It’s a bitterly cold evening in South Yorkshire, but the weather does nothing to dampen the spirits of the sold out crowd patiently edging their way into the Motorpoint. Sheffield is playing host to the first date of the UK leg of the Prepare For Hell Tour that sees the highly anticipated return of Slipknot to these shores with a brand new album. There’s quite a buzz about the support too, which is provided by trend setting stalwarts Korn and an extremely polarising band from Flint, Michigan called King 810.
The arena is still filling up when King 810 hit the stage and their first few songs are largely met with mass indifference. It has to be said that they do market themselves exceptionally well and their background of street life and crime is hammered home so relentlessly that it’s impossible not to understand what they are about. But gangster life is something a country boy like me has a lot of trouble relating to and unless they suddenly start writing songs about cow tipping and scrumping for apples, it’s unlikely I will ever identify with them, but it’s clear why so many do.
Their set is energetic, frontman David Gunn’s delivery is earnest but often so overdone that he’s barely audible and comes across less deranged and more like he’s having a difficult poo. King 810 show some promise and clearly have a good following. With some stronger songs that don’t rely on rhyming “gun” with “run” they may well be a force to be reckoned with one day.
Korn are instantly given a heroes welcome and proceed to bring out the greatest hits. Opening with “Here To Stay” they are surprisingly heavy and a large proportion of the crowd goes nuts from beginning to end. They also win an award for being a band responsible for the first time I’ve ever seen the appearance of a bagpipe given a standing ovation.
With little pause for breath Korn hammer the entire arena into oblivion, huge sing a long stand outs like “Falling Away From Me” and “Right Now” go down beautifully as the band feed off the enthusiasm of the crowd. A much healthier looking Johnathan Davis has lost none of his swagger and closing with “Blind” Korn prove that they are still an important band.
Most bands would find it difficult to follow a performance like the one Korn had just given, but then again most bands aren’t Slipknot. The masked nine piece explode onto the stage with “Sarcastrophe” from new album “5: The Gray Chapter” before launching into a fiery rendition of fan favourite “The Heretic Anthem”.
The band have brought all their props with them with intense pyro, elevating percussion sets and DJ booth, there is always something going on, but the show is almost stolen entirely by Shawn “Clown” Crahan’s ridiculous stripey socks. Slipknot appear to be a band who are enjoying themselves again and the overwhelming sense of positivity that emanates from the stage is palpable. The huge choruses from hit singles like “Duality” and “Before I Forget” are enough to make hairs stand on end with the entire arena singing along.
It took six years for Slipknot to overcome adversity and release their latest album and if rumours are to be believed a follow up will be along sooner than we might think. If they
can maintain this kind of enthralling stage show then long may they continue.