In the 80s, Hair Metal was as much about the costumes as it was the music. Motley Crue, Poison and Whitesnake all rocked back in the day, but none of them would have ever been caught dead on stage without mile-high hair, a pound of makeup, and one or more items of clothing made of either leather or spandex. Bands like Guns and Roses, Megadeth and Metallica shied away from clothing gimmicks. They wore black t-shirts and blue jeans and rocked without dressing up in womens clothing. If there were any doubt that playing dress up was a fad, grunge came along and made wearing, well, whatever you were wearing at the time in vogue. Flannel shirts and cargo shorts replaced leather jackets and feather boas, and that was the end of that. In the early 90s, most of us looked back and said, what were we thinking? Its supposed to be all about the MUSIC, man!
Thats why I really want to dislike Slipknot; I mean, really, really, really. Costumes went out with Hair Metal, God rest its soul, and for a band to base so much of its success on their costumes makes me inherently want to dislike them. But I cant. Not after watching Slipknots Disasterpieces DVD. Do I want to be known as a maggot (how Slipknot refers to their fans)? No. Am I secretly one now? Maybe.
Disasterpieces was filmed in London in February of 2002 after their second album Iowa had just gone platinum. The band was excited about playing, the crowd was excited about seeing them, and that excitement carries over onto the DVD something that often gets lost in the conversion from big stage to small screen.
The first disc of the dual-disc package includes the entire concert performance. Nine members on-stage or not, Slipknot sounds incredibly tight, and the audio mix is awesome. There are several camera angles to choose from if youre in to that sort of thing. The band members even wear cameras on their heads so you can jam along playing air guitar and pretend like youre on stage with the band (not that cool cats like us would ever do such a thing, right?). Along with all the footage, several times throughout the program viewers also get clips of backstage footage autograph signings, backstage wackyness, pre-show jitters, and more. The second disc includes the bands complete music video collection (videography?) and a few other extras.
I hadnt heard much of Slipknot (intentionally avoiding them) until tracks from their third album Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses began infiltrating air waves. Unfortunately this DVD predates that album, so I wasnt familiar with any of the songs on the DVD (sans the popular Christmastime ditty, People = Shit). Still, the bands earlier work is heavier and catchier than I had expected, and despite all the theatrics they musics not bad. I dont know why I had such an aversion to this band; KISS, Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson and even Rob Zombie did it all before and I like them.
When I rented Disasterpieces I expected to see a bunch of guys standing around in makeup. Instead, what I found was a group of guys who obviously love what they do and have tightly honed their craft. Who knows, maybe itll make a maggot out of you, too.