On this cold rainy December 3rd at The Susquehanna Bank Center which is located in Camden, NJ and a small distance from Philadelphia, Fans from all over lined up to be the first inside to obtain their spot in the pit or to grab their seats. Fans then flooded into the SBC to Prepare for Hell at 6:00pm and get ready for this intense and very incredible tour package. Prepare for Hell is the name of the tour which includes Slipknot, Korn and KING 810. In hot pursuit of their latest release, .5: The Gray Chapter, Slipknot returns to deliver their horror themed metal music. Complete with their unique stage presence filled with masks, jumpsuits, guitars and multiple drum kits. Though, we had two acts to enjoy before Slipknot got to set fire to The Susquehanna Bank Center.
First up, we had KING 810 from Flint, MI. Performing a 30 minute 7 song set-list. Front-man David Gunn got the show on the road without any hesitation starting with 810 & Killem All. KING 810 is a very energetic band who literally used every single inch of the stage running and rolling around as if they were on fire or something. The lyrical content seemed to be very catchy and by the looks of the crowd, it seemed to get their energy levels to rise and blood to start pumping. There were plenty of fans head banging to the band as they delivered a quite lively performance. During their fifth song, Treading and Trodden, they got a little more hyped reaction from the crowd with some moshing, which you could tell was getting David hyped. As soon as they finished performing their last song, Fat Around the Heart, the crowd went wild. I don’t know if it was because they were finally done for the night or because they enjoyed the show. I know I had mixed feelings on their performance.
Next we have Co-Headliners Korn, who are expected to release their twelfth studio album in 2015. Jonathan Davis takes the stage with his very unique vocal range and style, With his guitarists James “Munky” Shaffer and Brian “Head” Welch, bassist Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu, and drummer Ray Luzier, Korn makes up a historical team and they add a unique flare to the metal genre with their beatboxing and thunderous grooves opened their 11-song set with “Twist”, a brief (49-second) track that features frontman Jonathan Davis’ signature scat vocal style over the only understandable lyric being the word “Twist” The band’s set was balanced, combining ’90s hits like “Freak on a Leash” and “Got the Life” with newer singles such as “Coming Undone.” As the stage got dark and quiet, you could see Jonathan Davis bringing out a little surprise for the crowd, as the band played “Shoots and Ladders”, he came out with his the bagpipes. Talk about igniting the crowd, especially when it slid into a nice tidbit of “One” from Metallica’s album. As “Freak On A Leash”’s beats filled the venue, the crowd started to get into the music, with the grooving of the funky bass and crisp beat of the drums and the unique vocals flowing from JD. With its gigantic-sounding opening riff and raw vocals, setlist closer “Blind”, the lead single from their 1994 self-titled debut album, rounded out a memorable performance as Davis exclaimed “20 years ago this was the song that started this motherfucker”. As they ended the song, all the members went to the edge of the stage to throw out guitar picks and drum-sticks. The crowd was jumping and running on top of one another hoping to catch one of these to take home. Korn’s antics may be strange, but it works and creates great music and a great performance! Korn then received a very much deserved thunderous round of cheers and applause as they exited the stage completing yet another mind blowing set.
Finally, it was the moment we’d all been waiting for all night! As 9:20 hits, The curtains arose as “XIX” flows thru the venue and there they are Slipknot. Slipknot members from numbers 1 through 9 with their masks and jumpsuits, creating an outrageous appearance! The show kicked off with “Sarcastrophe” from their newest album .5: The Gray Chapter. The song’s gloomy opening notes, pounding drums and frenzied guitar opened the show with a gut-pounder, a reminder that Slipknot will outlast any doubters with the lyrics “Kill, Kill everything that kills you”. With rotating, floating tin drums/kegs, to fire bursting out of the stage, to a massive goat head lighting up, to the incredible masks; There was a visual assault, just as powerful as the audible attack on our hearing. Front-man Corey Taylor crouched down, energizing the crowd. Staring at his “maggot” followers which filled the venue to near capacity. The stage at The Susquehanna Bank Center was a mix between a goth-themed circus and prom, only in this case the devil is awarded prom king as frontman Corey Taylor screamed “We’re here in one of our favorite fucking houses, Are you happy to see Slipknot back cause we are so fucking stoked to see each and every one of you mother fuckers.”, and stating “Right now we are going to give you another song off The Grey Chapter… Step Inside & see The Devil In I” before launching into “The Devil in I”, one of eight singles from their new LP. “Undo these chains, my friend / I’ll show you the rage I’ve hidden,” Corey growled as the staircase leading up to the drummer on stage became engulfed in flames and the crowd willingly obeyed the urge to go nuts. The 13th song on the set-list was the crazy “Spit It Out” from 1999. During this song we had a little session in the middle where Corey Taylor calms the crowd down and talks to them about what he wants them do, and that’s to “jump the fuck up!“. You can hear him singing and on cue he screams, “Are you sick of me? Good enough- had enough.. JUMP THE FUCK UP!” The crowd had never been so alive and energetic until now. It was a sight that I won’t soon forget! Winding down the main set was “Custer” and afterwards, the band said their goodbyes. Leaving the stage empty, but of course the crowd doesn’t budge a bit. They all just stand there chanting for them “Slip-Knot”. Then a few minutes later, the lights start to go dim again and here they come rolling out with their encore. Playing three more songs; (sic), People = Shit, and Surfacing, and ending with “Till We Die” as the band said their REAL goodbyes, as the number 2 illuminated in the backdrop and the band threw flowers into the crowd in remembrance of their bassist, Paul Gray who tragically passed away in 2010. The Gray Chapter is dedicated to his memory. The curtains then dropping to end the show in Camden NJ. A GREAT return of a legendary band Slipknot!
Overall, This has to be one of the best metal tours in 2014. Slipknot & Korn both put on mind-blowing exceptional performances that I wont soon forget. Check out Slipknot & Korn photos galleries @ www.awendowskiphoto.com