Love them or not (and I'm in the first category), one thing is undeniable. Slipknot is one of the most absolutely entertaining bands in music. They provide a stage show that is unmatched while not ever letting the music take a back seat to the performance.
For the first time in their career, the Iowa band took their Knotfest show to Mexico City to play for their gusanos (Spanish for maggots, the term they have bestowed on their dedicated fan base). Eagle Rock Entertainment has documented the event with a DVD entitled Day of the Gusano and it's a darn good thing. There's so many things going on at a Slipknot show that it's impossible to keep track of everything. You could literally go to a show nine times and watch each member and have the experience be different. The editing team (led by Shawn (Clown) Crahan) has done a great job hopping from member to member and taking in the insanity that is Slipknot.
I couldn't find any figures for how large the crowd was but it's safe to say that the show was well attended because when the camera panned across the crowd, it went on as far as the eye could see. And in terms of reception, the wait was well worth it because the fans responded with fanatical devotion.
The set list was made up of varied material from all of their five studio records. From the opening notes of "Sarcastrophe" on their latest .5: The Gray Chapter, the band was on a mission. The band exploded into "The Heretic Anthem" with the crowd enthusiastically returning the "666" part. Sliding seamlessly into "Psychosocial", the frantic pace continued.
Finally vocalist Corey Taylor addressed the crowd and the thing that initially surprised me the first time I saw them was how Taylor handles the MC part of things. I expected a madman just barking everything out and actually it's the complete opposite. Corey addresses the crowd in a controlled, subdued manner that is no less menacing. When he instructs the fans to get down on the ground (in "Spit it Out") they follow like lemmings. When he disturbingly goes "Shhhhh" between songs, he temporarily brings the maelstrom to a halt but you wait for the next sudden shift into the explosion of energy which inevitably follows. The most impressive part is when he invites the crowd to sing the beginning of the next song and they respond with fervor for the opening line of "Duality".
Highlights are a plenty in this show but killer versions of "Vermillion", "Wait and Bleed" and especially the formidable "Before I Forget" really stand out. I really came to like "The Devil in I" done in this live set more than on the record as well.
Visually, the set is draining as you follow the camera from each member and you wonder how they can keep this energy going for an entire show. There are several other Slipknot live DVDs out there but this one is special for the more recent material and even the old favorites sound fresh. Highly recommended.