Slipknot’s world tour descended on the First Direct Arena in Leeds this week, and Anthony Longstaff was there to experience it
Possibly the world’s greatest metal band, Des Moines, Iowa’s Slipknot graced the stage in Leeds last weekend, playing to a near sell-out crowd at the First Direct arena.
Yorkshire’s ‘maggots’ swarmed to the venue for a mega metal line-up of Sikth, Suicidal Tendencies and the headline act.
It’s the band’s first outing at this arena but obviously not the first in the county, having played a few times at Leeds Festival over the years.
Steeped in controversy, Slipknot are a band that can and do attract massive audiences to their shows right across the globe.
By their nature and history the shows should be grotesque and macabre but for the uneducated, Slipknot are a fiercely talented bunch of musicians; most of the band are involved with other celebrated acts including lead vocalist Corey Taylor, who also heads up Stone Sour.
As metal gigs go you pretty much don’t get bigger than this. There’s quite a variation of fan from the eight year old youngster we high-fived with their Dad to the passionate late 30s metaller with the cut off t-shirt and receding hairline.
We arrive a little late and miss the first band Sikth but get there just in time for Suicidal Tendencies, who are positively energised throughout their fantastic set.
But realistically the night belongs to Slipknot and many many thousands of people are eagerly awaiting their presence. And pretty much bang on time the ‘Knot’ are on stage and the crowd give them an ecstatic response.
The set is relatively similar to last year’s stadium tour which looks quite vast as it has to accommodate all nine band members.
The show starts with ‘The Negative One’ and then roller-coasters into an unusual assortment of some older tracks from albums including their second release Iowa. They also play ‘Everything Ends’, ‘Disasterpiece’ and ‘Metabolic’ – all of which are loudly welcomed.
Taylor gives an insane performance from the start – so much more energetic than when they came to Sheffield last year, it seems their game has been upped.
It’s always a delight to hear classics ‘Duality’, ‘Psychosocial’ and ‘Dead Memories’ played – not only are they definitive crowd-pleasers but to hear them played live in your hometown is a thrill.
Arriving back on stage stage for a three-song encore, Slipknot and Taylor in particular show their appreciation for their Yorkshire fanbase, which in this industry is a trait seldom seen.
It’s an absolute privilege to have seen this band live again. Hopefully their next appearance in Yorkshire won’t be too far off.