Slipknot's North American Tour came through West Palm Beach on July 1st , becoming the third date on the tour after the original two weeks being rescheduled due to Corey Taylor's unplanned spinal surgery. Good reviews had followed the first two shows, but with word Taylor had fallen while on stage in Atlanta, the crowd buzzed with questions on if the performance would be diminished. Can Corey Taylor pull off an insane show without his usual jumping around? Can a stationary frontman knock out a killer performance?
What they should have been worried about though was co-headliner Marilyn Manson. As a total Manson fangirl, I have defended him until it hurt. I fought my mother tooth and nail as a “rebellious teen” to listen to “that guy that wears women's clothes” and I did this because I believed in him and I lived by his music. But his heart clearly wasn't in it this go around. I'm not sure which part of it was the most painful but somewhere between him forgetting (or being too intoxicated to remember) the lyrics to his songs, slamming the mic repeatedly against the ground, turning second verses into long rants about strippers, or going on and on about Broward Community College, you can take your pick.
Long gone are the Antichrist days of Manson past where he is the show stopper of the night, and here are the days of muddled, uninspired, boring performances. It was, disappointing, in every sense of the word. The only upside was the band was solid, and the set list was one of the best I've seen in years, but when it's being presented by a sloppy Manson that only holds so much merit. I had hoped his antics were reserved solely for Florida since he seems to hold much disdain for the state, but hearing from friends in different areas, it seems this is the norm for this tour at least. Considering his past few tours we re much better than this, let's hope it was a fluke and we'll have better days ahead.
Thankfully, the nine members of Slipknot came to the stage and brought the house down, pushing any painful remnants of the previous performance out of the crowd's mind. Three weeks shy of a year since their last show in South Florida, this go around was even better than the last. With a core shake up of the set list, and an entirely different visual display, it was a new show entirely. A lot of bands can fall into the “same show” trap where the songs get repeated and not much changes tour to tour, but Slipknot are live masterminds, and every time you see them will be a new experience.
Changing out the pyro for creepy projected images, the crowd was tre ated to brains, fetuses, eyeballs, snips of music videos, and of course maggots, synced to the music. Taylor stayed predominately center stage while spitting lyrics out to the crowd, but it was hard to notice a lack of movement during the show. He did, of course, make mention of his neck brace (which blended in quite well with his jumpsuit) stating he wouldn't wish it on anyone and likening it to a leash. But that was really the only nod to his recent surgery, the lack of jumps did not take away from the show one bit. You still had Clown and Chris Fehn spinning around and up and down banging their sets, Weinberg in the rear center stage with his double bass set up, Sid Wilson and Craig Jones rising and falling in their cages behind percussion, and Mick Thomson, Jim Root, and Alex “V Man” Venturella moving around on stage. There was zero downside to Taylor's restrictions and he gave it his all regardless.
A few of the biggest changes on this year's set list was the addition of The Negative One, Dead Memories, Left Behind, Eyeless, Skeptic, and most excitingly for me The Pulse of the Maggots. While favorites such as Surfacing, Duality, Psychosocial, and Before I Forget retained their slots in the set. Slipknot proves time and time again their live performance is something you have to experience firsthand, and don't forget that when Spit It Out hits to get low and when Corey yells “jump the fuck up” – you jump the fuck up.