Slipknot and Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor recently kicked off a solo trek dubbed the CMFTour , playing his first real concerts in over a year while following Covid-19 safety protocols. 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.
As the CMFTour plows through the guts of these United States, I’ve had to balance all my expectations from previous tours with the reality of how a show during a pandemic would look. So as I gaze out from onstage during our opening number, “In the Flesh? pt. 1/Hwy 666,” I’m always surprised by the configurations that the venues and promoters have brought to the floor, and thus what sort of audience stares back at us. After two-and-a-half weeks out here, it’s not the human array before me that tickles me, it’s how they react inside these constrictions.
May 20th, Lubbock, TX at the Lonestar Amphitheater: A weird mini-mosh pit broke out on “European Tour Bus Bathroom Song” before it was stopped because they were A) not social-distancing and B) knocking tables over in jubilation.
May 26th, Oklahoma City, OK at the Diamond Ballroom: I don’t think they’ve even heard of social distancing, let alone Covid, as the entire place was rammed full to the brim with insane fans. Of all the shows we’ve had, this was the one that had me the most worried. But so far nothing has come of it.
May 28th, Sauget, IL: Playing Pop’s for the first time in 20-plus years, I was stoked until I looked out in the audience, and for half the show starting at “Samantha’s Gone,” there was a woman asleep at a fucking table. When I finally inquired about it while I was at the piano during “Home,” her son informed me that she was wasted. After a nudge, she came to, didn’t even realize I was talking to her, and thusly flipped off her son. Oh, and she passed out again until she lit up like a Christmas tree for “Through Glass.”
On a funnier note, the Marathon Music Works in Nashville will now and forever be referred to as “Nipple City.” Long story, but you’ll have to wait for the movie.
The highlight up to this point was having our friend Rick Nielsen attend the show at [Belvedere, Illinois’] the Apollo, even if we didn’t get to hang out with him because of the “No Friends, No Family, No Press, No Fans” stipulations.
This is in no way a complaint; this is a celebration of the idiosyncrasies that make every tour special, memorable, and worth the trials and tribulations. So in that respect, it feels like a real tour, [social distancing] pods or not. People are having fun, the acts are tearing it up and every night we bring the party, no matter how many are there or how many masks are on hand. We’re doing our best and it’s showing. Tonight, we start a two-night stint at the Epic Event Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and it looks to shape up as one of the best of the tour. Time may point me out as mistaken, but the best part of a tour is the opportunity to put on a better show than the last.