Kicking off his UK tour in support of his CMF2 album (read our review), Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor arrives in Leeds as the rest of the world buzzes with the news his “other band” has parted ways with drummer Jay Weinberg. Not that you could tell anything was going on behind the scenes judging by the sheer enjoyment plastered across Taylor’s face throughout the set.
Unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said for openers Oxymorrons, who hit the stage for their debut UK show only for a complete power failure, rendering their entire sound inaudible. Battling through multiple attempts to fix the gremlins, it would be unfair to criticize the band for the problems they endured because, on the face of it, if everything had been running as planned, their visceral cocktail of punk, rap and metal would have wiped the floor with anyone in the vicinity. That being said, the band returns next year to appear at Download XXI, and we fully expect them to right this wrong and smash out the kind of performance they were primed to do here in Leeds.
Anyone who has seen the “Corey Taylor Experience” will know what a full-throttle experience it is, and here in Leeds, it’s no different. We all know Corey is a top-class frontman, but to see him up close and on his own terms, you really see why the Slipknot vocalist has become a top-level solo artist in his own right. Mixing up a set of his own material with a few Slipknot classics and the odd Stone Sour hit, there really is something for everyone.
With a massive grin across his face, Taylor races about the stage, whipping this sold-out room up into a frenzy. Through the likes of “Black Eyes Blue,” “We Are The Rest,” and “Song 3,” Taylor’s energy levels don’t drop while his vocals are on point throughout. It’s seven songs in before we get the double whammy of “Before I Forget” and “Snuff,” the former a snarling version of the smash hit, the latter a heart-wrenching experience.
Matching their frontman, Taylor has assembled a band who are fully in tune with the energy of what is essentially a punk rock show. It’s sweaty, there are no gimmicks (unless you count that feckin’ Spongebob cover), and his band throws themselves into it as much as Taylor does. Performing at this standard night after night, it’s going to be interesting to see how the stamina matches up at the end of this run.
Storming through a pounding “30/30-150” from his Stone Sour back catalogue, the band wraps up with a double punch of Slipknot hit “Duality” and a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Fairies Wear Boots”. While all hell was breaking loose on the internet elsewhere tonight, for a thousand or so fans shoe-horned into the O2 Academy, Corey Taylor had brushed that aside to ensure nothing but a night to remember for his fans.