SlipKnot @ Hartwall Arena, Helsinki, Finland 18/1 -16

January 18th marked the first concert of the year, and it would be by no other band than SlipKnot. Ironically – Amaranthe was the first concert of the year last year, and it was only a by a breathe that Amaranthe didn’t become first gig this year. Hadn’t Amaranthe been first last year, SlipKnot would have been first. Isn’t it fun how faith works sometimes?

We woke up… way too late. Like, I don’t even fucking know what went wrong. We were supposed to go up around 12, seeing we came so late in with the flight that we got to bed really late and all of that. Despite this, we managed to drag ourselves out of bed and headed out. We had planned to make a quick visit to Music Hunter to look for some hard found Epica albums. Despite being a recordstore that is filled from floor to roof with CD’s, those two albums were nowhere to be found. What a shame.

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We got back, picked up pizza at the pizzeria next to the hotel and started getting ready for the show. Called a taxi just to be sure to get there in time and all of that, and despite this, because of trafficjams, we didn’t get there and registered exactly two minutes before closing time. So, we got in, rushed to the cloakroom to leave our jackets and were then rushed to the room the meet&greet was going to happen.

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We stood in a little half circle around the hostess told us a bit about how this meet&greet would go down. We’d first take the picture with the band, since most, if not all, of them would attend, and afterwards we’d get our stuff signed. I thought to myself, sounds good, after all, this is how Lordi used to do it back in the days. So she asked us to form a line, and Michelle and I wound up first in line. Since I won’t really accept at all being first in line, haha, we moved ourselves backwards in the line. I’ve met many bands throughout the years, but I’ll always be a bit scared the first time around with a new band.

So, then, the band arrived, and to my surprise there were eight people joining us today. Corey, Clown, Alex, Jim, Sid, Jay, Chris and Mick. Our meet and greet had originally said only 3-4 would appear, so I guess this was an upgrade!

So the line moved on pretty quickly and before we knew it, it was our turn. Unlike the rest of the people we decided to go together, because why the hell not? And also, timesaving. Once we came up there about half the band cheered at the fact we were two, and Jim made some comments about two girls and one Corey. It was a fairly quick little session and then we got back in line for the signing.

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For the signing, they actually lined up, sort of like a table, like an actual signing session. Fast than you’d think we were already at the start, with Corey being first. Jim second. Clown third, and Sid fourth.

Sid was the only one of the members in SlipKnot I actually gathered up the courage to actually talk to. While Jim and I shared a laugh about something, Sid was the only one I dared to say something to. And do things to, all in all. I had barely looked at the other members, but with Sid I even leaned in and focused real hard in order to see through his sunglasses and meet his eyes. Sid is “my man” you see, he’s the one in SlipKnot if we say so. However, the only thing I actually said to him was that I liked his Mickey Mouse pants. He told me Mickey was cool. That was cool.

It was followed by Alex, Mick, Jay and Chris. See, I always had a bit of a problem with Jay, because of the impression I got of him from online, so imagine my surprise when he turned out to be extremely friendly. Alex was too, but that was no surprise really.

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After all was said and done, the band left the scene and we were allowed to go and leave our signed stuff in the cloakroom. Oh, right! The ‘special tour gifts’ was a lighter and a poster. I must admit I thought it’d be something different, but you know. I won’t complain!

We were taken down undergrounds to some secret entrance to the venue, where we were let in before everyone else together with the people who had early entrance tickets. Despite the entry and everything being a bit delayed, I was surprised to see Suicidal Tendencies entering the stage exactly at 20 sharp.

So, I haven’t really listened a lot to Suicidal Tendencies prior to this gig, and I never had a very good impression of them, and well… It didn’t really change either. The band was absolutely fine and delivered very well on stage, but this really isn’t my kind of music. It’s something about that style that just doesn’t work for me. BUT, they did a good job warming up!

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After this, the wait for SlipKnot began. And it was held pretty short. Of course, not without making jokes about how early Korpiklaani would go on stage, but still. About a minute late, “Prepare For Hell” started, and the band came out and opened with “The Negative One”.

Well… That’s a first I guess. That surprised me, like, so much. I was very happy, that “The Negative One” was back since I thought it was a big mistake not including it at Graspop, but I had really thought “Sarchastrophe” would be the opener. They continued on with “Disasterpieces”… and sadly… the arena… Damn. At least on our side, it was fucking dead man. I don’t even get it. Why do you get front row if you are just going to.. stand there? Oh well. “Eyeless”, my personal favorite was next in line before something… almost magic happened.

They played “Skeptic”.

This marks one more song I always wanted to hear live from “The Grey Chapter” that finally happened. Fuck… that was magic. Corey Taylor spoke a bit about it being 15 years since “Iowa” was released, and then they continued the set with “I Am Hated”.

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The tour this time was very scaled down. On “Prepare for Hell” tour, they had this big goat head in the background, fire and pyrotechnics until no end. But not this time. A normal television screen, sort of, playing various videos and backdrops and some lightbulbs here and there. And that’s it.

Next on the list was “Killpop” and I was as happy as ever to hear this beautiful piece of music again, and it all went so atmospheric. Blue and purple lights, toned down… It was magical.

And then… a big moment for Michelle to say the least, when the tones to “Dead Memories” started. I shit you not, she got completely silent. It was truly her night, song wise.

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“Dead Memories” was followed by “Everything Ends” which was strongly followed by “Psychosocial” and “Wait And Bleed”. Despite these two songs, the crowd, at least on our side, was still dead as hell. “Duality” and “The Devil in I” continued the set, followed by “Before I Forget” and then… this special little thing happened.

“Metabolic”.

“Metabolic” FUCKING HAPPENED. Who would have fucking thought? Need I tell you all how insane we went? Oh god. What a rush it was! They wrapped up the set with “(sic)” before they left the stage.

An interesting little song started, it was like, a folksong about going to hell, and the members came back on stage. They blew off “Surfacing” and “Left Behind” before, what for me is the best moment of an entire SlipKnot show – “Spit it Out”.

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Seriously. There is something truly special about the whole “sit the fuck down” moment, and this would be the first time I did it in the front row. I must admit, it was fucking tight to sit down, but the guy behind me and I managed to sort it out so that he sat around me, almost having me in this lap and then he could have his arms around me on the fence as well. And you know… how it’s pumping. How it builds up. And then how you all JUMP THE FUCK UP!

I thought it’d fuck up our spots, but it didn’t!

With that being said, the band thanked for the night and left the stage.

It was a really good show, they had great energy and I enjoyed seeing them so much. But on the same time… there was something lacking. Like, “Custer” for instance. And “People=Shit”. But most importantly… it felt so… intimate. Being so close to them… and the show being so scaled down… it almost felt like seeing them in a small club environment. It was… pretty sweet in a way. A band you consider an arena band, a band you have usually seen in a distance, now seemed to intimate, and so close… so… reachable.

And that is what made it all so worth it. I love this band so much.

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Right after, we hit the merchstand to pick up a tourshirt, and then we hooked up with one of the people from the Meet&greet, and then got home.

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This has, despite some mishaps, been one of the most amazing days in my life. I really needed this right now. Thank you SlipKnot, Live Nation and Michelle for this amazing day.

// Sara

 

 

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