Slipknot, live review at the SSE arena on February 15, 2016, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

FIRST up on the bill on the night was thrash/metal band Suicidal Tendencies hailing from Venice, California. These guys had played a gig the previous Sunday in the Academy Dublin and themselves and Slipknot were wrapping up the tour in Belfast tonight. What a wrap. Especially after the show ST gave, I was completely surprised they weren’t completely deflated but the energy they gave up was contagious and after walking around Belfast city centre since the A.M, the boost was completely welcome.

These lads have been going since the 80’s and it was great to see them playing earlier stuff from their self-titled album, performing the likes of Possessed to Skate and I Saw Your Mommy and later songs such as You Can’t Bring Me Down from Lights…Camera…Revolution! My main thought throughout the set was “God, that drummer is underpaid,” the percussion was thoroughly insane.

The set was not complete without a few words from the main man himself. It was the usual “follow your dreams” speech but you could tell this one was spoken with heart. Mike Muir spoke with such pride about his brother, who had a hard time for practicing skateboarding so much when he was younger, only to turn around and get himself into the Skateboarding Hall Of Fame. In a nutshell, his message was “sod what everyone thinks, the only person who will get you where you want to be is YOU” to me, this is the best advice anyone can give.

Following the exit of Suicidal Tendencies, the excitement began building for the main act of the night, the one and only Slipknot!!! Everyone was preparing themselves for a performance known to change mankind. And boy, we were not disappointed. As per usual, no details of the set were overlooked. Visuals projected behind the band maintained the creepy atmosphere that the iconic masks pertain. There were burning dolls, maggots (obviously), spiders, weird asylum themed horror, fire, insides, pigs heads and the lot. Nightmares about flesh-eating disembodied dolls heads in shopping centres ensued but I wouldn’t change the experience for the world.

The setlist was completely flawless with the usual faves like Psychosocial, Dead Memories, and Spit It Out along with old favourites from Iowa such as Disasterpiece and Metabolic. Corey Taylor is the biggest legend known to man. He had the crowd wrapped around his finger, even had them all down on the ground and everything. Usually at gigs, you can see the participation decreasing about halfway down the venue but not this night.

Something has to be said about the showmanship of Slipknot, they literally create the best show for an audience as possible. The team behind the scenes really put so much effort into making sure Slipknot’s performance runs perfectly. If you’re going to a metal concert in the future, make sure it’s Slipknot, you will not be disappointed!

visual culture student at ncad, aspiring curator and writer. email: