I slept through the alarm that was supposed to wake me up from my nap on Saturday (I had been at a drag brunch earlier in the day so the nap was a necessary evil), so saying I was a little stressed and anxious as I weaved through traffic to get to downtown Minneapolis on time would be an understatement. Even though I was a bit of a mess when I finally parked my car, a sense of calm came over me as I walked to the Target Center for what was sure to be a hell of a night. Slipknot was in town and if there’s one band that knows how to calm me while helping heal my sense of homesickness, it’s them.
Wage War stormed the stage with no introduction (but I mean, this band really needs no introduction like the two bands that were to follow them) and jumped right into their heavy-hitting set. The audience on the floor instantly started banging their heads to this band’s heavier than heavy beats, making it a great way to kick the evening off. I have honestly lost count of how many times I have seen this Florida-born band live but it never gets old and seeing them on the giant stage of the Target Center made my heart so full. I’ve always known they had a sound and sense of power much bigger than the small stages I have been used to seeing them on so it was great to finally see them get that recognition. Even with this new status in the scene, Wage War has not changed a single thing about their live show sound. It’s all about the music for them and I loved that they didn’t sacrifice that one bit as an opener on such a huge tour like this one. Wage War will be back at The Target Center on May 7th as part of 93x’s Twin Cities Takeover and I highly suggest you get to that show on time to catch this band.
In This Moment, the second band to play on Saturday night, has never been quite my thing musically but the visuals that they bring to the stage and the overall energy is enough to keep me coming back time and time again. Instead of considering their set just a concert, I would consider it a full production. From the outfits to the lights to the drums and everything in-between, it’s truly a sight to be seen. Whether you like their music or not, you will find it impossible to take your eyes off of vocals Maria Brink just as I did as they played through their seven-song set. That may not seem like much but the production value that came with each track made this set feel like so much more than just seven songs. Although I felt a bit entranced throughout the set, I found such a sense of satisfaction and excitement with In This Moment’s closing song “Whore”. A political statement that hits close to home for every woman on the planet who was ever told that she would amount to nothing special which came complete with giant black and white balloons, I just felt a sense of empowerment while watching the band, dancers and Maria perform this final track. I will probably never be a fan of this band’s music but I will continue coming back to see them live if only for the escape from reality that they produce so easily.
In This Moment did not allow photographers for their set, sorry
Okay, I promise I won’t go on my usual rant about what all Slipknot means to me but I’ll just leave it at this– I would not be who I am today if it weren’t for this band. Growing up in Des Moines, Iowa had me feeling a bit out of place, especially during my angsty teenage years but knowing that the almighty Slipknot hailed from the same cornfields gave me hope. I know that’s as corny as the cornfields we used to drink in, but it’s true, and seeing Slipknot live continues to give me this undeniable sense of hope about how far I’ve come and where I’ve still yet to go. What I’m trying to say is I needed Slipknot and was so thankful to be able to catch them on Saturday night.
If I’m being honest, I was completely lost in an emotional cloud of nostalgia throughout their twenty-song set. I was getting hit right in the feels from hearing the songs that literally saved my life on some of my worst days and seeing those men that gave me hope and made me realize I was so much more than my small hometown. But I digress, you’re not here to read about my slight mental breakdown during their set, you’re here to read about the show.
With six intense albums dating back to 1999, I was worried that the band was going to forget all about the old stuff and just give the audience tracks from their new album ‘We Are Not Your Kind’ from 2019. Thankfully, that was not the case at all. Sure we got some tracks from that album but the focus was on their older tracks which made my heart so full. There were definitely some surprises scattered throughout their set and although I didn’t get my all-time favorite track, “Eeyore”, I did get plenty of great tracks that had me out of my seat and completely ignoring the fact that I had to write this review. I will say that they treated us to a brand new track “The Chapeltown Rag” and, well, if you like the old-school Slipknot as I do, you are going to freaking love what they have coming!
The power of seeing Slipknot live can not be put into words. Honestly, other than their giant setup complete with stairs and screens and lights everywhere, and a few pops of fireworks and some fireballs, their live show is fairly understated and I love that. No matter how much attention this band gets or how massive they become, it’s still just nine men running around the stage doing what they genuinely love. Even though their music has changed over the years their attention to the music when playing live hasn’t changed a bit. Yeah, maybe as an Iowan who grew up worshipping this band I’m a bit biased but the truth is that Slipknot is a hell of a live band. They know what they are doing and they do it damn well.
It has been decades since I first heard Slipknot. Literal decades since the last time I was slinging their albums in the “local” section of the record shops I worked at growing up. Things changed. Years have gone by. This band has been through hell and back (RIP Paul and Joey) but they don’t stop and only get better with age. Did I mention that this band means everything to me and that Saturday was absolutely perfect?
Before I let you go on with your day, I just want to ask all of you to keep Jinjer in your hearts and minds. This amazing Ukrainian metal band was supposed to be on this tour but, due to what’s going on, they decided to stay home and work on keeping their families and friends safe. I truly hope they stay safe and hope they know that everyone in attendance at The Target Center on Saturday night was thinking of them.