With Slipknot's first-ever compilation, Antennas to Hell, out on Tuesday, we decided to let the maggots speak their minds. We asked Slipknot fans to share their favorite memories of seeing the band live, and got a huge number of responses. Ten of the best responses (plus a response from Corey Taylor) are below. Enjoy!
Stuart Cooper: "Saw them in 2001 at the Portland, Maine Civic Center during their Pledge of Allegiance Tour. They were there with System of a Down, Rammstein, American Head Charge, and No One. I fought and squeezed my way up to the absolute front of the crowd, and it was the most intense concert I've ever been to. The crowd was jumping and moshing so hard during the first Slipknot song and trying to squeeze up front, that everyone 30-40 feet in front of the stage all fell over onto the floor of the Civic Center (not a handful of people, but hundreds of people). It was like a riot, people were getting crushed. But everyone helped each other up and we continued to headbang. It was intense."
Michael Dane: "Arkansas 2009, Edgefest with Staind, Chevelle, Hurt, and Drowning Pool...ended up being called 'Mudfest' because it was on a ten acre farm in the middle of a rainy day. Numerous near-cancellations left the crowd in a frenzy. Mud wrestling, people pissing/shitting/puking where they stood. One couple allegedly arrested for having sex right in the pit. Giant mud war during 'Spit It Out''s build-up, Corey got pelted in the face with a glob of mud and said, 'Mud doesn't affect me douchebag!'. Kept rocking, epic!"
Jeffrey Vaughn Darko: "In Baltimore. I think Baltimore Arena. Awesome show! I was pretty wasted. Went alone like always, met up with some maggots; [people] are always surprised of how big of a fan I am 'cuz I'm black and rather quiet most of the time. Long story short, some maggots were impressed I knew all the words to the older songs and three maggots that had never met before spent the night drunkenly screaming Slipknot songs in complete euphoria, like we were old high school buddies. Yet we had never met before that day. And you tell me Slipknot is all about hate? It's about unity, and the uprising of the righteous."
Zac Dexter: "Saw them on the barrier at the age of twelve at Sonisphere Festival 2012, with my dad, who is also a massive fan. It was the best thing I think I've ever seen, and I've seen Metallica, Rammstein, Pearl Jam, and Iron Maiden. From start to finish I was singing my heart out, and the feeling was completely of one big family, then the rain started to come down during 'Psychosocial' and it was just amazing. Words can't describe the feeling during 'Spit It Out,' when everyone was just jumping around going mental. I got high fives off Clown, Chris and Sid. The music was great from start to finish and everyone was just circle pitting and it was mental, when Sid crowdsurfed off the sound tower was just incredible. I still remember it like it was yesterday "
Boris Le Gal: "I saw them only once in 2004 at the Fury Fest in Le Mans, France and that's when the whole crowd went crazy, one of the reasons was because Slipknot were late for soundcheck in the morning and because of that the schedule changed for the whole day at the Fest, lots of people missed their favourite bands and were not happy about that. During the Slipknot gig, the crowd kept throwing everything they could find on the stage, bottles of water, bottles of piss, [trash] bins, a dead rabbit, an actual sink from the toilets, and more stuff. I never, ever saw something like that for any other bands I saw live, really weird vibes between fans and haters. But Slipknot kept playing and did like a 50-minute set, trying to dodge all the projectiles while they were performing for the fans in the front row. Always wondered what the guys from Slipknot thought about this gig." [See below for Corey Taylor's response.]
Neil MacDonald: "The Deltaplex in Grand Rapids during the Vol. 3 tour. I am 6'7" around 400 lbs. This Slipknot show was the first time I have ever been knocked around in a crowd to the point where I almost fell down several times and I wasn't even in the pit. Crazy stuff."
Cedric McTremblay: "Slipknot was the first metal show I have seen, I was 17 so almost 10 years ago, and it was the first time my parents let me go by myself in the big city, Montreal! The best memory I got is when Corey asked everyone to go down on their knees and when the music started, it was hell, pure metal energy and it was beautiful! I have seen them four times now, but still, I will never forget the intensity on this tiny stage! I was a kid back then, but after that show, that crazy moshpit, I felt like a warrior!"
Josh Mohr: "I won a chance to roadie for them for a day back in 2005! I got my name drawn on a radio station in Council Bluffs, Iowa and was called 'Slipknot's bitch' on the station! I got to sit at Joey's kit during sound check and stand at Chris's and Shawn's kits as well! It was also awesome 'cuz John from Lamb of God hung with me off and on throughout the day! That was a time I will never forget! It was truly a pleasure getting to see how the big show is done."
Aaron Stephens: "Saw them in, I think, '97; they were not huge like now. It was Malibu Alley in Shreveport, LA, saw the flier which was black and white and couldn't believe their appearance! Had to see them just because of it, bought tickets and it was the loudest band I had ever heard perform there, total insanity, I clearly remember Clown pointing at me with a drumstick after he had just flipped out and knew they were gonna be a force to be reckoned with. It was like a metal horror movie, I've seen them twice since, one time being Ozzfest '99 I think, and the crowd they attracted and what they had that mass of people doing in unison was mind-blowing, sheer power! Probably saw them a time or two more but don't remember the dates or venues, I've drank a beer or three since then!"
Glynnis Walbridge: "As far as being a maggot, I'm a Slipknot noob. I saw them for the first time on February 6, 2009 in Lowell, MA. I was hooked. From there, I traveled to Rock On The Range in May 2009 -- the biggest crowd they ever played in front of in the US. I even took a roadtrip with my fellow Outside the Nine (OT9) maggots to Iowa to celebrate 09/09/09. There was no concert that day in Des Moines, but an epic adventure in the band's honor, nonetheless. Hell, that's a story in itself.
"I have since traveled outside the US to see them -- traveling to Sonisphere Knebworth last year. UK festivals are intense! I will also see them next month here in New England.
"However, the most epic Slipknot show I saw was their last show as the original 9 - October 31, 2009 at The Palms in Las Vegas. As a member of OT9, I met some of the most amazing maggots, and in true maggot form, my fellow brothers and sisters got me right up to the front to see the guys perform. Actually, #2, Paul Gray was in front of me! I recall looking down the front row and realizing every single person in the front row was OT9! We all looked out for one another, and we all just let ourselves have fun -- just like the band was having! My knees ached. My back hurt. I was exhausted after, and I wouldn't change a thing! It was special being there. It was special afterwards. A show we all still talk about. Since Paul's passing, it's a show I hold near and dear to my heart and will always cherish."
UPDATE: We were so fascinated by Boris Le Gal's tale of the Fury Fest in Le Mans, France that we called up Corey Taylor and asked him for his memories of this seemingly nightmarish gig. Here's what he had to say.
Corey Taylor: "Oh yeah. Oh yeah. The real story – because first of all, it was a festival, so we didn’t get a soundcheck at all. We didn’t show up expecting to get a soundcheck. At a festival like that, all you get is a line check, and our crew can do that literally 30 minutes before we get on stage. What happened was, the owner of the Le Mans racetrack raised the rent on the track. Therefore, the promoter who owned the Fury Fest had to raise ticket prices. Having seen that, a French radio DJ put it in his head that it was because we were headlining one of the stages – that we had asked for too much money. Proceeded to get on the radio and call us sellouts and all this stuff, and that spread to all these kids at the show. We had no idea this was going on. I mean, no idea. So the intro’s rolling, and stuff is flying at the stage. I mean, I saw everything from empty whiskey bottles to pipewrenches to dead rabbits. It was insane. You say we played a 50-minute set, but what you don’t understand is, we played our entire set. We just didn’t really talk to the audience. Because the crazy thing was, everyone in the front were there to see us. Everyone in the back was there to heckle us or to throw shit. I remember talking to these people who’d driven 12 hours to see us, and they were so happy to see us play. So we stood on that stage, and we got hit with everything, and I do mean everything. And we got to the last song, and I remember saying, “To everyone who came to see us, thank you so much for coming to see us. To everyone in the back, who are such cowards that they wanna throw stuff at a band – to everyone in the back that tried to stop us from playing our set, you did not win.” We played our last song and we walked off stage. And honestly, that’s the dark side of word of mouth. When someone gets a crazy idea like that stuck in their head – I mean, we didn’t ask for any more money than we do. We’ve never asked for more. And the fact that one person could turn that into such a dark, dark rumor that basically ruined the show for several thousand people, it’s incredible to me to this day. There’s not a moment I don’t step onto a French stage and [be] on my guard the entire show. Because I don’t take anything for granted."
Slipknot's Antennas To Hell is available everywhere July 24, but you can pre-order it now on iTunes or grab the deluxe three-disc version (which includes a DVD featuring every one of the band's videos, and more) from the Roadrunner webstore!