Slipknot Burns Faces With Fierce Reading, PA Show


Recently, the AltWire team had the opportunity to experience Slipknot‘s “Prepare For Hell” tour with Korn and King. Thankfully, the tour invaded our hometown of Reading, PA. This show was so incredible, that in order to do it justice, I had to do separate reviews for the bands.

What transpired that night was absolutely unforgettable. Being 58 and exposed to music for 48 years of those years, I thought I saw it all: 100’s of concerts from Elvis, to Sinatra, to The Beatles, to The Rolling Stones, to AC/DC, I could go on and on. The “Prepare For Hell” tour cast an impression on me that will resonate in my personal hall of fame for performances I’ve seen of all time! Seeing huge shows in the ’70s, 80s, and forward, Slipknot visually, and acoustically, affected me as much as when I saw the wall erected by Pink Floyd in the 1970s.

Being my first Slipknot show and not being a hard-core fan, to give you a history lesson on the band would do them an injustice. Instead, I will go with my musical experience, and the impression left upon me by this great band, during this show’s review. The energy that was produced during this show was volcanic. From the opening number, the crowd was a complete mosh pit. There were throbs of power erupting from the stage. While they did not take anyone out in body bags, they did have stretchers going out, with each wounded warrior smiling and being cheered by the crowd like an injured NFL player being wheeled off the field. Having the advantage of seeing this show from the VIP suite was an experience I will never forget. With all of the carnage that ensued, thankfully, this old fuck was up there. For anyone out there who understands what hardcore heavy metal is all about, you know how great this show was.

After seeing them live, what needs to be stressed is the artistic elements of Slipknot’s show. The sights and sounds are unlike anything you will ever see. What they create is unlike any other act. This 9 piece ensemble moves together on stage, hypnotizing the crowd to the point of pure bedlam. One has to wonder, however, how the hell these guys do this over and over. When our photographer emerged from the stage area, he was dripping in sweat from the pyrotechnics and exhausted from the overall experience.

A huge 100-foot baby-blue curtain hung down over the stage as the masses readied themselves. As the intro started up, the crowd surge from my viewpoint was surreal. It was unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed. The soothing color of the curtain gave way to this blood-red, fire-breathing devil with his mouth open wide and ready to devour everyone in sight. The pyro shooting into the air, the light effects, and the sound from this band had my eyes watering, my skin crawling and my body shaking.

As Slipknot mixed in the new songs with the old ones, they just kept bringing it. Each song built upon the last, with the show itself getting stronger and stronger. I witnessed a perfect symbiotic metaphor as the crowd fed off this band, the band definitely fed off of the energy from their crowd. The sound was so strong with each of the 9 band members not holding back. Equipment breaking, stage props going down from the sheer force of it all were an inevitability as Corey Taylor’s incredibly versatile and powerful vocal range exploded over the mix, melting faces with his commanding hard rock performance.

To end this review, I just wanted to thank Slipknot for the experience, I walked in a 58-year-old and left feeling like I was 20 all over again. The performance, along with the incredibly-fucking-good time I had, took my senses days to recover from. Whether you are a fan of the band’s music or not, if you are a true rock fan that can appreciate artistic expression at its finest, you must see a live Slipknot performance. You won’t forget it.


The Heretic
My Plague
The Devil in I
The Negative One
Three Nil
Before I Forget
Wait and Bleed
Spit It Out

People = Shit
‘Til We Die

Images Copyright ©2014 – Photographer: Derek Oswald

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