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And the Concert of The Year 2011 Goes To…

5 January 2012 No Comment

Article by Groovey.  Pics by Matthew Zinke.

2011 has been hauled off to the old age farm to drool on puzzles in the rec room and ask for extra prunes in its porridge but the old dog was one hell of a year for concerts.   From Times of Grace to Arch Enemy to Katatonia this year has been filled with awesome shows.  I figure I go to about as many shows as a fairly lazy touring band plays so I have seen a pretty solid chunk of the spectrum of acts rolling on the roads of 2011 and my pick for best show of the year is “An Evening With Corey Taylor” at the Gothic Theater in Denver which was nothing short of inspiring and it was definitely refreshing for even the most jaded concert goer (me).

The show was made up of three parts.  Part one was a question and answer session about Slipknot, Stone Sour, and Taylor himself.  As weird as it sounds it was almost like a clearing-the-air session with a wayward sibling that you haven’t seen in a long while.  Mr. Taylor fielded the obvious questions about Paul Gray, his legacy and how it will affect the next Slipknot album.   His answers echoed the press releases we have all read but when you hear it straight from the source the point is driven home about how much hurt the band is still in and how much Paul Gray meant as a friend and band mate.   He also confirmed that Slipknot would be headlining Mayhem which at the time was just a rumor and caused a bit of a “Sweet!” murmur in the audience.   There were also some of Corey Taylor’s old roommates from when he lived in Denver in the audience which added to the brotherhood of the whole evening.  I have heard that at some other shows in other towns he had hecklers but in this case it was like family reminiscing about the good ol’ days.  Just loud enough so everyone could hear.

The second part of the show was Mr. Taylor reading from his best selling book: Seven Deadly Sins: Settling the Argument Between Born Bad and Damaged Good. The book reads just like Corey Taylor thinks which is intelligent, insightful, humorous, and if you have ever met the man you know the personality wagon unhitched itself on his front porch and he dove right into the witty goods with brain wide open.  The chapter he read from in Denver was “Lust”.  I have seen some reviewers call this section the “Stand Up Comedy Part” but really it is Corey Taylor reading his best thought out reflections on the subject and because the man is naturally hilarious and it comes across as comedy.  The kind of comedy that shakes the foundations and rattles the noggin off the rails onto new territory.  If you don’t own his book yet I can’t recommend it enough and here is an excellent review of it by Nadia Guardado of Hollywood Music.  There are plenty of videos on youtube if you would like to check out the live experience and Mr. Taylor has a books on CD kind of deal read by himself for Seven Deadly Sins.

Section three of the concert was a live acoustic performance of several Slipknot and Stone Sour classics as well as an amazing and surprising  list of cover songs from Pink Floyd, U2, and for me the song of the night was Alice in Chains “Down in a Hole”.  It was the most powerful moment of the night and every cliché about electricity and the crowd’s reaction to the song was in play.  When he busted into “Comfortably Numb” I did let go a “No Fuckin Way!”  just for the record.  I very much hope this tour was filmed for a DVD but if not there are plenty of videos on youtube that captured the performance in second rate quality.  Overall an amazing tour and an incredible show that probably won’t be repeated for a very long time.

Now let me know what your pick is for your best concert of 2011 is.

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