by Alicia Crowder
RELIANT ARENA -- 3/26/2005: On March 26, 2005, the moment finally came for me to be exposed, live in concert at the Reliant Arena, to one of the most talented, heaviest bands of our generation. The graphic videos, the darkly crazed crowd, and the animated tactics of Slipknot filled the arena with a vibe found in very few other places. Even just the audience was well worth the time spent by any who attended, just because of the spectator sport of being in the middle of such a show. Thrilled to have received the tickets, I brought with me John Collins (lead singer of such Houston bands as Turbulent, Space City Kings, and a new up-and-coming band which, after attending a practice session, I believe is bound to rock the Houston area). Slipknot being one of his favorite bands, he was able to inform me of such things as the fact that the singer, Corey Taylor, and the guitarist, Jim Root, are also rocking in a band called StoneSour, another heavy (but unmasked) band.
The crazy masked madmen of Slipknot, who manage to take music to a new level of heavy without losing appeal by way of maintaining continuity and skillful rhythm throughout their songs, put on one hell of a show.
Preceded by Shadows Fall and Lamb of God, who also put on tight performances, Slipknot began with a sort of home video-type footage, which they played for the audience before removing the curtains that they waited behind.
The sound engineer had some problems at the beginning of the Slipknot performance, but these were eventually corrected and probably not even noticed by a number of the screaming fans. The floor crowd was already standing, and the rest of the arena seats emptied as everyone jumped to their feet to stand and dance for Slipknot when they began.
This was definitely the place to be that Saturday night for entertainment. Beautiful men and women of all ages, shapes, sizes, piercings, and tattoos were in attendance. Those of us lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time were even able to watch an attractive, muscular man start body-slamming a garbage can. There seemed to be an abundance of security, possibly to protect the Marilyn Manson lookalikes from the Poison lookalikes and all the other cute children and adults dressed up in their Halloween garb.
One of the most dramatic moments in the show was when Corey Taylor told everyone in the audience to "Crouch down on the fucking ground." When he told them to jump up all at once, the circle of moshpit on the floor truly expanded, the fans' enthusiasm no longer restrained as they slammed one another in circular motions.
The show that night was filled with good, equal-sized chunks of music off of three of Slipknot's albums, including the song "555," a popular favorite. The great mix of old and new songs they played displayed their attention to giving the fans what they wanted. Their performance was playful and audience-enticing.
Overall, I think the best two words to sum up Slipknot's presentation at the Reliant Arena would have to be "Dramatically Effective."
Slipknot -- http://www.slipknot1.com/;
Shadows Fall -- http://www.shadowsfall.com/;
Lamb of God -- http://www.lamb-of-god.com/;
StoneSour -- http://www.stonesour.com/;
Roadrunner Records -- http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/