Slipknot - Machine Head - Children of Bodom...[ Philipshalle, Düsseldorf 24.11.2008 ]

Monday, 24th of November 2008. It´s half past four late afternoon. In front of Düsseldorf`s Philipshalle there is gathering a not that small bunch of guys that is predominantly dressed in black or at least in dark colours. Some of the people are still sitting in their cars to warm themselves up as there is a smooth snow layer on the streets and the roofs. Winter is coming slowly, but staidly closer. Maybe it was also brought from Finland to Germany, because there are not only Slipknot and Machine Head that have announced themselves in NRW`s provincial capital for this evening, but also the Finnish guys from Children Of Bodom. A real blast-trio so to say, that shall turn everything topsy-turvy in Düsseldorf`s Philipshalle only three and half hours later. But still the fans have to be patient and hold out the coldness, because not until 6:30pm the hall opens its doors. And when it`s time for entrance, it still takes a long while until all find their way into the warmth, because thoroughly security checks slow the entrance up.


But when the first support band, the children of lake Bodom, enters the stage shortly past 8:00pm, most of the people have already made it to the inside and gathered in front of the stage. The first ones get a red wristband and are allowed to change throughout the whole eve their place between the front-third of the hall and the two back-thirds as well as the tribunes. In the front part there are only staying the hard-boiled people, because as soon as Children Of Bodom [ Galerie ] start with their opener “Hellhounds On My Trail”, the place in front of the stage turns into a pogo dancing crowd. The Finnish power is directly transferred to all attendees and expresses itself in a nearly uncontrolled disordered-jumping and hairs-through-the-air-jerking. It becomes warm in the big hall quite fast. The hall will be filled with estimated 6000 persons until the headliner Slipknot enter the stage. But at first the Finnish metal heads from Bodom have the honour to heat up the audience further on. “In Your Face”, “Blooddrunk” and “Angels Don`t Kill” contribute to that and not insignificantly, so it`s not easy for the band and its fans to find a break for breathing in between. Singer Alexi Laiho dives over the stage, plays skillfully his Flying-V and battles every now and then with keyboard player Janne Warman. Also bass player Henkka and second guitarist Roope are not standing still and are changing their places again and again, just to have another perspective in between, while drummer Jaska is bound to one place of course. „Are you having a good time?”, Alexi shouts into his microphone and gets a loud and growling “Yeah” as answer. So the programme continues with the tracks “Silent Night, Bodom Night“ and finally the blast „Hatecrew Deathroll“.


Children Of Bodom are pushed on once again to peak performances. Alexi jumps wildly headbanging over the stage and speeds the audience up to further moshpits that don’t wanna come to an end on this evening. Just when Children Of Bodom unfortunately have to end their show after 30 minutes and six songs, all attendees allow themselves to relax for a while and try to get rid of their needless remaining clothes. Meanwhile the large Children Of Bodom-banner falls to the ground and is exchanged with the logo of Machine Head [ Galerie ]. The guitars are getting tuned for the last time. Then around 8:45pm the second support band can start their show. Once again it gets dark in the hall and an intro can be heard which announces the US-American metal-band Machine Head. The four men – submerged in green spotlights – directly start with “Clenching The Fists Of Dissert“ taken from their current album. The interior space of the hall is unstoppable and turns again into a pogo dancing crowd, now consisting of sticky and sweaty persons. The ones who fall to the ground in this jumping crowd, get directly helped to stand up again. Others, who are not that much into jumping and pogo, they try to escape in direction of the back parts of the hall or up to the tribunes. The others just try to survive in the crowd and observe the stage and what`s happening there at the same time. It`s not that easy when hundreds of arms are blockading the view and hairs are flying. And that`s all the fault of Robert Flynn, frontman of Machine Head, who animates by shouting “Düsseldorf, do you know how to headbang? Let me see you headbanging!” into his microphone. Songs like “Imperium” and “Aesthetics Of Hate“ sustain the great atmosphere.


As a “thank you” for the fans Rob throws cans with drinks in a high bow into the crowd. But while flying through the air, half of the liquids already spreads over the audience and contributes to the sticky factor. But it seems that the fans don´t care about that. A lot of them already got rid of their shirts and are dancing with naked upper part of the body, the shirt circulating like a lasso over their heads, through the crowd. ”Düsseldorf, 1-2-3-4 Jump!“, demands frontman Rob now and leads in the track “Old”, just to ad “Halo” after that together with his band mates Adam, Phil and Dave. Now the audience starts with a synchronic headbanging which leads into a huge circle-pit that reaches its climax in the last song “Davidian”. No one is standing still anymore. It`s 9:40pm when the last guitar riffs of Machine Head die away. Only wondrous that the quartet needed like the double time of playing than Children Of Bodom, although both bands had the same amount of songs to play. Either the songs were all endlessly long or Ron simply talked too much. However. In any case the show had rocked and that`s the main point. And also the guys of Slipknot from America they can rock. They are just not only four, but nine persons within the band: Corey Taylor, Paul Dedrick Gray, James Root, Chris Fehn, Mick Thompson, Sid Wilson, Joey Jordison, Craig Jones and Shawn Crahan. But before they start with their impressive, around 90 minutes long concert, a little conversion of the stage is needed. A big black curtain shall hold back the curious gazes. It`s obvious that the excitement in the audience is slowly rising. Here and there is somebody growling the headliner`s name what finally fades into loud and synchronic “Slipknot”-shouts. [ Galerie ]


All gazes are directed to the stage where the curtain finally falls around 10:15pm. The intro of Slipknot sounds out of the boxes while Joey Jordison takes a seat behind his drums that are positioned on a high platform. One by one the Slipknot-guys – wearing their masks as usually – enter the stage. On the left side there is Chris with a long Pinocchio-nose behind his percussions, on the right side – also working with percussions – there is Shawn with a black leather masks, a red clown`s nose as well as a zipper mouth. DJ Sid with a bright death mask can be found on a small platform behind Shawn, while Sampling-Craig found his place left sided of the drum kit. Next to him is Paul with a dark Hannibal Lecter-mask playing the bass. The front positions are shared by the two guitarists James in iuggler- and Mick in icehockey-mask, as well as singer Corey Tayler in a white-grey mask. The nine guys immediately start with the impulsive “Surfacing” and have the masses on their side. Of course Slipknot don`t save on using pyro effects this evening, so there are a lot of fire fountains shooting in direction of the hall ceiling. “Guten Abend Düsseldorf! Wie geht es euch? Ich liebe Deutschland!“, Corey greets the crowd in his best German and collects plus factors by that. Already early on the setlist Slipknot present their hit “Before I Forget” that everybody sings loudly along by heart. The crowd is jumping, banging and Shawn`s drumset is amusingly rotating, lifts up itself and comes back to the ground. Two video cameras that are assembled at the drums are filming the band and fans in the first rows. At the same time the pictures are shown on a big monitor that is assembled to Shawn`s lifting platform which is most of the time moving.


With the melodic current single “Dead Memories” Slipknot present a song that is a bit more appropriate for the masses. But with the directly following tracks “Psychological” and “The Heretic Anthem” the sound gets heavier again and Sid decides to use Shawn`s lifted platform to make some pull-ups. At the same time Mick and James carry out a battle in headbanging, but Craig is the winner in the end. It`s just too amusing how the “nails” in his head wag from one side to the other. Before the show continues with “Prosthetics”, Corey gives a little speech: “In the year 2009 there will be the 10 years anniversary of the very first Slipknot-album being released on Roadrunner Records. Thank you to everyone here who supported us through the crazy fucking time. Thank you so much, you have no idea…”. He sounds really touched while he thanks his fans for the support. At the same time there is waft of mist slowly “flowing” over the ramp that can be found behind the drummer`s platform. After “Prosthetics” there is “Spit It Out” coming next and all people that are completely filling the interior place of the hall automatically kneel down.


But when Corey gives a sign they all jump up together and go crazy. With “Duality” there is a second little climax of the Slipknot-show that is supposed ending only a few minutes later with the song “Only One”. But of course the audience is not satisfied with that and demands encores. And yes, they get them. So the nine guys let it really bang and ring out in the end, not only musically, but also optically with fire fountains and fireworks again. And all attendees have the pleasure to hear „People=Shit“ and „(sic)“ which are really the last two songs of the concert and after those Slipknot conclusively leave the stage and say goodbye to Düsseldorf`s audience. Very spectacular the guys and their show, that can`t be denied. And now, as the guys are away from stage, also the felt and estimated around 6000 human beings slowly leave the Philipshalle and enter the cold night, but with satisfied faces. Hopefully all will find their way back home without slipping over the snowy and frozen streets.

text: .Lea Sommerhäuser [ ]
pictures: .Sandro Griesbach..[ 90 pics ]