Corey Taylor at the London Palladium
Corey Taylor has certainly kept busy over the years with not just one, but three separate projects: Stone Sour, Slipknot, solo, even some S-collaborations. Tonight he takes on the London Palladium without a band to back him up – well, not his band. The musicians blend into the shadows in their black attire while Taylor is up front and central in white.
Opening in literal flames (highlighting the singer’s presence further) with Love Song, the momentum burns bright from the get-go. Soon he is blistering through material, old and new, his and not, without seeming to slow for a second, even having time to have a conversation with the crowd in between. Taylor has a big personality that fills the entire room, but it’s not overbearing: he makes the gigantic venue feel almost cosy, as if sharing inside jokes between friends, not songs between strangers.
Fans knowingly request the Spongebob Squarepants theme tune as soon as the acoustic guitar is in his lap. The song is requested more than his own hits, but he takes it in his stride and the audience are more than willing to help out, especially when he transitions seamlessly into Snuff. Slipknot aren’t exactly known for their heartfelt ballads, which is perhaps why this performance is all the more touching. Taylor recalls that he previously performed the best version in London, and although a comparison isn’t possible, the crowd definitely disagree: the version he plays tonight evokes quite a reaction.
Juxtaposing Spongebob, the simple backdrop is merely four letters to the outside observer – CMFT – which is actually the name of his most recent album, standing for Corey motherf*****g Taylor. Since the album did so well in the charts, it’s no wonder its title had to be abbreviated, but tonight it doesn’t have to be. Taylor can truly perform how he wants to. Calling the fans his friends, he brings out the electric guitar for Bother and describes it as a new version of an old friend. Other old friends making an appearance are Through Glass (also from Stone Sour), a ballad that undeniably stands the test of time; Wait and Bleed is from Slipknot, but without the mask and the band it becomes a different entity.
In its entirety, the set is an eye-opening journey through Taylor’s life in the form of songs that inspired his music – plus some random ones thrown in for good measure. There is nothing like this artist’s vocal stylings in hard rock music, the way he twists between genres without breaking. Seeing him on-stage, it is clear why he is so sought after. It actually needs to be seen to be believed.
Photos: Nick Bennett
For further information and future events visit Corey Taylor’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Samantha’s Gone here: