WORDS BY: RAVEN BENWAIT
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ANNA SKLAVOS
Toronto’s metal scene seems to grow more and more each year. On August 8, 2015, thousands of Toronto metalheads crowded outside the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, for one of the largest concerts of the summer. Summer’s Last Stand Tour, features Motionless in White, Bullet for My Valentine, Lamb of God and headliners, Slipknot.
People drove from all around the province to see this lineup – the most I heard was 7 hours from up north! I call that dedication. There were thousands of people quickly entering the venue, prepared for a night to remember.
The first band we were able to see was Bullet for My Valentine who opened with “No Way Out” which is a newer track, leading into one of the bands best songs “Your Betrayal.” The crowd was still growing at this point, but the Bullet for My Valentine fans were still starting a pit and singing along with vocalist Matt Tuck. They played some more of their new tunes, which I could tell the fans were not quite feeling. Back to the older stuff, they played fan favourites which include “Scream, Aim, Fire,” “Tears Don’t Fall,” closing with “Waking the Demon.” To be honest, my 12 year old version was screaming and I’m sure many of the Bullet fans could relate. Bullet for My Valentine played a short, but sweet set and I personally enjoyed the flashbacks and memories that came along with it for a lot of the fans!
From Bridgend, United Kingdom is Bullet for My Valentine, a heavy metal band. They have been around for quite some time, since 1998. Up to date they’ve had about nine albums and EP’s combined, which include the top fan favourites, Scream Aim Fire as well as The Poison, which were released in the early 2000’s. Through the years, Bullet has had quite the success as a band and has attracted a lot of metalcore fans, but lately they have been said to slack with their music. They do have a brand new album coming on August 14, 2015, which is said to be completely different from their previous album, so let’s see how that goes!
Next to hit the Molson Amphitheatre stage was Lamb of God, with an aggressive stage presence. Their 10-song setlist began with “Walk with Me in Hell,” which is an older tune. We all expected a brand new song, but to our surprise, that is not what happened! Lamb of God had a double screen stage set up which displayed their music videos as they performed. Next up was “Now You’ve Got Something To Die For,” which Randy Blythe killed on vocals. The passion hit us all as we were head-banging along to them. The crowd also started multiple mosh-pits on the floor as well as all around the lawn. The next few songs included “Still Echos,” “512,” “Ghost Walking,” and “Ruin,” all of which were performed with a lot of passion and had fans jumping. Their short set ended off with “Redneck,” which is known to be a fan favourite, so at this point, everyone around me was screaming the chorus together, “This is a motherf*cking invitation, the only one you could ever need!”
Lamb of God – where to begin with these guys… from Richmond, Virginia, they have made a huge name for themselves in the Metal industry. Since 1994, Lamb of God has released five albums, latest one being VII: Strum und Drang (check out Gerrod’s review of the album). All the material Lamb of God releases has always been well respected by the Heavy Metal industry, as they opened up a big path in the industry. Lamb of God has been at it for 21 years and just released a brand new album which hit number one on top rock album charts! They have made it clear – Lamb of God is still alive and aint’ going nowhere.
At this point, the venue was filled from front to back. The one and only time I have ever seen the venue this packed was for System of a Down which was the other huge metal show of the summer. The night was growing dark and the Slipknot curtains lit up and fans prepared themselves.
Slipknot opened up with “Sarcastrophe” which is from their latest album .5: The Gray Chapter. The stage looking amazing – flames of fire, a huge devils head with creepy looking eyes, a mirror reflecting an image of the entire crowd… what a set up. They led into “The Heretic Anthem,” which formed enormous mosh-pits all of the lawn and on the GA floor. Everyone screamed as one – “If you’re 555 then I’m 666!” As the set went on, Slipknot continued with “Psychosocial,” “The Devil in I,” “AOV,” “Purity,” a fan favourite – “Wait and Bleed.”
What made us all so happy was when Corey Taylor stopped for a bit to speak with us. He told us that Toronto holds a special place in Slipknot’s heart, because it was the first city they played in, outside of America. That is definitely a big deal considering how legendary Slipknot is to us all. Seeing Slipknot live for the first time, I could say they are way better than how they look in those videos we all watch. Nothing compares to the personal, live experience of Slipknot putting on the show right infront of you. They didn’t fail to keep the energy alive as they all kept us entertained all around the stage, from the multiple percussionists, to the strings and of course front man Corey Taylor. I’d say they are the most original band you could see live. The encore consisted of “People = Shit” followed by “Surfacing,” – the national anthem, as said by Taylor. We all had our middle fingers up in the air as one, for this closing song.
Since 1995, Slipknot has been around making music. As a band, they have been through a lot with shaping the metal music industry and even the music industry as a whole. They’ve also lost some band members through the process, but have always held it together as a band. They have released five studio albums, one live album, four video albums, one demo album, fifteen singles and thirteen music videos – a lot of accomplishments as a band.
Slipknot stole the show this night and fans left the venue screaming. They played a 100% satisfying set and a stage performance to exceed fan expectations. For those that missed out on this show, it does slightly suck, but Slipknot will be back and they made it clear they would. Until then everyone, keep the metal spirits high!