Review: Slipknot provides musical catharsis for fans, themselves

By MIKE CHAIKEN
EDITIONS EDITOR
Cathartic.
There’s probably no better way to describe the Slipknot performance on Friday, Dec. 5 at the Mohegan Sun.
It was clearly cathartic for the audience as they shouted along to their favorite songs by this band from Iowa. It was clearly cathartic as they flipped the bird into the air as the lyrics expressed their own festering anger at the world. It was cathartic as the music thrust them along on a roller coast of guitar riffs, rumbling drums, blinding lights, and eyebrow singe-ing pyro that allowed them, at least for the evening, to experience a kind of metallic joy.
But as much as the show was cathartic for the audience, it was clearly cathartic for Slipknot who reveled in the love shone on them by the appreciative audience.
I saw the band before at Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival in Hartford several years ago. And the band blew me away. But there were some internal issues within the band that clearly hung in the air for that festival tour. The death of former member Paul Gray, even though two years previous to Mayhem Fest, still was on the minds of the band.
This time around, with a new hit album “The Gray Chapter,” which has even earned them a Grammy nomination, the band seems reborn. Even though the album has been described as dark, it clearly has re-energized the group.
At the Mohegan Sun, the band’s musical energy was through the roof. It was full-throttle metal. They were tight. The percussion was driving. The guitar work was impeccable. And the showmanship illustrated clearly why the band is such a popular live act.
The band is going on two decades old. But you never would have known it. Slipknot seemed as if they felt they had something to prove. And they proved it 10-fold.
The audience seemed to love every minute of it.
Prior to Slipknot, Korn took to the stage. Jonathan Davis and crew were monsters who gave a performance that was more “headliner” than lead-in for Slipknot. They were unrelentless as they steamrolled through many of their classic tracks. Like the headliner, the musicianship was impeccable, proving that the band still has more power than many of the up-and-comers looking to have a career as storied as Korn. They set a high bar for the headliners to match or exceed. Korn proved to be the perfect tool to pump up the crowd for the headliners.
The opening act King 810 spent the summer touring with Korn on the 2014 installment of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. The group represents the next generation of metal. And they effectively set the stage for Slipknot and Korn by offering up a set that offered an unrelentless pummeling of guitar riffs, throaty vocals, and thundering rhythms.
I give the Dec. 5 performance of Slipknot, Korn, and King 810, three and a half stars out of four.

PHOTOS by MIKE CHAIKEN

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King 810 got the ball rolling at Friday night’s Slipknot concert at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

King 810 got the ball rolling at Friday night’s Slipknot concert at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

King 810 got the ball rolling at Friday night’s Slipknot concert at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

King 810 got the ball rolling at Friday night’s Slipknot concert at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

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King 810 got the ball rolling at Friday night’s Slipknot concert at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

King 810 got the ball rolling at Friday night’s Slipknot concert at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

Korn performed Friday night, opening for Slipknot at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

Korn performed Friday night, opening for Slipknot at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

Korn performed Friday night, opening for Slipknot at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

Korn performed Friday night, opening for Slipknot at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

Korn performed Friday night, opening for Slipknot at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

Korn performed Friday night, opening for Slipknot at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

Korn performed Friday night, opening for Slipknot at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

Korn performed Friday night, opening for Slipknot at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

Korn performed Friday night, opening for Slipknot at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

Korn performed Friday night, opening for Slipknot at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

Korn performed Friday night, opening for Slipknot at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

Korn performed Friday night, opening for Slipknot at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

Korn performed Friday night, opening for Slipknot at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

Korn performed Friday night, opening for Slipknot at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

Korn performed Friday night, opening for Slipknot at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

Korn performed Friday night, opening for Slipknot at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

Slipknot takes the stage at the Mohegan Sun Arena last Friday.

Slipknot takes the stage at the Mohegan Sun Arena last Friday.

Slipknot takes the stage at the Mohegan Sun Arena last Friday.

Slipknot takes the stage at the Mohegan Sun Arena last Friday.

Slipknot takes the stage at the Mohegan Sun Arena last Friday.

Slipknot takes the stage at the Mohegan Sun Arena last Friday.

Slipknot takes the stage at the Mohegan Sun Arena last Friday.

Slipknot takes the stage at the Mohegan Sun Arena last Friday.

Slipknot takes the stage at the Mohegan Sun Arena last Friday.

Slipknot takes the stage at the Mohegan Sun Arena last Friday.