if you’ve seen artwork that pertains to dante’s divine comedy, perhaps you’ll understand the title i’ve given to this entry. well, to be truthful – i’m sure you realise the title is merely metaphorical.

one of the reasons why i never have been to a slipknot show was because, get this, i was kinda scared. if you’ve read early press on the band, the ‘hell’ scene from the film event horizon comes to mind. well, this time the circus has come to this town and i’m sure ain’t gonna miss it.

the circus was joined by children of bodom, which i was looking forward to see, and machine head. i was somewhat cheesed off that COB played a mere five songs for their set. for that, i’ve now got tix to catch their own headlining show in nottingham next february. machine head got the crowd going, which culminated in 5 to 6-ringed whirlpool of a moshpit (see hell reference above). much to our surprise (and to the band’s consternation), phil demmel who plays leads guitar collapsed (rob said that this had happened before) during the guitar solo for ten ton hammer (methinks) and the machine head show came to an abrupt end.

the band with 18 legs got onstage to the dulcet gamelan-esque tones of iowa, with the loudest cheer given when joey jordison got behind his kit. he was pretending to be a tree – that worked! ever wondered if you can really hear the different instruments played in a nine-man band? that was evident in surfacing which came on next. loved it when shawn was going at the metal kegs like a clown possessed. shawn wasn’t the only one – more than one pit opened by the punters, like the whorls of the seven levels of hell they were. dean and i were heard going, “we’re too old for this shit!”.

i have to admit i didn’t do too well with my pre-gig ‘revision’ but i just didn’t have the cajones (nor the physiological capacity) to battle it out during before i forget and psychosocial. i was waiting to see if they would actually play some of their new stone sour-ish material live. fat chance – maniacal masked men with acoustic guitars? it was full-on mayhem. duality was just great, seeing the clown swinging his baseball bat, hitting the beer keg. sid being the nut he is, can sometimes be found hanging on the clown’s elevating drum/beer keg riser.

another event horizon moment, (515), was played in the beginning of the encore, followed by people=shit which was intense. and tommy lee – eat your heart out. joey’s one up with his mobile drum riser! corey held out brilliantly especially since this was their last UK date and these guys had been on the road since frickin’ october. whilst these guys have been around since ’98, i just don’t like the nu-metal label plastered on these guys. they are as genuinely metal as you get. i wanna see someone tell these “nine jackasses from des moines, iowa” (to paraphrase corey) that they are nu-metal in their faces – that’ll be interesting. joey was the last to leave the stage, and the gentler ’til we die was played on the PA whilst the crew stripped down the set.

oh, just to confirm that i’m deaf (a little), i had no evidence of tinnitus whatsoever following the show.

sheffield arena 12.12.08 set: iowa / surfacing / the blister exists / get this / disasterpiece / before i forget / liberate / dead memories / psychosocial / prosthetics / spit it out / the heretic anthem / duality / only one / [encore] (515) / people=shit / (sic) / ['til we die - on the PA]

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more pics here.