What a weekend for Corey Taylor.
A round of applause is much needed for him, Slipknot, The Cherry Bombs, the entire cast of C.T.A.F, and the hard working crew that put this all together. It was a long weekend for everyone involved with lots of emotions in the air.
Slipknot started the weekend off for Corey at Jimmy Kimmel Live on Friday May 17th. Their first ever live performance of their new single “Unsainted” was remarkable. My friends and I had a blast at the performance and enjoyed the nice warm up for KNOTFEST.
On Saturday May 18th, the world found out that Shawn “Clown” Crahan's daughter had passed away at the age of 22.
“It is with a broken heart, and from a place of the deepest pain, that I have to inform all of you that my youngest daughter, Gabrielle, passed away yesterday – Saturday, May 18, 2019. She was 22 years old,” Clown says in a statement posted to the band’s Twitter. “Funeral arrangements will be forthcoming. My family and I ask that our privacy be respected moving forward. Thank you.”
This left a heavy heart on the crew for Sunday's performance for Corey Taylor and Friends. Losing a member of your extended family is never easy. My condolences go out to Shawn's family. The beauty of this job and what music creates is community. When times get hard, like now, we have this wonderful community to turn to for a shoulder to lean on. I met my best friends that I consider my extended family at the first ever Corey Taylor and Friends show at the Roxy. Since that show, we have done everything together when it involves Slipknot or common interest. That's the power of this community that Corey and his fellow bandmates have created. While this community mourns, we have one another to stay strong.
As Sunday soon approached for Corey and the guys, the sexy Cherry Bombs got ready to open up the show. Alicia, Brynn, Chanel, Kelsie, Kymberly, Lisa, and Nata teased fans with Instagram posts and stories of routines and costumes. The wait to see them was well worth all the teasing.
When I arrived inside of the venue mid afternoon they were already hours in on rehearsing and preparing for the show. Watching how hard they worked before the show was inspiring. Bumps and bruises don't scare these ladies at all. Full of fuel and energy on and off stage.
Corey, Jason, Brandon, and Zach spent the majority of the afternoon inside the green room rehearsing. While I sat and waited for the guys, I got to listen to the melodies and laughter they all created. It was pure energy and uplifting to be around people that love what they do. They didn't waste a single minute of their time while fans started lining up outside anxiously waiting. One fan, Briana Rideau, was in line by noon hours before doors even opened. After spending some time talking to her, I found out that she was also at their first performance at The Roxy and was excited to see Cherry Bombs perform their pyro set live.
A VIP meet and greet was offered for this show. Fans got to meet Corey backstage and have professional photos with him done by Chey Salts. As the VIP trickled in and out, one special guest arrived to the show. Ra Diaz from Suicidal Tendencies came out to support his friends and have fun. As Corey and Chey wrapped up the meet and greet, Corey spent some time with us talking stories from the past. We all found out what happened on stage of 1999 with Slipknot overseas and why the black towel rule is now in effect at shows. Lets just say, Corey won't be drinking coffee before going on stage and jumping around now. He should have worn his brown pants that day.
As soon as the VIP left, the beautiful Cherry Bombs headed out on stage. They opened up their show with their traditional sexy dance routine to "Pussy Liquor" by Rob Zombie.
If you could look up the definition to strong, sexy, and confident, it would be these ladies. They didn't fail to surprise the crowd at all. Everyone was left on the edge of their seats with jaws wide open.
Chanel Pepper had the audience screaming in excitement while she performed on the silk ropes. Alicia Dove and Kymberly Whitehall had the crowd at the edge of no return with sparks in the air. Literally. Alicia had a scary experience on stage with Kymberly and handled it like a pro. Her shirt got stuck in the metal disc rotator and started eating her shirt away while she was shooting sparks out to the crowd.
My personal favorite part of the show was Brynn Route on the pole doing her sexy dance. Her body twists are crazy insane to watch. Kelsie Koziol and Lisa Kap killed the spinning cage of fire mid air. Between their sexy dance routines and body connections mid air, the fire set the mood as the clouds slowly came upon us. Nata Ibragimov performed a graceful contemporary circus act with her hoops. I can't even keep one hula hoop off the ground while she can spin six hoops at once around each limb of her body.
Cherry Bombs left the stage with a bang of fire and the crowd wanting more.
As soon as Corey, Brandon, Jason, and Zach hit the stage, the rain fell down upon us. Fans didn't care at all and neither did Corey and the guys. Corey told the crowd he was going to perform as many songs as he could before the rain ruined the night. The rain gods must have heard that Corey Taylor was in the house because the rain stopped a few songs later into the set. Regardless of the rain, Corey would have left the crowd wet with his voice anyways. His voice is like fine wine that just keeps getting better with age.
If you were expecting any Stone Sour songs or Slipknot songs, this is not the show for you to be attending. The point of this show was to perform covers of their favorite songs that they wish they could see live. They wanted to have fun with their fans and enjoy a night full of music. Think of this performance as a gathering of friends where someone brings a guitar and everyone messes around all night around the campfire. That's this show,
but this time you have to buy your beer because you're at a concert.
Corey and the guys performed a rather emotional 18 song set. Love Song, Don't Change, All This and More, Already Gone, You May Be Right, Bone China, Let's Go, Waitin’ For The Bus, Nothin’ But A Good Time, Moonage Daydream, Cream, Clampdown, Heat Of The Moment, Hey Jealousy, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Rise Above, Fire, and Lido Shuffle. Even if you don't know the covers they chose to play, you were still bound to have a good time.
The rain came down hard, and the guys pushed through. The house event staff put a tarp above the venue to catch the rain that later surprised the crowd and guys on stage. With one stroke of Corey's Guitar to "Love Song", the crowd jumped out of their seats and flooded the walk way against the railing while others stood in place. The crowd screamed and cheered while Corey ate up all the love. He shook as many hands as he could and got back to his set.
It's no secret that Corey is obsessed with The Cure. He’s publicly stated it a million times. What made this song extra special was his new fiance Alicia Dove watching side stage. He left the crowd behind and exchanged the occasional loving look to her and even left mid set to kiss her. Watching these two fall in love over and over again with one another is beautiful.
As the set progressed, fans got to watch Zach and Corey shred up the stage with one another to "Already Gone". Observant fans caught on to the very special bass player Jason Christopher who plays the bass upside down due to be left handed.
How bad ass of a musician do you have to be to do what Jason has accomplished? He's truly remarkable. Jason is currently on tour with his band Prong and flew in just for this performance and caught the next flight back to his tour at 1am after the show. That's real dedication.
At last Coreys emotions began to show on stage. He spoke about the passing of Clown's daughter and dedicated "Bone China" by Mother Love Bone. "Bone China" is one of Corey's favorite songs in the world. Not a dry eye was left in the audience. The fellowship in the air grew and the crowd became more chummy with one another swaying back and forth. At the end of the set Corey introduced his high school classmate that came out to the show to watch him perform live with her husband. The support Corey was given in his time of grief was remarkable. He's truly loved and has changed the lives for so many.
While Corey and the guys got down on stage, Ra Diaz and the ladies of Cherry Bombs rocked out side stage. Zach Throne caught onto the party side stage and turned to us to serenade us leaving all the fans behind side stage going nuts. He later joined up with Corey and they exchanged a quick solo together to "Heat Of The Moment".
Brandon Pertzborn held down the stage all night on drums. Brandon is a young drummer from the band Ho99o9 who will not be joining Ho99o9’s upcoming tour due to Marilyn Manson picking him up to join his tour. He's still on his rise to fame leaving fans that don't know him questioning who he is. Some fans thought Brandon was Corey's son at one point. Corey quickly cleared up some answers by the end of the night when he introduced the members of his makeshift band.
As the night progressed, Corey whipped out a few jokes and so did Jason. The stage crew came out to give the guys a carpet to stand on that was the size of one person laying down. One person being Jason who camped down on the carpet. Nothing but a good time on stage.
As the night came to an end the rain came back quickly and hard. It started to pour down on everyone by the last song "Lido Shuffle". The rain left the guys in a dangerous position that most fans don't think about. Electric guitars and rain don’t mix well. As I mentioned earlier, the tarp placed above the venue stage, left the guys with a huge surprise.
Zach Throne got lucky and moved as soon as the stage roof caved in the tarp and gallons of water came crashing down. It left everyone shocked while the guys laughed over it and kept jamming out.
As the night came to an end, Corey left the stage with these last words, “Thank you so much for coming out tonight, we fucking love you. Goodnight!”
As the crowd went home we all ran backstage to the green room for shelter and warmth. As I exchanged some words and photos with Zach about the roof coming down he said, “at one point I thought were going to die tonight. What a great way to die. Fucking rad dude!”
Everyone quickly packed up and exchanged a few laughs and went peacefully home after a long day at work. Not a bad way to end the weekend for Corey Taylor.
PHOTO CREDIT: All photos by Nikkie Marie for ©ZRockR Magazine, All Rights Reserved