Slipknot Ignite the Stage at a Nearly Sold Out Bell Centre

Metal fans were treated to quite the show this Thursday as Slipknot delivered their unhinged hits to a nearly sold out Bell Centre. The Iowa legends are supported by New Jersey’s Ho99o9 (pronounced “Horror”) and West Coast hip hop legends Cypress Hill on the 2022 Knotfest Roadshow.

The mixing of metal and hip-hop genres on this lineup made for an enjoyable and surprisingly uniting experience. While hip hop and metal fanbases tend not to overlap that much, both genres rattle with an anti-establishment energy, making for a good combo. As a result, audience members got down pretty well with Ho99o9’s punky rap-infused tracks, as well as Cypress Hill’s ‘90s beats, even though 95 per cent of attendees adorned Slipknot or other metal band tees.

Cypress Hill frontman B-Real was quick to make a connection with the audience after pulling out a 6-inch joint. “This is dedicated to all the stoners here,” he said, right before going into a medley of Cypress classics such as “I Wanna Get High,” “Dr. Greenthumb,” and “Hits from the Bong.” B-Real’s juggling of bars and tokes created heavy competition between the audience and Cypress Hill’s on-stage electronic smoke machine, even though the frontman’s own medication was most likely just a prop. The act tapered off their set with hits “How I Could Just Kill a Man,” “Insane in the Brain,” and a cover of House of Pain’s “Jump Around,” the latter two enticing an audience reaction that rivaled the crowd’s peak energy during the headlining act.

Slipknot took the stage after a brief intermission, opening with “Disasterpiece” and “Wait and Bleed,” which offered a sense of the band’s range as musicians, the first track being one of their heaviest and the second being more melodic. This opening one-two punch was emphasized by Slipknot’s impressive stage setup. Frontman Corey Taylor was flanked on both sides with ten-foot high drum risers, each home to percussionists Michael Pfaff and Shawn Crahan. These risers were attached to walkways that looped back around to an elevated rear of the stage, where the band’s sampling master Craig Jones, drummer Jay Weinberg, and turntable mixer Sid Wilson were found side by side for the majority of the set. The three other members (yes, Slipknot has nine members) in the form of bassist Alessandro Venturella and guitarists Jim Root and Mick Thomson riddled center stage as the band blasted through more heavy-hitters.

The Iowa act’s stage presence, often complemented by loud explosions and pyrotechnics, made for a visual spectacle any music fan would feel sore about missing out on. Frontman Corey Taylor also connected with the audience halfway through the set, admitting that he blew his voice out during the show prior in Albany, New York. This moment was met with an astounding applause from the arena, demonstrating a great deal of respect for the singer who was risking the tour’s remaining 14 dates to give Montrealers the show they paid for. Despite Taylor’s announcement, he powered through the band’s repertoire, giving it all during even the most brutal of screams. If he hadn’t mentioned his condition, most wouldn’t have noticed any difference.

Understandably, Slipknot’s set was still cut a little short, as they took brief intermissions between every handful of songs, presumably to give Taylor moments of rest. These intermissions amounted to about ten total minutes of the band’s set, which wasn’t really a big deal. The biggest downfall was which songs were cut, most notably the act’s staple 1999 debut opener “(sic),” which would have been a treat to see live (they played this track during the encore of previous dates on this tour).

If the 2022 Knotfest Roadshow is stopping in your city and you’re on the fence about going, take the plunge. Ho99o9 and Cypress Hill’s hip hop antics, met with Slipknot’s undeniably awe-inducing live offering make ticket prices worthwhile. Also, given that Slipknot doesn’t tour that much, fans are better off taking the opportunity while it lasts.

Hunter co-hosts The Iron Club, your weekly guide to the dark and mysterious realm of underground metal, which airs every Sunday from 9:00 - 11:00 p.m.