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Passion translates across all languages, and that’s something that’s on display in full form in Slipknot‘s new concert documentary, Day of the Gusano. The Shawn Crahan-directed film uses the band’s first-ever performance in Mexico at the inaugural Knotfest Mexico in 2015 as the centerpiece.
As the film opens, we see members of the band discussing the oddity that they had played all over the world, yet had never booked a show in country. But choosing the centrally located Mexico City, the band soon discovered they were in for a level of passion for their music that equalled or even topped what they had seen in other countries.
If you’re watching this film primarily for the music, you will not be disappointed. Crahan breaks up the documentary more often than not with performances of a pair of tracks interspersed with footage behind the scenes of the band’s time spent in Mexico leading up to the event as well as some of their interactions with fans. Cameras take you right up onstage with the band, and in some cases close up to where your nose-to-clown-nose with the masks of the certain band members. The energy of a Slipknot show along with the visually eye-catching action delivered by the group is on full display, while also giving viewers a look at the endless sea of people who packed the venue for the band’s first-ever show in Mexico. You’ll get the hits like “The Heretic Anthem,” “The Devil in I,” “Wait and Bleed” and “(sic),” and the massive crowd creates an almost seismic “Jump the f–k up” moment led by Corey Taylor. But what makes this something special and more than just a concert video is the offstage portions.
Slipknot arrive early enough to get in some sight-seeing ahead of the show, watching acrobats, checking out some roadside shopping and climbing the massive Pyramid of the Sun just outside Mexico City while taking part in the tradition of making wishes to each of the four directions. We see Shawn Crahan arriving near the venue with fans chasing the vehicle hoping to get a glimpse. And above all, we see the massive response to the band from the crowd attending the show.
Though thousands of people were on hand, the film focuses on the journeys of a select few fans, some who expressed their love through making masks for the band, getting tattoos honoring each of the band members and sharing moving stories. The film does not provide subtitles, with these fans in particular speaking with the band in their native tongue, but the looks on their faces and sound in their voice translates well to the viewer. These moments give the film their heart. Crahan explains the connection stating, “They’re me and I’m them,” while Corey Taylor actually tears up during discussion of the fan connection.
Day of the Gusano holds up not only as a stellar concert film, but also as a document of the “great heart and passion” shown by the Mexico City audience that has led the band to continue to bring their Knotfest event back to Mexico in the years since.
The film will screen for one night only across the country on Sept. 6. If you’re looking for a theater to catch Day of the Gusano, head here.
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