SLIPKNOT played its first show since the death of bassist Paul Gray on Friday (June 17), in front of 25,000 fans at the Sonisphere festival in Athens, Greece. Gray‘s red jumpsuit, mask and bass guitar stood at the back of the stage while his bandmates performed. The rest of the group’s members donned red jumpsuits and older versions of their trademark masks from SLIPKNOT‘s earlier days, in tribute to their fallen bandmate. Fan-filmed HD footage of the show can now be viewed below.
SLIPKNOT percussionist Shawn “Clown” Crahan told The Pulse Of Radio recently that Gray would somehow still be part of the band’s show. “Just because he’s gone, does that mean I have to take him out of the scenario and the answer is no,” he said. “He will a part of SLIPKNOT‘s stage, he will be a part of SLIPKNOT‘s music, he will be a part of everything that we do for the rest of our lives. And he wants me artistically to bring him in, some twisted, maybe even demented way into the show.”
Playing bass for the band was Donnie Steele, who was the guitarist in an early incarnation of the group. Steele, however, was hidden from the audience’s view.
Frontman Corey Taylor addressed the significance of the show by saying to the crowd, “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 [Gray] 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?”
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
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.
SLIPKNOT will be playing European festivals for the next three weeks. Taylor has expressed doubts about making another SLIPKNOT record without Gray, although other band members have expressed their desire to record again.