November 6, 2014After seeing Amon Amarth on Tuesday, seeing Slipknot and Korn was a very different experience. I went with a friend whom I would not describe as a metalhead, which made it a lot more enjoyable for me. But aside from that, the show had some issues.
First of all, the Century Link Center is a completely different venue. The beer selection was a crime against humanity. Literally the best thing they had was Shock Top wheat, and that was $8, which is of course ridiculous. And the wait in line to get any alcohol was asinine. Other than that, I can't really fault the venue--getting in was easy without an especially horrible security process, and seating was fine--but it's a lot less enjoyable to be in a place of that size than a smaller club.
The other fans there were exactly what I expected. Nearly everyone there was my age, which meant they got into Slipknot and Korn most likely when they were in high school in the 90's. (Also, a few of them brought their kids.) Which is fine, but it is telling when a band's appeal is so limited to a certain group of people who got into it at the right time. On top of that, I saw only two Slayer shirts, two Black Label Society shirts, two or three Metallica shirts, and a whole lot of Slipknot shirts. Although on the surface I might be of those people, those people don't really share my taste in music.
Well, anyway, none of that was surprising. On to the music.
The opening band was King, who I think would more accurately be described as a rap group than even a nu-metal group. Yes, they had instruments, but they were used to play abrasive rap beats. The only thing I can compare them to is Bile, who I only know because they had a song on the soundtrack to Strangeland, although that Bile song was miles better. It was not enjoyable, as hard as I tried.
Then came Korn. And that's when the nostalgia factor kicked in for me. They played a good number of hit songs, and keeping in mind they were supporting Slipknot they stayed away from their bouncy pop material (no "Twisted Transistor" here). I refused to throw the horns for them except for the few seconds they played of Metallica's "One." I had seen them play 14 years ago, and to be honest Jonathan Davis doesn't own the stage the way he used to, but I had a good time.
Slipknot was great. I make no apologies for that statement. While I've bashed on them somewhat in looking back at their career, the fact is that they write some killer tunes. In a live setting, they select only those killer tunes and you can pretend that all the garbage tracks they use to pad their albums don't even exist. Corey Taylor knows how to get the crowd involved, and they had a huge light show with pyrotechnics and a giant goat skull. It was a spectacle, if nothing else. It was also cool to see how some of their "custom percussion" was done (hitting a beer keg with a baseball bat was my favorite). On record a lot of their songs don't sound metal, but when they play them live you kind of forget all that and just enjoy the blistering rage of it all.
So I had a good time, despite my apprehension, despite the beer selection, and despite the excessively-long sound checks. I'd recommend it to any metalheads of my age who, like me, have a lot of nostalgia for Slipknot. But I'd show up 45 minutes after the show's scheduled start, because King was fucking terrible.