’, Slipknot are clearly in no mood to give anything less than 150%. Not stopping to come up for air, ‘The Heretic Anthem’ is a fire-drenched anthem as the nine men on stage treat this rabid Nottingham crowd to a visual and sonic extravaganza.
And what an extravaganza it is. From the sight of Chris and Shawn perched over their hydraulic drum kits to the ceiling-melting bursts of fire that light up the stage to the sight of frontman Corey stalking the stage sounding better than he ever has, this is a band who, after so much heartache and drama in recent years, have really got the bug again. The set? Well, from newer tracks like the ‘Devil In I’ off their hit album 5: The Gray Chapter to familiar live favourites like ‘Psychosocial’ and ‘Duality’, Slipknot cover all bases from their sixteen year career leaving no fan of the band disappointed.
‘Custer’ brings the main set to a close causing all sorts of carnage before the band shift things up a gear with the glorious trio of ‘Sic’, ‘People=Shit’ and ‘Surfacing’ bringing the night to raucous, devil horn throwing, headbanging, shit-losing finale. In just under six months, in a field somewhere in Leicestershire, Slipknot will do it all again as they headline Download 2015. On this evidence we would be right to expect one of the most epic nights in heavy metal history to go down.