The Slipknot and Stone Sour frontman is embarking on a solo tour as lockdowns lift around the country. Here are his unedited thoughts about the experience.
He explained why he wanted to get back on the road so quickly in an op-ed for Rolling Stone in March: “People need release and we’re ready to give it to them.” Taylor will be chronicling his experiences in several installations of a tour diary.
Monday, May 17th, 2021
I stared out at the gathered crowd, mixing it up and screaming outside the Marquee in Tempe, and it wasn’t until that moment that the tour seemed real, that it seemed like just for a moment … things might be normal again.
Sure, it was only a small percentage of the usual audience. Sure, people were sequestered — and kept — in spray-painted boxes filled with tables for four to six in the parking lot, as a makeshift venue. Sure, it had been over a year and a half since my last real live show for a large audience (not including the livestream at the Forum and the charity gig we did for 12 people). In that moment — when we as a band were about to play our first song, and they as the spectators were about to react to that first song — I knew that we were back on a track heading towards a semblance of normalcy, which in a world torn apart along more fault lines than California can mean the world to people just trying to get a breath of fresh air.
After that first song, it was full steam ahead. Even though they weren’t as close together as they used to be, the crowd was losing their minds, singing on every song, dancing on every beat, screaming to the moon to let go of a little pent-up crazy. In that fact, we all were letting loose. I had more fun playing that show than I’ve had in 20 years. Maybe it’s because it meant more just to be there. Maybe it’s because for a minute we weren’t sure when we’d be able to do it — if ever again.
The energy, the positivity, the togetherness, the excitement, and the generosity were off the charts. From the intro to the fade of the outro, it was pure and perfect release.
For me as a performer, I know now that we can get back to doing what makes our hearts sing. And I’ll tell you — that fact alone is worth taking precautions and doing it right.
And that was just the first night.
We still got a long way to go.
We’ll see you next time, back on the road…
Original post – Rolling Stone Magazine.
Photography by Adam Messler Photography- Full permission by Adam to use.