Arriving a Klipsch Music Center on August 14, I immediately noticed a huge difference from my last trip-there were actually people here. While you would have thought at this years Mayhem Festival that metal was a dying breed of music, the Summers Last Stand show featuring Motionless In White, Bullet For My Valentine, Lamb Of God and Slipknot was there to prove that metal was very much alive. A fact proven before the show even started as the line at the entry gates stretched down to the parking lot.
Motionless In White opened up the evenings festivities. As the band, all in various forms of ghoul makeup made their way to the stage, bassist Devin Sola took the prize for the most eye catching with his Linda Blair Exorcist meets Edward Scissorhands look. With a backdrop of the iconic John Carpenters Halloween butcher knife/jack-o-lantern design, Motionless In White jumped into “Break The Cycle” as leader Chris Motionless made his way about the stage. This is the third time I’ve seen Motionless In White, and they just get better every single time. The rest of the set list included “Devils Night”, “Immaculate Misconception”, “Puppets 3”, “Generation Lost”, “Unstoppable” and “Reincarnate”.
Bullet For My Valentine was up next and due to the amount of screams of “I Love You” and female shirts getting raised, it is a safe assumption this was one of the favorites of the female audience members. The boob baring was not something lost on vocalist Matt Tuck as he at one time pointed it out to the rest of the audience. Presenting a good blend of melodic metal, this was my first experience with this band and I was definitely won over as a fan. Playing songs both old and new, the bands new album Venom was released the same day as this show, the set list included “Your Betrayal”, “No Way Out”, “Raising Hell”, “Scream Aim Fire”, “Army Of Noise”, “Tears Don’t Fall” and “Waking The Demon”.
Lamb Of God was next up. Lamb Of God also released a new album this month, VII: Sturm und Drang, which is quite possibly the best album of their career and definitely a front runner for metal album of the year. Amidst a video backdrop that ran scenes of the carnage of both war and religion along with it’s spiritual corruption, vocalist Randy Blythe ran around the stage like a man possessed trying to exercise his demons. During their set, Lamb Of God do what they do best and that is to deliver crushing heavy metal and are one of the all around best at it. Their set consisted of “Walk With Me In Hell”, “Now You’ve Got Something To Die For”, “Still Echoes”, “512”, “Ghost Walking”, “Ruin”, “Hourglass”, “Vigil”, “Laid To Rest” and “Redneck”.
One can only imagine what it is like for Corey Taylor to look through the eye-slit windows of his Ed Geinish/Leatherface like skin mask. Like a proud father he stands center stage looking out over his family, his metal family to be exact, a turbulent sea of black shirts representing metal of all genres with Slipknot making up the majority, as he prepares to lead us all into the psychotic world of controlled chaos that is a Slipknot show. Each move seems sporadic yet precisely orchestrated. From the rotating scissor lifts of the percussion kits to the billowing clouds of fire, the show gives the feeling of a funhouse ran by a psychotic gang of serial killers from your favorite slasher flicks.
Slipknot has always had a large following here in Indiana. Possibly this is due to the band being from Iowa, a very similar state, and the camaraderie that being from similar places brings. The set list was “Sarcastrophe”, “The Heretic Anthem”, “Psychosocial”, “The Devil In I”, “AOV”, “Purity”, “Wait And Bleed”, “Killpop”, “Before I Forget”, “The Blister Exists”, “Duality” (which had the audience singing out the intro) and “The Negative One”. Corey then had everyone sit down as he began “Spit It Out” and upon his command of get the fuck up, everyone began jumping before ending the set with “Custer”. After a brief interlude, Slipknot returned with an encore of “(sic)”, “People=Shit” and “Surfacing”. During this set Corey made it clear that we were all part of the metal family and stressed that we needed to take care of one another and that metal was not dead and in unison with Corey everyone gave a middle finger to all those who say otherwise. At any given time Sid could be found dancing around the stage, climbing up the rising drum kits to headbang and then jump back down to earth. Shawn and Chris came out from their unique drum kits consisting of bass drums and empty beer kegs (which they beat upon with ball bats), to play marching band style drums all while Jim and Mick gave us those bone crunching riffs that immediately let you know you are listening to Slipknot. This traveling madhouse is truly a spectacle, one that can’t really be described as it is more than just a visual experience. It is being with thousands of kindred souls from all walks of life who share the undeniable bond that heavy metal brings them and during those few hours we spend together we are an invincible tribe. That bond is the one thing that sets metal apart from other musical genres, and it is something that Slipknot understands, after all they are just like us and a personification of our collective souls.
Bullet For My Valentine
Lamb of God
Motionless in White