Written by: Dan @ Cherry Dog Apparel
Civic Hall, Wolverhampton
Thursday 9th November 2023
Watching a Slipknot show, or going to see Stone Sour has been two of my favourite events to attend in my time going to gigs. I have never seen Corey Taylor with his solo band before so although I know I was going to get a good show I still was not sure what to expect. Was he to play only ‘Corey Taylor’ songs from his last two solo albums? Or! Was we in for a hybrid gig including classics from the Slip-Sour catalogue? Either way, the frontman knows what he’s doing regardless of the show. As we know, CT is a talented musician and creator so whatever he does it’s likely to hit home with this audience.
Ofcourse we start the night with some crowd warming and CT brought the band, Oxymorons, with him on his UK leg of the tour. Now I did not know who these guys were however I quite liked them. They were a bit different to what I would have expected but nevertheless they had energy and actually got me boppin’, so I consider myself warmed up! I would say they were a clash of multiple music genres, but it was a good mix and the beats, lyrics and styles complemented one another well. I’d call it hip hop hard rap rock. But I’m no producer or music expert so I’ll just say they were cool and offered a bit more diverse music range than I expected. For me the highlight of their performance was Look Alive, a lot of energy and the guitar solo two minutes in was insane. I believe I heard the singer say it was their debut single, but I may have misheard that. I noticed there was no bass player present but it did sound like one was playing so I guess that may have been a track fill-in,,, unless the bassist was present and my view was compromised.
Anyway, the main part now! CT and band filled the stage and the crowd could not have been happier! He always has such a good fanbase and I refreshingly saw all sorts of ages from those in their fifties, younger adult groups, teenagers and kids with their parents. That’s always a nice thing to see at shows, and I’ll never get tired of seeing it. Proper family bonding experiences that!
So the gig kicked off with a track 2 of CMF2 which was ‘Post Traumatic Blues'. I do like that song a lot and kicking off the night with it was a great choice! It has that slow build up - great for their stage entrance - and then when that fast beat kicks in it’s like saying the band saying, yep, we’re here fuckers! The night continued with a superb collection from CMFT and CMF2 including ‘Black Eyes Blue’. CT got the crowd involved a few songs in with some chants. He asked the crowd to sing ‘No way to beat me, no way to win’ which is the intro and retain for the song ‘We are the rest’ from CMF2. It was a fun way to get the crowd really feeling the vibe of this gig, and in my opinion it was clear to see those who knew the songs from the latest CT solo instalment compared to those who went to see there lead singer of Slipknot. There’s nothing wrong with going to the gig if you just like Slipknot or just like Stone Sour so don’t think that’s the judge conclusion I’m heading to with that statement. I think this is exactly what some people should do (if they can afford gigs left right and centre of course) if they want to discover new music. Sometimes listening on Spotify is too quick and easy. Seeing the energy the crowd offers to a popular song you have not heard yet is good affirmation for you to say, ‘you know what I’m going to listen to this a little more after the gig’.
Okay so back to the gig, at this point we’re through a good portion of the setlist and despite the few remarks CT gave himself about being too old for this and being nearly fifty years old, I confidently say he still knows how to hype a crowd and kill with a good set list. I was happy the whole way through this performance and it will be a sad time in future when CT hangs up his microphone for the last time. But the night continued with fantastic song choices and good crowd chit chat too. CT actually teased the crowd after one of their songs had finished and he approached the microphone to talk to the crowd. He started by saying ‘Okay, before I forget…’ and of course within a second, the crowd were on board and wanted that song played there and then. I too was one of them demanding that riff begin. But he was just saying before he forgets let’s give it up for Oxymorons for their support performance. But CT being a cool sneaky individual, he finished his remarks and then said the next song is called ‘BEFORE I FORGET!’ Oh fuck yeah! The inner maggot said in me!
Speaking of classics, another CT classic was demanded by the crowd and of course he played it. You guessed it (or you didn’t), it starts like this… ‘Who live’s in a pineapple under the sea?’ I can happily say I have seen CT sing the SpongeBob theme song twice now and both times were just as good as each other. I think more of the crowd knew the words to that then they did some of the new CMF2 songs! After the laughs and a small interim break, the room mood changed with a beautiful rendition of ‘Snuff’. A harrowing Slipknot balls from the 2008 album, ‘All Hope is Gone’. I have always loved that song and hearing it live gives me chills every time. Usually a ballad or acoustic section has to be followed by some raw energy and fan favourites and unsurprisingly out came some of the Stone Sour classics. 30/30/150 and Through the Glass were on the setlist and the crowd were certainly pleased with this. I think I sung most of the lyrics to both those two songs and so did everyone around me too.
Now the closing of the show had to go out with a bang didn’t it and it did. Now at this point we’ve heard fan favourites from Stone Sour and the Corey Taylor solo records. A couple from Slipknot were nice but the band knew the crowd would lose their shit at one particular song. Duality. So that’s what they played. Hearing those first seven words of the song is recognised by most of the metal community I reckon. And you know, despite not having the number of musicians on stage as slipknot has, I think the CT band actually pulled it off incredibly well. Percussion had more work to do for sure! Regardless though, the crowd loved it and Corey’s voice was immense for long notes. But! This was not the last song! CT said their last song is a tribute to a band that Corey grew up on and who he claims is the best band to have started this whole genre. It was Black Sabbath, and their song of choice was ‘Fairies Wear Boots’ which is the last track on the 19870 album ‘Paranoid’. I will be honest and say although I recognised the sound I struggled to name it and checked it up on the way home. Now it has entered my favourites playlist, how about that.
Picture sourced via: Corey Taylor Instagram