Published Oct 19, 2015Last night (October 18), Rexall Place was enveloped in metal with the old, the new and the phantasmagorically blue as Beartooth, Suicidal Tendencies and Slipknot screamed a little hell.
While the crowd still trickled in, Beartooth took their opening slot seriously, pounding out their singles while promoting the seasoned acts that followed. Sincere both musically and in stage presence, the Columbus Ohio outfit didn't seem out of place as they ploughed through their album Disgusting and proved to the crowd that they weren't just there because of their looks. Frontman Caleb Shomo ran amok onstage while simultaneously being pitch perfect between screams and harmonies.
The old (but still relevant) Suicidal Tendencies then charged into the audience's ears, appeasing the denim crowd with their skater thrash catalogue. It was hits aplenty as Mike Muir and company infinity looped the stage while talking to concertgoers about staying true to themselves. It might have seemed like phoney placating from another mouth, but Muir's track record of frankness and righteousness made the between-song diatribes all the more genuine. Muir confessed to being a lifelong hockey fan and said he had a chat with the Gretzky statue located on the east end of the Rexall Place perimeter. He then dedicated the anthemic "Possessed to Skate" to all those that skated, be it on ice or board.
Enter Slipknot, who burst through gossamer curtains as Van Halen's "Running With The Devil" boomed overhead.
To say that the audience erupted would be an understatement, like calling a volcanic cataclysm a sneeze. Corey Taylor ran the audience like a puppet master. "Someone is definitely going to jail in Edmonton tonight," he said as the mosh pit began to sit down in preparation for "Jump The Fuck Up" (and jump up they did). Swinging through the band's hitlist, Taylor and company performed hits from Slipknot's self titled first album up until .5: The Gray Chapter, with most of the performance showcasing that 2014 effort.
For most of the set, Taylor sat perched like a gargoyle of Robert Englund as crowd surfers were pulled to safety by security. Taylor would scream lyrics at them as they then ran the outer crowd gutters like home run hitters. "If You're 555 Then I'm 666" was basically a sing-along for the roaring crowd, who bowed to the horror-masked nu-metal nine-piece and embraced the macabre.
Every part of the show was a spectacle, which was refreshing as there was always something to look at; if it wasn't the "Hell's BBQ Restaurant and Skate Park" motif, it was the four lifts that spun band members up and around as they slam danced and raved.
"Me Inside and The Devil In I" encapsulated the show perfectly. With the audience singing along to the morose tunes, one couldn't help but see the contrasting smiles on their faces. Like a shared communal feeling of acceptance in life being wholly dark, the audience embraced it with moshing, screaming and (clandestine) joint smoking.
It was chaos, in the best way possible. Like a roaming circus, Slipknot brings anti-church chaos to those in need of release, and left Edmonton tired, satiated and maybe a little deaf.