Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Running for Slipknot

The Slipknot showThe Slipknot production team was late. They were supposed to be at the Amsterdam ArenA at 10.30 AM, but they arrived at 12 o'clock. Narsy of the production team was happy to see me. "Most of the time I have to search for my runners, you just waited up for us. We're in a hurry, the stage clothes of Slipknot need to be washed and dried before 5 PM." It was my first time as a runner. I didn't know where I could find a laundromat. Luckily, the head-runner knows everything. As it turned out, there is a special Rock & Roll laundromat. Together with Danny the head security of Slipknot, I drove to the city. I only have a driver's license for 2 months now, so I was excited about this new job. Danny let me know that without the stage clothes, Slipknot would be in deep trouble. I can imagine. The band's garment is one of their main assets... After we dropped off the clothes at the laundromat, Danny needed to buy some stuff at the coffeeshop. We left the coffeeshop with an illegal amount of stuff, some 14 grammes. In the Netherlands, you're only allowed to buy 5 grammes per person. Danny was not going to smoke all of this by himself, though. Most of it was for his friends overseas.

The show of Slipknot involved a lot of throwing with drumsticks, bottles of mineral water and climbing on percussion sets, while headbanging. They also had their half funny, half scary masks on. That could be boring, but it was phenomenal. The music is an energetic mix of Sepultura and Linkin Park. Their DJ/Scratcher hurls the music into the present, while their use of masks and playful negativity give a sense of things to come. "You motherfuckers raise your motherfuckin' horns in the air RIGHT... MOTHERFUCKIN'... NOW!". In between the spitting and cursing they also indulged in raised middle-fingers. We thought it was cool to raise them back. I remember doing the same thing with my coverband. It always works.
The crowd was obviously waiting for Metallica, or KoЯn for that matter. The arena was only half filled. But if Slipknot keeps up the good work, they could be headlining in 5 years time. This show has certainly made a lasting impression with me.

Jonathan Davis of Korn, out of touchI wasn't able to see KoЯn play, because I had to hang around the production office of Slipknot. I did see the singer Jonathan Davis, walking to-and-fro backstage. He looked bewildered. After the Korn show my duties for Slipknot were over.

The Metallica showThe Metallica show was disappointing. I just don't like their old songs, they remind me of the boring eighties. Think Europe, or Yngwie Malmsteen. Just when I was drifting into a catatonic state, I got a call from the Korn crew. If I could move some people to their downtown hotel? I'm exclusively working for Slipknot. It's not done to change bands just like that. But I wanted to do it, I was bored to death by Metallica. The Korn people took their time, they were in no hurry at all. At some moment, they were gone again. Watching the undoubtedly zealous rendition of 'One', the anthem for all Metallica nerds. In the meantime I saw Narsy of Slipknot again. He was surprised to still see me working, and he wanted to go back to his hotel. No problem, I just got the two bandcrews together in one van. The atmosphere was a bit icy, and my driving was affected by that. But I managed.

Slipknot sound checkBuilding the stage for Metallica & CoSetting up the drumkit for Lars

The Slipknot sound check, building the stage for Metallica & Co, setting up the drumkit for Lars of Metallica.

What's on the menu for Korn?The monitor mixer

What's on the menu for KoЯn, the monitor mixer they used for the bands.

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