Corey Taylor at Santander Arena

Like a shark patrolling the ocean or a bus with Keanu Reeves on it, Corey Taylor simply cannot be stopped. You get the sense he’s got so many irons in the proverbial fire because, simply put, Taylor needs a creative outlet at all times.

So when he finishes an extended tour with Slipknot and everyone else is ready for some well-earned rest and relaxation, Taylor turns his attention to Stone Sour. And if/when the same thing happens with Stone Sour, the pride of Des Moines, Iowa happily focuses on his solo music.

With Slipknot set to headline several massive music festivals this summer — to include Welcome to Rockville, Inkcarceration Festival, Rock Fest and Download Festival — Taylor embarked on a brief five-stop tour as a tune-up for his soon-to-be hectic summer. The first stop of this abbreviated road trip was Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania, where we had the pleasure of seeing Taylor, along with stunt/dance troupe Cherry Bombs, starring his wife, Alicia.

Anyone expecting the front man to take to the stage with a custom mask, prison jumpsuit and eight of his closest friends was in for a rude awakening. Instead, this was Taylor in a much more relaxed environment and mindset.

Taylor and friends kicked off their set with “HWY 666,” the lead track from his debut solo album, CMFT. Up next was “On The Dark Side,” a cover of John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band’s 1983 hit followed by another Taylor original, “Samantha’s Gone.” Reading, Pennsylvania was also treated to the first-ever live performance of “Beyond,” the soon-to-be-released single from the forthcoming CMF2. According to Taylor, the band just recently recorded a video for the track and the single could be released as soon as May 15th.

By this point, the show felt less like a concert and more like a garage band jam session as the five gentlemen on stage bounced around from old stuff to new stuff and everything in between. And yet, halfway through the set Taylor informed the enthusiastic crowd, “We decided we don’t play enough Slipknot on our solo set, so we’re busting out some stuff just for you tonight.” To remedy the situation, Taylor and the rest of his band — drummer “Diamond” Dustin Robert, bassist Eliot Lorango, guitarists Christian Martucci and Zach Throne — launched into “Before I Forget” and then the 2008 stripped down single, “Snuff.”

“We’re not up here with tracks. Not with computers. We’re just five dudes. And look, there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just not for us,” Taylor said during a brief moment that allowed the band, as well as the audience, to catch its breath.

Later in the set they circled back to a few more Slipknot hits, “Duality” and “Wait And Bleed,” which represented one of the highlights of the night. In response and as a token of appreciation, a pit formed as the crowd clearly fed off of the high-energy performance.

“You might be excited. But we’re up here shitting ourselves,” Taylor said with a laugh.

Add in a handful of Stone Sour tracks — including “Absolute Zero,” “Bother” and “Through Glass” — if for no other reason than to prove that Taylor loves both of his children equally and what started out as a cold and rainy Tuesday night ended as a instant classic for those in attendance.

“I’ve been doing this since I was 13,” Taylor started. “I have played to no one and I have played to everyone. The one thing that remains the same — I will give you everything.”

“As long as you’re with me. I will never stop coming here to play for you motherfuckers,” he added.

Because all good things must eventually come to an end, Taylor closed the night with “CMFT Must Be Stopped,” which is completely fitting for a performer who seems incapable of slowing down without some sort of outside intervention.

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