Corey Taylor’s Livestream Was A Celebration Of Rock’N’Roll Exuberance
Corey Taylor doesn’t do things by halves. The Great Big Mouth has spent the majority of his life as ringleader to a travelling circus of horrors, so did we really expect his solo album release show to be a subdued affair? In fact, a whopping $250,000 was spent on the production for this livestream, stocking up on all the flames, fireworks and CO2 cannons that every rock’n’roll arena show could possibly need. It just happens that the 17,000 capacity room is empty.
Thousands are in attendance digitally, however, witnessing perhaps the slickest-looking livestream gig of the lockdown era so far. Before the show we see the band arriving at The Forum, receiving their temperature checks, with Corey’s mask firmly attached (not that one). A lot of effort has undoubtedly gone into making this as safe as possible, and when you consider the production value, there must be a huge team working to pull it off. The camerawork alone is so impressive it’s hard to believe the show is actually taking place live.
“Look at all you people here tonight,” jokes Corey, as the cameras reveal a vast, darkened abyss, with just crew and management hovering by the sound desk.
With his initials in lights (although we’re not entirely convinced his middle-name is actually motherfucking) the band hurtle through an epic 23-song setlist that covers not just the entirety of debut solo album CMFT, but choice cuts from Stone Sour, Slipknot and a smattering of covers by Dead Boys, Eddie Money and more. From the punked-up bombast of Meine Lux to the bluesy Halfway Down (during which Corey is presented with his custom championship belt, before sending it away again for some reason), you can feel the unashamed joy onstage burning through the screen. Corey himself hasn’t played a show since February and 11 of these songs have never been performed live before, giving everything a necessary boost of passion and energy severely lacking from some livestreams.
But as much as the show is about the new record, it’s also a trip down memory lane for the frontman – less a greatest hits and more a meandering trail, taking in Stone Sour’s Song #3, Through Glass and Taciturn, alongside Slipknot’s Snuff, revealing that it was one of his favourite songs he’s ever written. It stands as a centrepiece in the set for those who’ve been following CT for over two decades, and highlights just how good Slipknot’s music is even when they’re not playing it. It’s also worth noting this will probably be the only form you hear Stone Sour from now on, after their assumed hiatus earlier this year.
Piano ballad Home provides a much-needed breather amongst the rock’n’ruddy roll. Sitting alone at the keys, this is the time first time Corey has ever played piano live, having spent two-and-a-half years teaching himself just so he could record the song. It’s a touching moment, showcasing another side to an artist who’s already painting with a vast palette tonight.
Heading into the home-straight, it’s a triumvirate of rock exploration. From the acoustic, emotional heft of Bother to the hardcore punk stylings of European Tour Bus Bathroom Song, Corey’s explosive box of tricks is opened up and poured out for climactic closer, CMFT Must Be Stopped. Joined by dance troupe Cherry Bombs (featuring Corey’s wife Alicia), the stomping riff and pounding drums are elevated further by the eye-mangling lightshow and pyrotechnics that bombard the senses before the credits roll.
Months ago we were gathering around our phones, watching artists in the bedrooms strum away on acoustic guitars, and now we are here, witnessing one of rock’s most charismatic vocalists embodying rock’n’roll excess in an explosion of Technicolor and technology to make it look and feel so big. Hopefully this will be the springboard we need for even bigger, bolder, brighter livestreams from iconic venues. Can we have a Slipknot one next, please?
CMFT is out on now 2 via Roadrunner Records – buy, download or stream it now.
Read this next:
Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor has spoken out against bands who aren’t doing anything “fresh”: “If it’s dead, then people are gonna treat it as dead, man…”
Rick Astley channels his inner Mick Thomson and rocks out to Slipknot’s Duality… and it’s absolutely perfect.