SLIPKNOT played its first show since the passing of bassist Paul Gray earlier today (Friday, June 17) in front of 25,000 fans on the Apollo Stage at the Greek installment of the Sonisphere festival at Terravibe Park in Athens.
According to a review that was posted at SonisphereFestivals.com, Gray's red jumpsuit, his mask and his bass guitar, stood symbolically at the back of the stage alongside his bandmates, who also "turned the clock back to don matching red jump suits and old school style masks."
Playing bass at the concert was Donnie Steele, a former SLIPKNOT guitarist from the group's early days, although he was apparently hidden from the audience's view.
Frontman Corey Taylor took a moment to mark the enormity and significance of the occasion, stating, "It's been a long time. Hello Athens, how are you? As you know, tonight is very emotional show for us but it is not, NOT, a negative day. It is a positive day. A day for celebration. This is our first show with you. Are you having a good time and will you celebrate with us today?" Later in the show, he added, "This is very hard for us but he would have wanted us to come out with you all and celebrate his life. So will you all help me sing a song for my brother? Can you do that, Athens? Sing so loud so he can hear us because he is here with us tonight. Can you feel it?"
According to the review, SLIPKNOT closed out its set with a triple dose of metal medicine in "Spit It Out", "People = Shit" and "Surfacing", before Taylor humbly thanked the crowd for playing their part in a night neither the band nor the Athens fans will ever forget, saying, "Thank you all for spending this night with us. You'll never know how much this means, Athens."
The band's setlist was as follows:
03. Wait And Bleed
04. The Blister Exists
06. Before I Forget
07. Pulse Of The Maggots
10. The Heretic Anthem
12. Spit It Out
13. People = Shit
Check out fan-filmed video footage of the concert below.
Gray passed away in May 2010 from an accidental overdose of drugs, leaving behind his wife Brenna and daughter October, who was born the following August. Taylor told The Pulse Of Radio recently that he is still dealing with different emotions about his late bandmate. "I don't get mad at him as much as I'm sad for him, because obviously I'm watching October get bigger and she's lovely and she is her father's daughter very much so. I haven't really had a chance to kind of deal with the anger yet."
Taylor has expressed doubts about making another SLIPKNOT record without Gray, although other band members have expressed their desire to record again.