Written By: Michael and Terri Gonzales
Summers Last Stand Tour embarked upon the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Tinley Park, Illinois on Saturday, August 15. The tour pulled together the heaviest lineup of the summer consisting of Motionless In White, Bullet For My Valentine, Lamb of God, and last but not least were the masked mad men from Iowa, Slipknot, closing out the night’s festivities. The Summer’s Last Stand Tour brought out a variety of fans from the diverse mix of bands performing. The wild eyed crowd did not let the heavy thunderstorms before the show scare them away, that only seemed to increased the excitement for many of them.
Kicking off the night’s festivities was the horror themed Motionless In White. With a Michael Myers inspired backdrop and The X-Files theme song as their intro music Motionless In White came on stage with a ferocity about them. With each member dressed in their own unique manner Motionless In White burst into a headbanging frenzy. Vocalist Chris Motionless heavy screams echoed throughout the venue on old classics such as “Abigail” while the band hammered away with him. Bassist Devon “Ghost” Sola was clad in a full blown Jackal costume including a head cage that was quite impressive especially to be wearing while performing in the intense summer heat. Motionless In White showcased their unique rendition of metal adding their dark, gothic, and electronic elements that the crowd immensely enjoyed.
Next on stage were the British rockers Bullet For My Valentine who have gathered an extremely large American following for themselves over the past ten years. The Carl Orff classic “O Fortuna” blasted through the speakers as the crowd went wild. Bullet For My Valentine wasted no time carrying over from their intro directly into their hit “Your Betrayal”. Lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Matt Tuck along with lead guitarist and backing vocalist Michael Paget performed alongside each other with constant interaction and laughs that truly defines the essence of the band. Bullet For My Valentine put on a solid performance delivering their unique blend of aggressive instrumentals combined with clean and catchy vocals.
Touring in support of their recently released seventh studio album “VII: Sturm und Drang” critically acclaimed heavy metal veterans Lamb of God were set to perform next. As the lights went dark two large screens displayed video of buildings imploding amidst a war. Shortly there after Lamb of God came on stage jumping right into their hit “Walk With Me In Hell”. Frontman Randy Blythe casually walked out onto stage before unleashing his blood curdling screams and flailing about the stage jumping and spinning at will. Blythe’s unique vocal style is one of a kind to say the least, and is something that surely has to be heard live and in person to truly appreciate. Lamb of God put on a high octane performance from start to finish with a diverse mix of hits old and new. The pit opened up far larger than it had anytime prior this evening every time the Lamb of God began a new song. Needless to say Lamb of God gave the crowd more than they bargained for with their intense set.
Last but not least were the masked mad men creating orchestrated chaos that everyone had been patiently waiting for. Slipknot were set to close out the night and the crowd was going crazy as the anticipation continually built up by the second. Once the speakers began to blast “XIX” and two large Slipknot logos adorned the stage curtains, the crowd went absolutely wild. Fans screamed along word for word on the intro until the curtains were pulled away revealing the true chaos about to take place. Slipknot wasted little time jumping right into one of their newer hits “Sarcastrophe” as the venue went absolutely insane. Lead vocalist Corey Taylor’s signature screams resonated throughout the entire amphitheatre as Slipknot cranked out heavy hitting fan favorites.
Slipknot put on a nearly 2 hour long performance that was brutal from start to finish with extreme pyrotechnics, flailing bodies and limbs in every direction, and also included some of the finest heavy metal music that has ever been written. All nine Slipknot members were nonstop in their roles. Dj Sid Wilson could be found leaping about the stage at any given moment, including leaping off of percussionist Shawn “Clown” Crahan’s spinning hydraulic drum lift. The massive orchestrated chaos that all nine members come together and create is truly one of a kind and is a spectacle that must be witnessed first hand to truly understand and appreciate. Slipknot bring a raw energy to the stage that cannot be faked or imitated. It is the true passion within themselves that they have harnessed and unleash at each and every show time and time again. This night was no exception as Slipknot had circle pits opening up left and right that grew fiercer with each song deeper into their set. Slipknot capped off their performance with an incredible encore paying homage to their roots with the old classics “Sic”, “People = Sh*t”, and “Surfacing”.
In the end the Summer’s Last Stand delivered the hardest hitting concert of the summer. With a stellar lineup consisting of Motionless In White, Bullet For My Valentine, Lamb of God, and Slipknot it is no surprise that this has been the most anticipated tour of the summer. Fans were delivered a wide variety of heavy music from some of the biggest names in metal. Every band put on an intense set holding nothing back for the fans and it showed through each of their performances. Everyone in attendance from 5 years old to 55 years old left the show beyond stoked. The Summer’s Last Stand Tour filled the void and then some for a great summer metal tour this year. Be sure to catch any of the remaining tour dates if possible. Otherwise be sure to catch either Motionless In White, Bullet For My Valentine, Lamb of God, or Slipknot the next time they are on tour as they all put on top notch performances that cannot be rivaled.