April 28, 2005 – Subliminal Verses Tour featuring
Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield, Illinois
Slipknot’s grueling touring cycle for their 3rd studio album took them around the world twice in just under two years. Their 2004 calendar year was jam-packed with gigs that included:
-Jagermister Music Tour alongside Fear Factory and Chimaira
-European Open Air Festival Tour with Metallica
-Ozzfest 2004 in the U.S.
-European Unholy Alliance Tour with Slayer and Hatebreed
2005 was even crazier for the 9-piece metal group as they pushed the limits of traveling musicians:
-The Big Day Out Festival run featuring System of a Down, Beastie Boys, Hatebreed, and many more
-The Subliminal Verses Tour with Lamb of God & Shadows Fall
-The Subliminal Verses Tour: The Final Volume with As I Lay Dying & Unearth
It was after Ozzfest 2004 that Slipknot started announcing their plans for the next phase of the Subliminal Versus World Tour. The first leg, was during the Spring of 2005 with Lamb of God & Shadows Fall. Since it was not coming to St. Louis, I looked for cities within a few hours drive. The decision to make a road trip had already been decided when they announced a date in Springfield, Illinois. I will always remember April 28, 2005, not just because of the show, but because I met a great person that day who is still one of my closest friends.
For those of you old enough to remember StLPunk, I was always on there, posting about concerts and how I couldn’t wait for the next big show coming up. For those unfamiliar, StLPunk was the Myspace and/or Facebook of the St. Louis music scene. A lot of “posers” (haha… remember that phrase) surfed the site as well. This one dude messaged me about the Slipknot show because he saw my post and asked if we had another seat available in our car. After consideration and consultation of my friends I agreed to let him tag along. He showed up at my house the day of the show with sandwiches and a cooler ready for the trip. Haha! Good stuff.
Anyways, we drove through the bowels of Illinois and arrived in Springfield around the time that the doors opened. I assume because it was a convention center the security was ridiculous. We had to venture back to the car twice to drop off our cell phones, and then our lighters/cigarettes. Enough was enough. We just wanted to see the show. We made it inside after what seemed like an hour to find a mid-sized arena environment with a floor area that left you not too far from the stage no matter where you were. All of the tickets sold were General Admission so if you wanted to go off into the seats and sit down you were welcome to do so. However, we were young and careless of our physical well-being, so that was not an option.
Shadows Fall were the first band on the bill. I had seen them a number of times before, so I pretty much knew what to expect. They thrashed through their songs off The Art of Balance and The War Within, with Brian Fair twirling his 5 foot dreads around and around. They ripped the crowd a new one and welcomed them to what was going to be an intense night of heavy music.
The Power of I and I
Thoughts Without Words
Enlightened By the Cold
The Idiot Box
The Light That Blinds
Inspiration On Demand
Destroyer of Senses
What Drives the Weak
By this time I had to come to accept the fact that anytime I had the chance to see Lamb of God I was going to do so. They were on so many tours with so many great bands over the course of the past decade it was nearly impossible to miss them. Hell, half the time I didn’t care who they were touring with. All I knew was that I wanted to see them again. They were the main reason I wanted to travel to see this leg of the Subliminal Verses Tour. Lamb of God was, is, and always will be my favorite metal band. Period.
Their set at the show in Springfield was just as intense as it was on their Ashes of the Wake Tour during the fall of 2004 alongside Fear Factory, Children of Bodom, and Throwdown. Ashes of the Wake played in my car stereo at least once every day for probably 2 years. I could never get enough of it. This Lamb of God performance was intense because of the openness of the venue. There’s something about being in an arena environment that causes people to go even more apeshit than usual. There were abundant “LAMB OF GOD” chants in between songs, crazy circle pits, and, of course, the Wall of Death they had to stop calling for at Ozzfest 2004 because of the bad injuries fans would endure in the name of musical release.
Laid to Rest
As the Palaces Burn
Now You’ve Got Something to Die For
What I’ve Become
The Faded Line
After Lamb of God finished, the crowd dispersed to grab a drink, take a piss, grab a smoke and get ready for the main attraction. Earlier that week, news had leaked that bassist Paul Gray was unable to stay on the tour due to his being hospitalized for undisclosed reasons (it would later be revealed that it was drug-related). As I later found out, John Campbell of Lamb of God and Paul Romanko of Shadows Fall filled in by playing bass behind the scenes while the rest of the band performed. It explains why I didn’t notice much of a difference in sound, although with 9 members it’s hard to keep track of all of them.
The setlist for Slipknot on this tour was extensive and included the majority of the new album (of course) as well as the classics. Although I’m not a huge fan of some the songs off Subliminal Verses seeing and hearing them performed live re-opened my eyes and ears to a few of them. One in particular was Vermilion and Vermilion, part II. Before starting the second version of the song, the band left the stage for a few brief moments and came back out wearing the white molded masks they used in the music video. That was something different that we wouldn’t have gotten to see on a different tour. It’s one of the things I remember most about the show. I wasn’t a huge fan of the song nor the direction they started trending in but overall the performance of the new material was a fresh take on the next stage in the evolution of the band.
Prelude 3.0 (Intro)
The Blister Exists
Before I Forget
Pulse of the Maggots
Vermilion Pt 2
The Heretic Anthem
Spit It Out
People = Shit
Wait and Bleed
Danger – Keep Away (Outro)
Overall this was a hell of a fun time and the whole show was a blast. Each band had a lot of energy and you could feel it resonate through the crowd. Let the metal live on throughout the Midwest!