Ok this is going to be short and sweet, because as we all know I am not a metal aficionado.
Last night I went to Alexandra Palace in North London to see Slipknot. Although I was born north of the river, I now live in SW London so I had forgotten what a great venue “Ally Pally” is, as I haven’t been for a while. And the view of London as you walk up the hill from the station is breathtaking.
So first things first, I was slightly apprehensive as I thought maybe the vibe would be a little aggressive to suit the mood of the music, but actually no. Part of me was a little disappointed. Of course there were hoards of people in heavy metal T shirts and black leather; and the tattoos and piercings were rife – but I guess they are in every day life anyway, so that was hardly a news flash.
Everyone seemed lovely and friendly – in fact I would say the atmosphere was quite jolly!
I didn’t catch the support act. But as I waited for Slipknot to arrive, David Bowie’s “Ashes to Ashes” was blasted out of the speakers – I liked that very much.
When Slipknot came on – the audience just came together – didn’t matter how “hardcore” or “ordinary” they looked – they were as one. There was a lot of nodding, some jostling and screaming of the lyrics around me – which was great – I did feel bad that I didn’t know any lyrics except for “Snuff” which they didn’t play.
It was loud and chaotic but pretty enthralling. I loved the rotating drum kits on either side of stage and the fact that whenever you are at a big live gig the drums just course through your veins from the ground up.
I only really knew Dead Memories and Psychosocial as I have the “All hope is gone” album but I did enjoy myself.
I heard riffs and melodic references I recognized, I loved the rhythm section and Corey Taylor works the crowd effortlessly.
The stereotypes of the constant swearing (which I found quite amusing) and the often ugly/disgusting imagery on the video screens didn’t add anything in my opinion, but maybe that’s what’s expected and obviously part of the image. I don’t like their masks at all, but I’m guessing there must be reason? Maybe I should Google…
Not sure I would swap my jazz and MOR gigs for heavy metal just yet, but I would definitely go again.