Slipknot Played the Creepiest Red Rocks Show of the Year

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

The sound of thunderous rolling double bass drums, distorted guitars and guttural vocals roared though Red Rocks Amphitheater last night for a widely chaotic circus with Slipknot as the ringleader. Dubbed the “Summer last Stand Tour,” Slipknot, Lamb of God, Bullet for My Valentine and Motionless In White have been trekking across the U.S. over the course of the summer.

“It’s been fifteen years since we played here last” said Slipknot vocalist Corey Taylor (a former Lakewood resident) as he addressed the sea of 9,500-plus metal heads. 

The band took the stage to Van Halen’s “Running with the Devil”, but the P.A. system was drowned out by the chants of rabid Knotheads. For the next hour and a half, Slipknot led a loyal army of fans through an unforgettable show.  “Look around,” urged Taylor. “This is the heavy metal fucking family.”  

The set was meant to look like a twisted carnival, with a disturbing, devilish clown as the centerpiece and a mirror reflecting back at the audience. The eerie stage set looked as if it belonged at Lakeside Amusement Park, or in the nightmares of someone who suffers from Coulrophobia. With nine members on stage, Slipknot has a chaotic stage presence, featuring Sid Wilson, also known as #0, running head first into a stack of amplifiers, while percussionist Chris Fehn was hitting kegs with a baseball bat as second percussionist Shawn Crahan's “clown” drum riser served more as a cherry picker, rising up fifteen feet into the air, only to drop and repeat, with a wall of fire behind the band. A Slipknot show is almost like a surreal, demented Blue Man Group. The sound of three percussionist echoed though the amphitheatre while the dueling guitars of Mick Thomson and Jim Root along with two DJs ensured that the Knot sounded like an aggressive orchestra at times. Slipknot played a large helping  from the bands recent release .5: The Gray Chapter, including  “ XIX,” ”Sarcastrophe,” “Killpop,” The Devil in I,” “AOV” and “Custer.” Slipknot also went for some deep cuts from the band's 1999 debut album. 

Richmond, Virginia-based groove metal band Lamb of God also worked the crowd into frenzy for Slipknot and left security scrambling to break up fights. I even noticed a mosh-pit breaking out in a few of the aisles. “I’ve had three bucket list venues and Red Rocks was one of them” said  vocalist Randy Blythe. “We just came from one of them on Sweden, but this place is it”.

By the way: The lead singer for Slipknot, who also fronts hard rock band Stone Sour wrote the bands first single, "Bother," on a drive from Lakewood to Iowa.

Also: The identity of Slipknots newest drummer has been leaked: turns out it’s Jay Jay Weinberg, son of Max Weinberg.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.