June 14, 2013
“Everybody take one step back! The barrier's collapsed!" This is the chaos unfolding in front of Corey Taylor's eyes. Things have reached such fever pitch during a furious Left Behind that the architects of madness have put a stop to it to regain order.
There are bruises, scratches and dislocated shoulders in the pits. Make no mistake, the return of Slipknot to the Download Main Stage is fucking pandemonium.
And then it stops. The out of control band get things under control. Safety is sorted. Everyone's given a moment to get the beast back on its leash. And then they open fire again, and chaos is restored.
This is the second time Slipknot have to call a halt to the mayhem. But they started it. They've wound 90,000 people up to breaking point and let them loose on one another. Up on stage, wearing white boiler suits that give the impression of fallen angels, there is violence. There is danger. The eight men criss-cross the stage like masked atoms smashing around the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, and the power coming off them could light hell for a thousand years. Eyeless is insane. The really-aired Get This is the most extreme noise ever made on the stage. All of it is music to get a black eye to. And at the centre of the madness is Shawn 'Clown' Crahan.
At 3pm, Clown’s not here. We get Shawn. "I don't know when Clown’s gonna show up…" says the surprisingly friendly, kind and paternal 43-year-old, without a hint that he's joking. "You don't know when it's coming, or when the transition is happening, but everyone suddenly goes, 'Oh, Clown's here.'"
Clown, he says when asked about playing on the same level as Iron Maiden, "doesn't give a fuck where we are, who else is playing, about anything other than being onstage and wreaking fucking havoc".