Raising heavy metal spirits: Easthampton man fires up front-yard Slipknot show

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  • Tim Young cranks up the sound and lights on his virtual concert to tribute to heavy metal band Slipknot outside his Easthampton home on Friday. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Young has set up a tribute to the nine-piece heavy metal band Slipknot at his Easthampton home. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Writer
Published: 10/30/2020 9:33:26 PM

EASTHAMPTON — For Tim Young, a 41-year-old plumber and father of four, not being able to see live music shows during the pandemic has been difficult, and even left him feeling depressed at times.

“You go there, you bond with people,” Young said. “I miss that feeling.”

So, Young decided to create a concert experience of his own, featuring mannequins, laser lights, smoke machines, strobe lights and the music of one of his favorite bands, Slipknot.

“I have a very supportive family,” Young said.

Slipknot is an Iowa-based heavy metal band with nine members who all perform wearing masks. Young has seen the band 11 times, starting at Ozzfest in 1999.

Young described watching Slipknot perform as “controlled chaos,” and likened seeing them live for the first time to a religious experience.

“There was just something there,” he said.

Young is an unabashed fan of heavy metal and credits this to his mom introducing him to the music of Black Sabbath, although he enjoys shows in other genres as well.

“I’ve gone to over 300 shows throughout my life,” he said.

One of those was a Slipknot show in Iowa last year, where Young brought his daughter Jacqueline and son Liam. His wife, Dawn Young, bought the tickets.

“She supports these crazy ideas that I have,” Young said.

Young first used his Slipknot display on Columbus Day of this year, and as of Thursday he estimates that he’s put on six shows. To make the display, which is in the front yard of the multifamily farmhouse where Young lives on Strong Street, he welded together the frames for nine mannequins out of steel pipes.

For each of the shows, Young puts on a mix featuring four to five songs from each of Slipknot’s albums, finishing by playing their latest album all the way through. This takes about an hour and a half from start to finish, although sometimes Young will listen to another Slipknot album as well.

“It’s filling a void for me,” he said.

Young is typically done by 10 p.m., but on Halloween he may go longer. His five favorite Slipknot songs are “Wait and Bleed,” “Prosthetics,” “Vermillion Pt. 2,” “Snuff,” and “Scream.”

As for his neighbors, Young said that “they’ve been pretty cool,” and he hasn’t had any complaints.

Young plans to finish with the display on either Halloween or this Sunday, but he does have plans for a Christmas-themed display as well.

His hope is that the Slipknot display can lift people’s spirits during the pandemic.

“I hope this can bring a smile to somebody else as much as it has to us,” he said.

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