SLIPKNOT Live at Pain in the Grass in Auburn, Washington

The summer months were once host to a wide range of touring rock and heavy metal festivals. With the breakdown and demise of Uproar Festival and the announcement that 2015 will mark the end of Mayhem Fest only one major touring festival remains. This trend of failing mainstream touring festivals actually benefits local extraveganzas like this past Sunday’s Pain in the Grass. While Mayhem Festival’s subpar card struggled to bring in 6,000 fans to their Washington stop we saw the local Pain in the Grass reaping the rewards of Mayhem’s failure.

PHOTO BY CHRISTIAN HAMILTON

PHOTO BY CHRISTIAN HAMILTON

The struggling traveling festivals left the Seattle area metalheads and rockaholics wanting more and Pain in the Grass delivered just what it was the fans where left wanting. The word of a card headlined by the one and only Slipknot worked its way through the masses and at the end of the day 20,000 strong came out in force to the 2015 PITG.  It was 9pm, the calm before the storm, when the huge tapestry covering the front of the stage was lit as Van Halen’s “Runnin’ with the Devil” blasted throughout the Amphitheater. When the curtain finally came down is when true Mayhem erupted with “Sarcastrophe” to open Slipknots epic 16 song set.

The heavy-metal heavyweights are an astonishing 9 member outfit. There was so much carnage on stage it was hard to focus on any one thing in particular but not to be missed were the two elevated, rotating drum kits that housed Chris Fehn and Shawn “Clown” Crahan.  Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor delivered a picture perfect, brutal and in your face performance with crushing, crowd mosh inducing live renditions of  “The Devil in I” and “KillPop“. Jim Root and Mick Thompson were nothing short of spectacular with their brutal, hair-raising, face-melting riffs. 

The onslaught continued with “Sulfur” followed by “Duality” causing the crowd to break out into a barrage of wild mosh pits, circle pits and crowd surfing. “Spit It Out” and “Custer” rounded out the bottom portion of a brutal set bringing us back to the beginning; The calm before the storm. “742617000027” marked the beginning of the end as Slipknot retakes the stage for what was to be a monumental heavy metal moment with “(sic)“, “People = Shit” and “Surfacing” putting an exclamation point on the set.

The night proved that, contrary to the beliefs of some, there is still a massive metal fan base; They are multigenerational and they are ready to mosh the night away. It is truly time to say goodbye and good ridden to the massive touring festivals and say hello to the homegrown ones like Pain in the Grass and this past Sunday night 20,000 people who were in attendance apparently agree.

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Christian Hamilton

Christian Hamilton

Christian is the founder and Editor of Rock Paper Rock as well as a freelance concert and event photographer serving the Pacific Northwest and Beyond. He is a certified member of the PPA and Gold Level member of the CPS. He has recently began working with Mental Itch Records and has launched his own Photography website.


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