It seems most bizarre to think that a beast as all-conquering of the metal world as Slipknot had yet to take their larger-than-life stage show into Mexico City at any point in their twenty-year existence. Yet, until December 2015, and the .5 – The Grey Chapter’s incarnation of Knotfest, that particular duck had yet to broken.
Judging by the size and rabidity of the vast crowd on display on Day Of The Gusano (Eagle Rock), the DVD release that documents the event, that certainly wasn’t due to lack of interest on behalf of the Mexican public. Opening with an overhead view of the writhing mass of maggots in attendance, before pulling out to reveal the extent of just how many people are gathered to worship at the altar of metal’s biggest band since Metallica is an impressive statement of intent. Almost as impressive as the performance that follows over the course of the next hour and a half of chaotic metallic cabaret.
The sound is crystal clear, which further emphasises this flawlessly aggressive performance, even if it highlights the absence of #7’s rhythm riffage from the mix in the opening couple of songs (these things happen at live events, even to the largest bands). As you’d expect, the camera work matches the pace of the show, shot from many angles and edited in a frenzied and fiery manner by Shawn “Clown” Crahan; ‘Sarcastrophe’ blurs into ‘Heretic Anthem’ as the band rage from nought to sixty in riff.point.O seconds to start the set, ‘The Devil In I’ roars by, drums clattering, skull backdrop illuminated, looming, as the stage literally catches fire.
‘Me Inside’ is a violent surprise before ‘Vermillion’ shows a welcome change of pace and of the visuals and tone of the lighting, as the kills keep flowing; ‘Wait and Bleed’, ‘Before I Forget’ then a breathless ‘Eeyore’ fly by before the crowd screaming the intro to ‘Duality’ brings those neck-hairs to attention. But nothing that has come before beats an ending cacophony of ‘Custer’, complete with pit-pogo-violence captured in full, leading into ‘Spit It Out’ (the overhead cam captures the traditional “Jump The Fuck Up!” lunacy), ‘Sic’, ‘People = Shit’ and a firework enhanced manic and fervent ‘Surfacing’ all proving that, while the machine may be slick and well oiled, it’s still a flailing, extreme animal capable of hostile live violence.
The best live videos capture a special moment in a bands’ history and don’t only impart a sense of having missed out on something beyond the norm to the viewer, but an overwhelming pang of regret at not having been there. While not feeling as essential and vital a show, and in turn DVD, as Disasterpieces (Roadrunner), Day Of The Gusano is more worthwhile than most band concert videos and wonderfully captures one of our world’s biggest and best in top form.