Slipknot: Day of the Gusano – an auditorium-shaking live experience

The nu-metal elder statesmen celebrate 20 years at the top with a 360-degree Mexico City concert film

Film Title: Slipknot: Day of the Gusano

Director: Shawn Crahan

Starring: Shawn Crahan, Chris Fehn, Craig Jones, Corey Taylor, James Root, Mick Thomson, Alessandro Venturella, Jay Weinberg, Sid Wilson

Genre: Documentary

Running Time: 91 min

Mon, Sep 4, 2017, 15:53


Now that the great concert film gold-rush of the aughties – mostly in “glorious” 3D! – has subsided, only two kinds of musical act can successfully pull off a theatrical release. You can bet good money that whatever teen sensation will come to occupy that One Direction shaped hole in the musical landscape is certain to make it to a multiplex near you.

Conversely, at the other end of the spectrum, Dave Gilmour and his ilk continue to attract those who couldn’t possibly afford the second mortgage required for a ticket to the real thing. (FYI Dave Gilmour: Live in Pompeii opens soon).

Slipknot don’t fall into either category. And still this chronicle of the Des Moines nontet’s 2015 visit to Mexico City will deservedly find its way into no fewer than 100 cinemas across the UK and Ireland.

 We should not be surprised that Clown and his cohorts are bucking the odds. As he himself has notes in the new film: “You shouldn’t go over there, but you’re gonna. He shouldn’t be here, but he is. I shouldn’t be on fire, but I am.”

Almost 20 years have elapsed since the release of the band’s eponymous debut album in 1999, yet their signature shtick – masks, prison jump suits, speed riffs – continues to attract new fans. Tellingly, many of the young gusanos – the Spanish for maggots, as Slipknot’s most dedicated fans are internationally known – are almost certainly younger than the band is.

 Having rode in on the same post-industrial, alternative metal wave as Korn, Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park, Slipknot now wear the air of elder statesmen, an impression that can only be reinforced by the sad, recent death of Chester Bennington. There’s a strange and winning paradox underpinning the muscular output of the artists behind such enduring works as Iowa: their chaotic brand of nu-metal continues to sound like youthful exuberance.

Day of the Gusano, as directed by Slipknot’s own Shawn Crahan and edited by Leandro Spatz, deftly moves between rabid fans, backstage banter, and a grandiloquent stageshow, replete with multiple camera angles and fast, variable cuts. Chit-chat is kept to a minimum, save some old school sloganeering: Custer roars into life with: “Let me hear you make some f*cking noise out there”.

 Most commendably, Day of the Gusano captures the auditorium-shaking sensation of the live experience: when the throng pogos madly to the opening strains of Before I Forget, you’ll bounce, too.

  All of the moshpit and none of the mess.