Slipknot at Download Festival 2013 review

Spectacular chaos that's as predictable as the shit weather

Photographer:Sara Bowrey

Gavin McInally - 15 June 2013

Iowa's masked men appeared on paper to be the tried and tested approach to booking headlining bands by the UK's prestige metal festival but by the time the white cloth fell to present the Slipknot machine no one could argue about their lofty repeat billing.

The depraved aural circus may not have changed much from the touring act which reached British shores for 2001's Ozzfest,  with the rotating tin bins, jumpsuits merely bleached from red to white and Corey Taylor's proclamations toned down slightly from "maggots" to "family" but the relevance remained the same with more than 80,000 fans not only jumping to every classic,  but meeting the 'how high?' condition without request.

'Liberate', 'Wait & Bleed' and 'Eyeless' marked a stunning return to the debut album which forced an extreme metal outfit on the mainstream but it soon proved too much with the show being halted twice to allow security to fix a broken barrier.

"No one is getting hurt on my watch," Taylor promised before the band delved into another vicious assault but otherwise the well organised angst was maintained between the T designed fences.

The rain returned by the time 'Heretic Anthem' was played but Shawn 'Clown' Crahan had a sex doll by the cock so it was largely overlooked by the hardened masses.

The Paul Gray tributes were properly observed as the encore delivered a final double blow with 'People=Shit' and 'Surfacing' wrapping up a triumphant first night.

Earlier in the day stoner veterans Down and nu-metal godfathers Korn dodged the worst of the miserable weather while tent dwellers Hang The Bastard, The Sword and Converge made the most of the intermittent showers and played to packed out crowds.

Check out our full Download Festival coverage here.

Slipknot at Download Festival set-list:

Wait and Bleed
Get This
Before I Forget
The Blister Exists
Dead Memories
Left Behind
Pulse of the Maggots
Everything Ends
The Heretic Anthem
Spit It Out

People = Shit
'Til We Die


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