Corey Taylor – Forum Or Against ‘Em live stream – 2/10/2020

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Getting to enjoy live shows is a rather tricky thing nowadays throughout most of the world. That means that artists need to get creative to get to show off their music. There have been tons of live stream shows throughout the past half-a-year with a couple of really impressive ones that stuck out. Now none other than Corey Taylor (****) set up an arena sized show at The Forum to both celebrate the release of his first solo album ‘CMFT’ and to try and put all other live streams to shame, raising the bar. Something we didn’t want to miss out on, so we put our setup ready, cracked open a beer and got ready to see what he got…

About an hour before the actual show starts, the live stream becomes active already and we get to ride along a little bit on the road towards today’s release and show. We see short interviews with Corey himself, Alicia Taylor, founder of the Cherry Bombs dance group, Corey‘s manager and the producer of the whole event, all talking about Corey‘s first solo album and what to expect from the show. Besides that to warm us up, we see snippets of the rehearsals and some of the silliness and tomfoolery that went around backstage throughout the day. From all of the footage and talks, one thing is clear: they are at an eerily empty The Forum to have fun, nothing more and nothing less!

Corey gathered some great musicians around him to support him, coming from a plethora of other bands with Christian Martucci (Stone Sour, Black Star Riders), Jason Christopher (Prong), Dustin Schoenhofer (Walls of Jericho) and Zach Throne. And you can see, feel and hear the experience from all these dudes and the chemistry between them is almost palpable. First off, we get treated with the very first live renditions of the very country inspired ‘Hwy 666’ and almost punky ‘Meine Lux’, followed by ‘Halfway Down’ and ‘Silverfish’, all tracks from Corey‘s solo album ‘CMFT’. The first columns of smoke enter and you can see that they’re keeping their promise to bring a full production show.

Photo credit: Steve Thrasher

As said beforehand, besides ‘CMFT’ originals, they were going to play a selection of hits from Corey‘s other bands Slipknot and Stone Sour and some cover songs that are dear to him. So after those first 4 originals, we get a cover of ‘Shakin’, dedicated to the original creator Eddie Money, who recently passed away and the first Stone Sour track ‘Song #3’. In between the songs, Corey is regularly making the to be expected jokes about the crowd that isn’t there, shouting to them if they’re ready and such. In the mean time, with all the live stream shows that have been going on, those jokes are getting a bit stale, but let’s forgive him this one time. After the very energetic original ‘Everybody Dies On My Birthday’, it’s time for Corey to take out his acoustic guitar and play heart-wrenching renditions of ‘Snuff’ and ‘Taciturn’ from respectively Slipknot and Stone Sour.

Photo credit: Gina Joy Chong

With ‘Culture Head’, he seems to be showing quite the middle finger to the leeches in the music industry and the track really comes alive on stage as a fiery rebel song, especially with the much awaited pyro shooting around. And then Corey does something I simply did not expect. The feed shortly blacks out and when the image comes back, he’s all alone on stage, sitting behind a piano, stating that this is the very first time that he’s playing the instrument in a live setting. Clearly out of his normal element, he plays the very intimate track ‘Home’, dedicated to his wife. Which smoothly transitions into ‘Zzyzx Rd.’, bringing the band back in, slowly building up to the absolutely stunning and soaring end. Once the last notes are played, Corey shouts out a “Yeah! We did it! We survived!”, showing the pure relief of getting through something he never did before.

Photo credit: Steve Thrasher

And with that we’re a bit over halfway the show. Corey and his mates continue to play a great mix of ‘CMFT’ songs, cover songs and others. If you were hoping for some of the heavier or harsher stuff of either Slipknot or Stone Sour, you could forget about it. ‘Snuff’ actually ended up being the only Slipknot track on the set as they only played 2 of the most popular, but softer, tracks of Stone Sour with ‘Through Glass’ and a rare full band version of one of my all-time favorites: ‘Bother’. Of the cover songs, the absolute highlight for me personally was the Dead Boys track ‘All This and More’. Somehow music with that punky attitude really fits this collection of musicians like a glove. Which comes to show again in the very silly encore track ‘European Tour Bus Bathroom Song’. ‘Black Eyes Blue’ is another standout original song among those played in the second half of the set and shows off how good of a songwriter and performer Corey Taylor truly is. Of course they had to end the whole show with a bang, pulling all the stops when playing the already over the top track ‘CMFT Must Be Stopped’ that flowed over into a cover of the KISS track ‘Watchin’ You’, while fireworks, pyro and lights go crazy and the girl dance group Cherry Bombs finally show up to add even more sparks to the whole thing. Quite literally.

Photo credit: Steve Thrasher

Corey thanked the people of The Forum, the crew, the fans,… several times throughout the show and gets back to that when the last smoke and sonic vibrations are fading away. And we thank you, Corey! It maybe wasn’t necessarily the live stream show that puts all the rest to shame (almost though, there aren’t many rivaling with this), but it definitely hit it out of the park! It’s one of those online shows that gives you that much needed boost, but at the same time makes you long for the real things even more. A damn good night nevertheless!

Photo credit: Steve Thrasher

Hwy 666
Meine Lux
Halfway Down
Shakin’ (Eddie Money cover)
Song #3 (Stone Sour song)
Everybody Dies On My Birthday
Snuff (Slipknot song)
Taciturn (Stone Sour song)
Culture Head
The Maria Fire
Zzyzx Rd. (Stone Sour song)
All This and More (Dead Boys cover)
Already Gone (Eagles cover)
Black Eyes Blue
Samantha’s Gone
Through Glass (Stone Sour song)

On The Dark Side (John Cafferty cover)
Bother (full band version) (Stone Sour song)
ETBBS – European Tour Bus Bathroom Song
CMFT Must Be Stopped
Watchin’ You (KISS cover)

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