The only California date of Slipknot’s “Summer’s Last Stand” Tour ripped through the Concord Pavilion last night along with Motionless In White, Bullet For My Valentine and Lamb Of God for a packed night of metal. With an obscenely early start time of 6 pm, a hell of a lot of people must have played hooky from work in order to beat the traffic to the far side of the East Bay because there was already a sizable line out front when the doors opened at 5 pm.
Those that lined up early seem to have made it a point to get there in time for openers Motionless in White and Bullet For My Valentine; and while the amphitheater was nowhere near full yet, the enthusiasm from the crowd during their sets more than made up for the open space. Many seemed to be caught off guard, however, when Lamb Of God’s set started five minutes early … the amphitheater looked surprisingly empty. But as the intro music started and LOG launched into the fury of Walk With Me In Hell, hordes of people came streaming in with beers sloshing.
With a brace on one knee and a wrap on one ankle, LOG front man Randy Blythe was prepared to unleash on the crowd. Literally flying across the stage, it was hard to imagine a guy like that in the captivity of a Czech jail cell; he was clearly relishing the space and the freedom that the stage offered. In no time, the general admission floor was beyond-packed, a chaotic pit swirling in the center. When they remodeled the Concord Pavilion last year, someone made a wise choice to remove the seating because when Randy screamed, “destroy this fucking place!” during Redneck, there’s no doubt that had those seats still been there, they would have been history.
After Lamb Of God’s set, the crew quickly dropped a giant red curtain in front of the stage as they took care of the change-over. Some folks scurried off for more drinks but most stayed put … no one wanted to be caught flat-footed for Slipknot. Perhaps with the intent of providing the stragglers with a little notice, the Van Halen’s Runnin’ With The Devil started pumping through the PA. Before the curtain dropped, XIX, the intro for .5: The Gray Chapter came on. With fans like these, no band was needed … they sang along loudly to every word as the curtain finally dropped to the intro of Sarcastrophe, revealing an expansive stage punctuated by a massive demon head at the rear.
All that pent-up energy finally blew … the chaos on the floor eclipsed what LOG was previously able to draw … no doubt fueled as much by the music as by the insanity on stage. Spinning drum platforms, hydraulic lifts and fire … enough fire that the front few rows could clearly feel the heat. One can only imagine what that seething mass must have looked like from the stage and Corey Taylor clearly took notice, “You mother fuckers are amazing out there!”
Even when things slowed things down on stage during Killpop, the crowd barely let up; a vigilant security detail even scanning the crowd for surfers with their flashlights when the lights went down between songs. So when mid way through the night Corey says, “We’d like to take you somewhere cold and dark from The Gray Chapter. Are you ready to go there,” you have to chuckle. Does Slipknot knows places that are NOT cold and dark? Because by the looks of thing, it’s pretty much a certainty that the audience had been in that place the whole time.
- The Heretic Anthem
- The Devil in I
- Wait and Bleed
- Before I Forget
- Spit It Out
- People = Shit
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