Corey Taylor – Pepsi Max Stage – Saturday 19:10 – 19:55

There isn’t a lot left to say about Corey Taylor that hasn’t already been said a thousand times before, the man is a literal Swiss army knife of talent with a Midas touch that is so potent it should be called the Corey touch. He has also become a staple of Download tradition, there isn’t a year that goes by when he isn’t there in some capacity (2008 & 2011 being the only exceptions) he has played these hallowed grounds 3 times with Slipknot, including their now legendary headline slot in 2009, as well as 4 times with Stone Sour which included the emotionally charged second stage headline slot in 2010.

This year was Corey‘s first time at Download going it alone,with nothing but an acoustic guitar and a flat cap for company for many people this is a rare moment to see the inner working of the greatest front man of our generation, to see everything stripped back to its base level, and witness a truly versatile performer at work.

The Pepsi Max stage tent is so full that there are people spilling out of all the sides of the tent to the point where people are literally climbing over each other to see inside, such is the power Corey has that this is one of the weekends most anticipated sets and when the man himself appears its not hard to see why.

Opening with emotional gut punch of ‘Bother’ and ‘Through Glass’, Corey goes for the heartstrings from the get go, so much so that I’m nearly in tears 30 seconds in, a spine tingling moment that sets the tone for what is to follow, before you’ve even had a chance to wipe your eyes we are treated to a stripped down version of ‘Taciturn’, a brand new Stone Sour song from the bands forthcoming album “The House Of Gold and Bones”.  The mood is somewhat lightened with a country cover of the Slipknot classic ‘Spit it out’ with Corey commanding the audience to hop about on one foot.

It’s a silly break in the mood before Corey once again tugs on the tear ducts for a soul crushingly beautiful version of ‘Snuff’ that once again has me teetering on the emotional edge. It’s a powerful moment in a set that has so far been littered with them, for the second half of the set though Corey reaches into his big bag of covers and pulls out some truly astonishing covers in the forms of ‘Something I Can Never Have’ by Nine Inch Nails, ‘Down in a Hole’ by Alice In Chains, ‘With or Without you’ by U2 before being joined onstage by Lzzy Hale from Halestorm for a fun filled duet on AC/DC‘s ‘You shook me all night long’ which once again raises the spirits.

There is currently no one in music that is able to a) command an audience the way Corey Taylor can and b) is able to make you feel the full range of human emotions in such a short period of time. Corey Taylor is a truly gifted, talented artist that is chameleon like in nature, but who also has his feet firmly planted on the ground, someone who makes connections with whatever audience is placed in front of him, and when at the finale of his set he is presented with a Metal Hammer award for the Greatest moment in Download history which was earned when Slipknot headlined in 2009, it is the validation that he is one of us, a fan of music playing music for and with like minded individuals. There is a reason I look up to Corey Taylor so much and its because of times like this. Inspirational to the very end!

Corey taylor Download 2012 setlist:

Through Glass
Spit It Out
Something I Can Never Have
Down in a Hole
With Or Without You
Comfortably Numb
You Shook Me All Night Long

Photograph by Andrew Whitton Photography