Slipknot's first European show of 2023: no Clown, no Craig, a new member and some rare songs (videos and setlist inside)

Corey Taylor live on stage with Slipknot
(Image credit: Youtube)

Last night (Wednesday June 7), Slipknot kicked off the European leg of their 2023 tour in support of last year's The End, So Far album. The first show of the Euro run came in the wake of some big upheaval in the Slipknot camp - first, band co-founder, percussionist and artistic director Shawn 'Clown' Crahan announced that he'd be sitting out a run of upcoming dates to care for his wife, who is suffering from some undisclosed health issues. "I’ll be back on the road as soon as I can," Crahan's statement read. "We’ve been through this before and as always, we appreciate the love and support. See all of you very soon."

Then, just a few hours later, it was revealed that keyboard player/samplist Craig Jones had left the band for good, Slipknot releasing a simple, no-nonsense statement on the matter. "We wish Jones all the best for the future," the Iowans stated. 

Soon after that, however, the plot thickened: Slipknot deleted the announcement about Craig Jones's departure, replacing it with an image of an unknown masked fellow believed to be Jones' replacement. Fans didn't have to wait long to see Slipknot's new member in action, as he debuted at the band's show in Austria last night, as the metal legends headlined night one of this year's Nova Rock festival.

Mixing up the setlist from their recent US shows, Slipknot not only debuted some classic tracks on their current run for the first time (including Eyeless, Snuff and The Devil In I), but played new song Yen, taken from The End, So Far, for the very first time.

On top of that, the 'Knot also dusted off some rarities, playing old school banger Liberate for the first time since 2016, and both The Blister Exists (taken from 2004's Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses) and Purity (1999 debut Slipknot) for the first time in eight years.

As video footage since posted to Youtube clearly shows, the turbulent last 24 hours haven't seemed to affected Slipknot's live prowess, frontman Corey Taylor sounding in particularly ferocious form.

Watch some of the videos below, including some glimpses of Slipknot's mysterious new member. They headline Download this Sunday.

Slipknot setlist Nova Rock 2023

1. The Blister Exists
2. The Dying Song (Time To Sing)
3. Liberate
4. Yen
5. Psychosocial
6. The Devil In I
7. The Heretic Anthem
8. Eyeless
9. Wait And Bleed
10. Unsainted
11. Snuff
12. Purity
13. People = Shit
14. Surfacing
15. Duality
16. Spit It Out

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.