Slipknot played Barclays Center with Cypress Hill and Ho99o9 (review)

Some bands are just built to be arena bands. The huge venue isn't a hindrance, but something that band uses to their advantage to put on an even more epic and memorable show than they could have almost anywhere else. The band is so larger-than-life that once they start playing, the room doesn't even feel as cavernous as it is. Slipknot are one of those bands, and they reminded NYC of that when they brought the 2022 Knotfest Roadshow to Brooklyn's Barclays Center on Friday night (5/20).

Even in the context of artists with elaborate props, Slipknot's stage setup is uniquely towering. They've got multiple tiers, with frontman Corey Taylor, guitarists Jim Root and Mick Thomson, and bassist Alessandro Venturella on the floor, main drummer Jay Weinberg and their two DJs (Craig Jones and Sid Wilson) behind them on an upper level, and then percussionists/screamers/all-around madmen Shawn "Clown" Crahan and Michael Pfaff at the very end of elevated aisles at the front of the stage, pounding on their upside-down bass drums and trash cans and often looking like they might fall off the edge any minute. Within that tiered structure are industrial factory-looking windmills that spin for the entire show, pyro happens often, and the the nine members of Slipknot are as masked and costumed as they've been since 1999. It's a total spectacle, and it only adds to the fact that Slipknot are an A-list live band with over two decades of enduring fan favorites to pull from.

Corey asked the crowd last night who had seen the band before, and a lot of people cheered, but then he asked who was seeing Slipknot for their first time, and it seemed like even more people cheered. First he joked "where have you been?!" but he quickly took it back and acknowledged how many faces he was seeing of people that weren't even born when Slipknot released their first album. He probably says it every night, but it's a fact worth acknowledging; Slipknot have not only existed for 23 years, they've been a relevant band the entire time and they continue to push themselves forward both live and in the studio. They played their new single "The Chapeltown Rag" on Friday and Corey said from the stage that their seventh album would be arriving soon, and he promised Slipknot would stick around for another 23 years as long as the crowd support keeps coming, and even as a veteran icon he sounded grateful and genuine. So many of their peers have faded away or exist purely to provide nostalgia, but you could tell on Friday night that Slipknot's story is still being written. They've still got more to say with their new music, and they still put on shows like they've got something to prove.

Outside of "The Chapeltown Rag," Slipknot's setlist pulled pretty equally from all six of their albums, and the set never lulled. If you did go into it looking for a nostalgia fix, you got basically all their classics from the nu metal era ("Wait and Bleed," "Spit It Out," "People=Shit," "The Heretic Anthem," "Before I Forget," "Duality," etc), but those songs never overshadowed the rest of the set and all the comparatively newer material was just as life-affirming. The show was a reminder that they've had so many high points all throughout their career, and with LP7 on the horizon, that's a great feeling to be left with.

This leg of the Knotfest Roadshow was also a reminder that Slipknot are not just a great band, but also great curators. They had two very cool openers, NJ punk-rap group Ho99o9 and West Coast weed-loving hip hop legends Cypress Hill. It's a pretty amazing thing to see one of the biggest metal bands in the country and have both openers be hip hop, and you could tell that having them on the bill meant something special to Corey Taylor too. He called Ho99o9 one of his favorite newer bands around (he also sings on their new record), and he was clearly honored to be sharing the stage with Cypress Hill too. Ho99o9 played with main members theOGM and Eaddy backed by former Dillinger Escape Plan member Billy Rymer on drums, their set constantly toed the line between punk/hardcore and hip hop, and they went extremely hard in both realms. Cypress Hill were sadly without Sen Dog, who had to miss this tour due to surgery, but B-Real, percussionist Eric Bobo, and their current tour DJ, DJ Lord of Public Enemy (who was also in Prophets of Rage with B-Real) were in top form as they ran through classics like "How I Could Just Kill a Man," "Hand on the Pump," "When the Shit Goes Down," "Insane in the Brain," "(Rock) Superstar," and more (and a set-closing cover of House of Pain's "Jump Around"). It was definitely more of a rock crowd (as evidenced by the reaction to "Enter Sandman" during DJ Lord's opening DJ set compared to all the rap songs he played), but a good portion of the audience sung along to the hits and a few mosh pits broke out on the floor too.

Pictures of the show are coming soon. Fan-shot videos and setlists below...

Slipknot @ Barclays Center - 5/20/22 Setlist (via)
Wait and Bleed
Before I Forget
The Chapeltown Rag
Dead Memories
The Heretic Anthem
The Devil in I
Solway Firth
All Out Life
Spit It Out

People = Shit

Cypress Hill @ Barclays Center - 5/20/22 Setlist
When the Shit Goes Down
Hand on the Pump
Latin Lingo
Tequila Sunrise
Roll It Up, Light It Up, Smoke It Up
I Wanna Get High
Dr. Greenthumb
Hits From the Bong
Throw Your Set in the Air
I Ain't Goin' Out Like That
How I Could Just Kill a Man
(Rock) Superstar
Insane in the Brain
Jump Around (House of Pain cover)