w/ Marilyn Manson, Of Mice & Men
August 13, 2016
It was one of those days in the summer where you didn't expect it to be so hot, but once you stepped outside, you realized you were in what felt like the Sahara. Despite these desert-like conditions, thousands upon thousands of fans flocked to Concord Pavilion after clocking out of their day jobs, traversing the nearly eight-mile long road from the highway to the pavilion in order to take witness to one of this summer's most coveted heavy metal bills: Slipknot & Marilyn Manson, with special guests Of Mice & Men.
Slipknot and MM are veterans to the heavy metal world at this point; each have sold millions of records, toured the world over countless times, and are two of the biggest metal acts in the world that are still consistently creating new material to tour off of. It was only fitting that the bands welcome "newcomers" Of Mice & Men to their world. While the band has been rooted in the worlds of Warped Tour, it was very clear to me around the release and touring of their third album, Restoring Force, that they were looking to go into a different realm of metal, one that was nuanced and inspired by our evening's headliners. Not a single track was performed from the band's first two albums, but they played each newer track with such force and gusto that it made crystal clear sense to me as to why they were on the bill in the first place.
The sun hadn't even set yet, and Marilyn Manson was ready to take the stage. After an oddly placed Rihanna song boomed over the PA system, a theatrical overture poured out of the speakers. Lights behind the gigantic curtain in front of the stage revealed Manson's thin silhouette. The build-up occurred, the curtain dropped, and Manson and co. manned their respective instruments while their fearless leader has his back turned to the crowd, microphone stand raised above his head in an almost victory-like stance. They plummeted headfirst into Antichrist Superstar track "Angel With The Scabbed Wings", before powering straight into Holy Wood's "Disposable Teens". Manson and Co. played with an intensity I hadn't seen at a metal show in a very long time. For every thing that was listed prior to this tour stop about how the band's set was sloppy, they were pretty fucking good. It completely exceeded my expectations and I didn't see a damn problem with their performance. "Irresponsible Hate Anthem", "The Dope Show", and the haunting cover of Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams" all made appearances, as they've become true staples in Manson's set since the band's inception. And of course, who could forget "The Beautiful People"?
The sun was down, and two red curtains with the infamous "S" logo loomed over the horizon that was the stage in front of the general admission pit. At some point around 9 PM, the lights went out, and sounds began to gargle out from the PA system throughout the amphitheater. The curtain dropped and the Nine walked on stage, taking no mercy with them. I didn't expect them to open with "The Negative One", but it made for an enticing opening track. Gone were the pyrotechnics and crazy stage theatrics that were on the "Summer's Last Stand Tour", and everyone seemed to be okay with that. Tonight was about the music that Slipknot fans grew up loving.
"The Negative One" quickly transitioned into the Iowa rager "Disasterpiece" and the just-as-intense "Eyeless" from the band's debut self-titled. Even being released in 1999, they play it with the same amount of rage and terror that they bestowed upon the world that many years ago. Slipknot is a sight to behold. Staples in the band's set like "Before I Forget" (Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses), "Wait And Bleed" (Slipknot), and "The Heretic Anthem" (Iowa) were met with excitement. The biggest surprise to me was the band performing the Vol 3. track "Pulse of The Maggots", a personal favorite that I'd never seen performed live. Glad to say I can finally scratch that off the so-called Bucket List.
The band returned to the stage for a three-song encore that included "Surfacing", "Duality", and "Spit It Out", where as always, the band told their fans to get down on the ground, preparing to "jump the fuck up" when the final drop kicked in. The chaos subsided as the lights came up, but the show left the fans feeling as restless and excited as ever.
NOTE: The following photos are from Slipknot's tour that took place LAST year at Concord Pavilion. Minus the pyrotechnics and goat head, the stage set-up on this year's tour was virtually identical. We only photographed MM's set this time around, but feel free to enjoy these photos of Slipknot from last year's tour! Openers last year included Motionless In White, Bullet For My Valentine, and Lamb of God.
Of Mice & Men
This has been another Shameless Promotion.