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introISS Dome, Düsseldorf, Germany
4th February 2016
Slipknot & Suicidal Tendencies

Much has been written, by people much smarter than me, on the liberating effect of wearing masks on stage. SLIPKNOT seems to be a perfect example of that effect. It´s not so much a question of hiding behind their masks, it´s using the masks to reveal some other form of truth.

And even more interesting than who is behind the masks, is the question, what is behind the masks. And behind these masks, there is a band history of almost 20 years. SLIPKNOT were founded around 1995 in Des Moines, Iowa. Their first proper album, the self-titled ‘Slipknot’, was released in 1998 and it was their next release, ‘Iowa’, that really brought the band to my attention. Looking back I have to admit that I first dismissed them as just some sort of music for kids: all hype, no substance. It took them three years to release their next album, ‘Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses)’, and of course it was the single ‘Duality’ that grabbed my attention. I liked this, I liked this a lot. And I started to realize that I began listening to ‘Iowa’ again and again, appreciating it more and more. Hidden behind the masks and a distracting image, was a proper band with some really catchy songs and from what I had heard, great live shows.


Fast forward to 2016 and my first SLIPKNOT show ever. The concert took place at the ISS Dome in Düsseldorf, home to the DEG, the ice hockey team of Düsseldorf. The ISS Dome is the second biggest venue in Düsseldorf, allowing for up to 12,500 visitors to see a show. Though the venue was not sold out, the floor was packed and around 9,000 fans attended the show.

Suicidal Tendencies

Opening for SLIPKNOT on this tour were SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, the Hardcore veterans from Southern California. SUICIDAL TENDENCIES have been around since 1982, though from the original line-up, only Mike Muir, the singer, remains. And ST did, what they did for the last twenty years, they heated the place up. It took them two or three songs and they had the audience chanting “S-T, S-T, S-T”, before starting the next circle pit. And when they played the old hymn ‘How will I laugh tomorrow’, it brought more than a smile to my face. The perfect warm-up on this first day of Carnival. / 


01. You Can't Bring Me Down
02. Ain't Gonna Take It
03. Possessed to Skate
04. Subliminal
05. Who's Afraid?
06. Cyco Vision
07. How Will I Laugh Tomorrow
08. Pledge Your Allegiance

Music: 6
Performance: 7
Sound: 6
Light: 4
Total: 5.8 / 10



Just before the show started, the lights were already out, the curtains were still closed and SLIPKNOT paid a short tribute to the man who wore masks and disguises throughout his career, David Bowie. Only a few seconds of ‘Ashes to Ashes’, but it set the mood for the evening. Yes, there is a certain pop sensibility to what SLIPKNOT does. Than the curtains opened and SLIPKNOT burst into ‘The Negative One’, grabbing the audience from the first few chords, immediately followed by the great ‘Disasterpiece’. My first highlight was the fantastic new song ‘Skeptic’ from their last album ‘.5: The Gray Chapter’ that you should really check out, as they are back to old form.


During the show, Corey Taylor would take a few minutes to address the audience and thank them for their ongoing support from the early days on. Germany being one of the few countries in the world that actually “got what we were doing”. I talked to a friend yesterday, who spent his weekends DJ-ing at the beginning of the noughties, and SLIPKNOT was one of the bands that always worked in the clubs. So, even if this was the usual “you´re the best audience ever” talk that you hear so often at shows, maybe there is a spark of truth in it. And to quote LINKIN PARK, “in the end it doesn´t really matter…” But it felt good and was much appreciated by the audience. Another fine moment came, when Corey thanked SUICIDAL TENDENCIES for opening the show getting the crowd to chant “S-T, S-T, S-T” again…


There is always a sense of madness, a sense of chaos and even a sense of danger on stage. SLIPKNOT, that´s up to 9 musicians on stage, so there is a lot of running, a lot of jumping and a whole lot of drumming going on. Front of the stage, left and right are two drum sets on hydraulic ramps, going up and down, while the drums were treated with drumsticks, fists and baseball bats. The back of the stage was covered by a big screen, where videos were projected, setting the mood for the songs. Together with the elaborate light show, the whole set felt like a big carnival funhouse, something out of a Wes Craven movie, only complete with evil clowns and the right soundtrack. The audience did their best to add their part to the evening, circle pits in the front and back of the floor, singing along and enjoying themselves, a lot of them dressed up for the occasion, wearing masks and overalls (or maybe this was because of the carnival going on in the city).


SLIPKNOT is definitely one of the best, if not the best, metal show out there at this moment. Pure energy, aggression, but always with a sense of humour, a sense of community and a certain pop sensibility. Such a shame that their prices for t-shirts and merchandise lack any sense of reason at all. / 

01. Intro: Ashes to Ashes (David Bowie)
02. Intro: Be Prepared for Hell
03. The Negative One
04. Disasterpiece
05. Eyeless
06. Skeptic
07. I Am Hated
08. Killpop
09. Dead Memories
10. Everything Ends
11. Psychosocial
12. Wait and Bleed
13. Duality
14. The Devil in I
15. Metabolic
16. (sic)
17. Intro: Hell (The Tiger Lillies)
18. Surfacing
19. Left Behind
20. Spit It Out
21. Outro: 'Til We Die

Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 9
Total: 8.2 / 10


All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( /

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