Hours before Slipknot took the stage Friday night, July 29, at DTE Energy Music Theatre, frontman Corey Taylor tweeted out that he was "in a particularly ornery mood."
Taylor is still recovering from an unexpected spinal surgery that delayed the original tour start date, so while that could have contributed to his less-than-stellar pre-show state, that mood clearly subsided during the interim, because Taylor's rapport with the crowd and the sensory-overload show his fellow masked bandmates delivered proved otherwise.
"When you tour for two years, you don't get crowds like this," said Taylor to the packed DTE audience who not once let an opportunity pass to shout during fan-favorites "Negative One" and "Dead Memories."
"Are you happy to see us again?" egged Taylor. Needless to say, they were.
However, if anyone had the right to be in an ornery mood, it was Marilyn Manson, whose tight, one-hour set was plagued by microphone issues toward the end, specifically during "The Beautiful People." Manson jumped off the stage and perched himself on the front barricade, getting up-close with the fans in the small general admission pit area. Had his microphone not cut out for the entire first verse and most of the chorus, it would have been the highlight of his set.
Fortunately, though, the shock-rocker delivered plenty of other high points, including his cover of the Eurythmics classic "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)" whist walking around the stage on stilts and "Antichrist Superstar," which came equipped with the iconic podium that debuted during his infamous 1999 "Rock Is Dead" tour.
Very little time was wasted between sets. The change over took about 30 minutes, remarkable considering that Slipknot's stage setup of an elevated back stage, two ramps and four spinning scissor lifts. Add in the massive projection screen constantly flashing a mix of grotesque, horror-based imagery and animated versions of past album artwork, and it's obvious why Slipknot's tours are so popular and give you the most bang for your buck.
During a career-spanning set list that included "Wait And Bleed," "Duality" and "Devil In I," Taylor a point multiple times to express how much Slipknot has appreciated the Detroit crowds over the years, including name-dropping the east side metal venue Harpo's from the band's early touring days and stating, "You have made us feel like we're from here." The feeling was certainly mutual, with everyone on their feet for the entire two-hour set, constantly head-banging and throwing devil's horns into the air, with mosh pits breaking out on the lawn.
From open-air festivals to amphitheaters like DTE, Slipknot more than manage to live up to their reputation as one of rock's best live acts, and if you disagree, their fans will likely have a few choice words for you.
Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock reporter who never leaves home without her iPod, because to her, there’s something very comforting about carrying around every piece of music she’s ever owned in her life.