Live Stream from The Forum, Los Angeles
Saturday, 3 October, 2020
Pre-show hosted by: Beez
October has struck with a bang for Slipknot and Stone Sour icon Corey Taylor who’s finally released his highly anticipated solo record CMFT, and now given fans his best rendition of a live premiere show – a global stream at The Forum in Los Angeles, playing tracks off the record, as well as fan favourites from his fame-curating bands, as well as some interesting covers.
Treating us with some pre-show action was Knotfest host, metal-head and entertainer Beez, who knew how to get streamers vibing for the big show. He gave us some history of the venue where acts like Led Zeppelin and Queen once played.
With excitable energy, the host interviews Taylor and introduces us to the band. Beez gets the metal star to describe how empowering it is to release the solo album and then shows us some rehearsal footage. By this point you can’t help but feel like you’re bleeding Corey Taylor and you’re completely immersed in this solo journey, and ready to experience it live with the rest of the world. And interestingly enough, Jack Black introduces his show from a halfpipe in his very own backyard – ah, the beauty of stream shows where you can do whatever the hell you want.
As seen on music videos, the lit up “CMFT” letters appear with Corey and the band, and they’re ready to rock – full pyro and all. Wearing a red velvet suit jacket, and hair slicked back, you know you’re going to see a side of one of the biggest metal musicians, that you’ve never seen before, and it feels pretty historic.
Corey Taylor rips through the incredibly eclectic tracks off his solo albums, in no particular order, with some surprises in the mix as well. As sad as it is to see Corey and the band play to no one, it’s easy to fall into the stream culture that’s wrapped us up in the absence of live gigs during this time, and it certainly doesn’t faze the band, and he jokes about it, screaming ‘“you guys look amazing” and “are you guys ready?”. He plays solo tracks like ‘Meine Lux’ and ‘Silverfish’ with genuine excitement for the new album, and to flaunt these songs.
Taking his jacket off to reveal his ‘Creep Show’ tee and tatts, the Stone Sour front-man plays a few more CMFT numbers and then gives us Stone Sour’s ‘Song #3’. For fans who haven’t heard the new solo record yet, it would have been euphoric to hear some familiar material from the beloved front-man. The most notable factor of this performance is the band’s ability to perform the track so seamlessly. Corey leans into this as he sits down and plays acoustic, allowing his talented band to showcase their talents.
After performing a riff-heavy rendition of ‘Everybody Dies On My Birthday’ from the new record, Taylor intertwines fan favourites again, and this time it’s from Slipknot – and the band joins him to to play an acoustic version of ‘Snuff’ from the ‘All Hope Is Gone’ album – “one of my favourite songs I ever wrote” – he says smiling. From that opening key to the mid-way crescendo, online punters surely felt tingles on their spines. Smoke fills the stage and it feels like Slipknot unplugged (yet not fully unplugged).
The flames reappear with CMFT bangers like ‘Culture Head’ and ‘The Maria Fire’, which is where Taylor fuses heavy Slipknot sections and the softer Stone Sour vocal elements of his toolkit with his experimental country-influenced flavours. These two songs back-to-back really work with the band behind him, and it feels like a bit of a jam, coming out of those big band hits.
If his own bands’ material isn’t enough, Corey Taylor delivers even more surprises in between the CMFT live debut. Did you think there’d be Eagles covers? How about Taylor on keys for Stone Sour’s ‘Zzyzx Rd.’? Told you there’d be some special bits in this stream!
“I feel like we’re warmed up” – the screamer/singer says to the band before getting closer to the wrap-up. I really enjoyed ‘Black Eyes Blue’ before the final track preceding the encore. The song showcases Corey’s clean vocals in a live environment, on a track that fans have probably heard before in the lead-up to the album release. There’s great camaraderie between Taylor and the band on numbers like this, as they nod at one another and recreate some obviously solid moments that led to music creation.
‘Through Glass’ by Stone Sour is a song that can make you feel emosh at the best of times – try hearing it live during one of the worst years ever. Corey Taylor’s voice is as on-point as when the track was released fourteen years ago. The delivery of this masterpiece simply illustrates the diversity of this household-named musician, and justifies his desire to keep experimenting, doing different things, and exercising his vocal instrument.
Before getting stuck into an encore, he introduces all of the band one-by-one and they play a stadium-sounding cover of ‘On the Dark Side’, originally by John Cafferty. It’s a fun song, but may leave the Slipknot fans wanting a bit more; but hey – they would’ve figured that out with one listen of CFMT. The encore includes a final Stone Sour track ‘Bother’ with solo songs like ‘European Tour Bus Bathroom Song’ and closes with ‘CMFT Must Be Stopped’. Oh and did we mention a storm of dancers in Cherry Bomb filling the stage across flashing strobes? Well it wouldn’t be a rock and roll show without some final surprises like that.
Stream Review by Ricky Aarons @rickysaul90
Corey Taylor’s Forum Or Against ‘Em Setlist
1. Hwy 666
2. Meine Lux
3. Halfway Down
5. Shakin’ (Eddie Money cover)
6. Song #3 (Stone Sour)
7. Everybody Dies On My Birthday
8. Snuff (Slipknot)
9. Taciturn (Stone Sour)
10. Culture Head
11. Maria Fire
13. Zzyxz Road (Stone Sour)
14. All This And More (Dead Boys cover)
15. Already Gone (Eagles cover)
17. Black Eyes Blue
18. Samantha’s Gone
19. Through Glass (Stone Sour)
20. On The Dark Side (John Cafferty cover)
21. Bother (full band version) (Stone Sour)
22. European Tour Bus Bathroom Song
23. CMFT Must Be Stopped
Photo Gallery by Steve Thrasher and Gina Joy Chong