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Slipknot @ NJ: 03-06-05

Artist: Slipknot
Venue: Continental Airlines Arena, NJ
Opener: Gizmachi, Shadows Fall, Lamb Of God
Date: 3-6-05

The Slipknot show at Continental Airlines Arena would prove to start with both an interesting as well as annnoying twist. Of the four bands performing, Gizmachi was set to kick it off and the tickets showed a start of 7:00 pm. On walking in at exactly that time we were told by ushers that Gizmachi had played three songs about 30 minutes ago. It is not fair to the audience who pays for the ticket or the band who expects a decent crowd to be there for a show such as this. Instead people were probably wondering why Gizmachi shirts were on sale since they had missed them and were unaware they even played. This band in particular is a discovery of the “Clown” in Slipknot, so you would think the venue would allot some accommodation. I imagine it beneficial to generate a buzz in a new CD that is coming out. This cant help it at all.

It was also interesting to look around the venue and find it not overly crowded. Given Slipknots overall appeal to the metal fans, and then combine that with the chance to see Shadows Fall and Lamb Of God on the same bill this was odd. Looking inside the venue to the top section, one could see a black curtain draped around the entire structure. This means that not one seat was sold for the entire area. Now that’s a lot of empty seats and it would have seemed bad had it not be covered up. Also random scatters of empty sections which did not fill even at Slipknots time were very visible. I am not sure how or why this is the case, but we made the best of it and still rocked hard. Further investigation had me finding this was considered a scaled-down event, but I still felt Slipknot has the notoriety to fill this venue.

So, we walked in on the beginning of Shadows Fall and this is one band that does the job of bringing old and new metal together. Clearly they are going to be among the big names in metal if people know what is good for them. Their music is defiantly packed with a punch and shows some great skills. The group rumbled through a short set of their classics and some from their newest Century Media release entitled “Revolver”. Check them out, I know I will be doing the same. They seemed to have played a little more than 30 minutes. Lead singer Brian Fair did not spinning his head once as we watched. His dreads looked like deadly whips as they thrashed around.

Lamb Of God came on next and the audience was showing that a good majority of them were in attendance for this band. We also saw lots of LOG shirts as we walked about the venue during down time. I last heard this band was on Ozzfest but I did not see them. More good stuff from these guys but while it was a nice set, I felt the vocal mix sucked as I could hardly hear their singer.

After a decent stage shift time it was Slipknot’s turn to hit the stage. You could feel the energy building in the air as their lead in stuff was going on. A curtain was drawn in front until all members were onstage and ready. Now I am hard pressed to describe what actually went on, because for those who have never seen a Slipknot show, what does on at a performance is absolute mayhem. The percussionist “Clown” is certainly able to rile people up when they play. That’s important in a front man, but I had several problems with the audience. They were a lot tamer than I expected for this band. I have to say that each member of the band runs about like they are insane and if you cannot get to a show, pick up the DVD for “Disasterpieces” since it shows in full-fledged glory the craziness that ensues. I found it amusing to see the DJ character run down to hit the giant conga type drums and then hang from them when they rose into the air. He would jump off and run back to his DJ section. Wild to say the least. Perhaps my favorite part of the whole night was Joey Jordisons drum solo. He is just a killer drummer and he employs some of the rising and spinning drum kit stuff that was done by Tommy Lee years ago, and it was all the more impressive to see him playing at Death Metal speed while spinning around.

Towards the end, Clown came to the front stage and showed off the bands platinum and gold awards for their past releases. He mentioned that this was all done because of them and without the help of the critics. The audience seemed to enjoy that, but they still were not as lively as they should have been.

Set List (in no order at all):

1. 15 Min Home Movie/Prelude 3.0 Intro
2. Blister Exists
3. (SIC)
4. Disasterpiece
5. Before I Forget
6. Left Behind
7. Liberate
8. Vermilion
9. Pulse Of The Maggots
10. Joey Jordison Drum Solo
11. Vermilion Pt. 2 Video
12. The Nameless
13. Iowa
14. Heretic Anthem
15. Everything Ends
16. Duality
17. Spit It Out
18. People = Shit
19. Get This
20. Wait And Bleed
21. Surfacing
22. Danger Keep Away

Official Web site:

--Ken Pierce

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