LIVE: Slipknot, Korn & King 810 – 3Arena, Dublin

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After a decade since they last stepped on stage in Ireland Slipknot’s return to Dublin’s 3Arena proved a very special night for devoted metal fans.

Promising to make up for the last ten years there was a distinct frenzy of excitement and anticipation throughout the crowd. Coming along as main support the mighty Korn couldn’t have been a more perfect choice for thrilled fans on what proved to be an exceptional opening night for the ‘Prepare for Hell’ tour.

Performing in Ireland for the first time opening headliners King 810 are met with curiosity and mixed interest. Coming from Flint, Michigan which has been hailed as the most dangerous place in America most of their lyrics reflect the murder, crime and death they have witnessed and proved perhaps too dark and morbid. There is an immediate sense that this band seem to be completely out of their depth, they do nothing to entertain the chattering and anxious crowd. I can imagine that King 810 would be better suited to a smaller venue as the magnitude of the 3 Arena seemed to just subdue their sound especially when slotted next to two of the biggest bands in the world.

With the venue now stuffed to capacity the whirling madness that is Korn take to the stage as there is uproar from the crowd. Arrogantly placed in the middle of the stage stands the infamous H.R Gieger mic stand used by Jonathon Davis as they launch into their first song ‘Twist.’ Returning to form ‘Brian Head Welsh’ is a haze of hair as he strikes his guitar with primitive passion and fury. Clearly comfortable in their current line-up there is an evident energy and synchronicity from the band as they perform.

Delving into hits such as ‘Here to Stay’ and ‘Right Now’ the crowd begins to divide into multiple pits throughout the floor and Korn prove how they can still dominate and lead as they play. Performing a set that spans their huge back catalogue fans are thrilled by the inclusion of ‘Freak on a Leash’ and ‘Falling Away from Me’ sending fans into a somewhat topless whirlwind. Ever the exhibitionist Ray Luzier doesn’t disappoint with his extravagant, excessive drum-style and at times it is hard to take your eyes off him.

Brandishing his trademark bagpipes Davis adorns our ears with ‘Shoots and Ladders’ before including a verse form Metallica’s ‘One’ as chaos erupts throughout the crowd. Finishing off their set with ‘Blind’ Korn proved to be ferocious in their performance, surpassing any expectations they have the crowd well and truly fired up for what is to come.

As the venue becomes enshrouded in darkness the anticipation of Slipknot’s arrival can truly be felt throughout the crowd. After a ten year absence there is a lot of lost time to make up for and the band waste no time as they menacingly erupt into ‘Sarcastrophe’ finally Slipknot has arrived. Obscured in their infamous costumes and masks while accompanied by flames and a seriously horrific backdrop we have insight to the madness that is about to ensue.

As they launch into ‘The Heretic Anthem’ quickly followed by ‘My Plague’ the floor below becomes one huge mass mosh pit as the crowd explodes into madness. With nine members on-stage it is impossible to take in everything that’s going on at once especially with Sid ascending any and every surface in sight.  Having named their 5th album ‘.5: The Gray Chapter’ lead singer Corey Taylor refers to the testing times that the band has faced but how the fans have ensured there return before beginning into ‘The Devil in I’.

With a few changes to the line-up new bassist Alessandro Venturella appears comfortable and confident during the set, while the replacement of long-standing drummer Joey Jordison by Jay Weinberg goes barely noticed as Weinberg gives a remarkable performance. The pandemonium commencing throughout the whole arena during ‘Before I Forget’ and ‘Duality’ is testimony to the passion and power of Slipknot’s performance.

Charging through hits one after the other I think a breather was well and truly needed as during ‘Spit it Out’ Taylor commands the whole crowd to get on the floor where mania unleashes as Taylor screams “jump the fuck up”. Encoring to ‘People=Shit’ and ‘Surfacing’ the audience were left both exhausted and exhilarated by the hysteria and frenzy that after fifteen years Slipknot can still create is tribute to both their fans and them as a band. Aine Cronin-McCartney, GiggingNI.com