If you’re a fan of modern rock music, it’s likely that the name Corey Taylor brings a wide range of reactions: some of immense approval, and others of significant dismissal. Referred by many as “the big mouth”, the always-has-something-to-say frontman of Slipknot and Stone Sour appeared at London’s KOKO venue on May 8th 2016 to perform a one-off acoustic set.
As expected for a show of this kind, it sold out incredibly quickly and the anticipation of those lucky individuals with the means to attend was visible even as the queues stretched around the outside of the venue as multiple touts hovered around. One of the few criticisms was that the gig felt almost too attended, as finding a decent vantage point to view the performance was definitely tricky at times.
The set was split into three different sections: a stand-up comedy section, a Q&A session between the man himself and members of the audience, and finally performances of various songs originally by Slipknot, Stone Sour, and various other artists throughout the history of rock music. Another nit-picking negative for me was the sheer amount of Stone Sour covers which were performed, albeit the exclusion of songs by other artists that I feel would’ve gone down a treat. In terms of the setlist on the night, songs by The Cure, Van Morrison, Kiss, The Buzzcocks, Creedence Clearwater Revival, REM, The Eagles, The Goo-Goo Dolls and Life, Sex & Death were all performed by Taylor, accompanied by special guest Stone Sour guitarist Christian Martucci. “Spit It Out” and “Snuff” both got their moment in the KOKO spotlight, alongside many a Stone Sour track including “Through Glass” and “Tired”, as well as many others.
Prior to the music, however, Taylor spoke to the audience on a number of different topics in the form of answers posed to him as questions from crowd members, including Donald Trump, ex-Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison, the future of Stone Sour and others. This was particularly welcomed by me especially just to listen to the man talk about things for a brief while.
Slipknot is a group that gets a significant amount of, in my opinion, unjust and undeserved criticism from particular corners of the heavy metal community, but it’s undeniable that Taylor is one of the most sincere, genuine and talented musicians in modern rock, irrespective of your opinion on his bands’ musical output. The physical sound of his voice hitting you like a punch in the face as he sang “Snuff” is something indescribable. The show was filmed for presumably a live DVD. Make sure you pick it up when it’s eventually released.