Watch this rare footage of Slipknot playing a 1999 hometown show and see why The Nine got so huge so fast

Corey Taylor performing onstage in 1999
(Image credit: NINE ART/YouTube)

Everybody knows the story of Slipknot. Nine blokes from Iowa put masks on and started making riotous nu metal, knocked everybody’s bollocks off at Ozzfest 1999, released a groundbreaking debut album, then Grammys and t-shirt revenue for all. However, very few of The Nine’s worldwide, cross-generational fanbase got to see the ascent happen in real time.

The video below, uploaded to YouTube with improved audio by user NINE ART, sheds some light on what made Slipknot so special from the off. It’s an hour of footage filmed at a hometown show in Des Moines, Iowa, in May 1999: one month before Slipknot came out and rattled the metal world.

The 10-song set shows the band in reliably imperious form, starting with a sinister introduction as they walk onstage, very much masked, to the grinding sound of 742617000027 in total darkness. Then-percussionist Chris Fehn flips the crowd off, setting the tone for what’s to come before his cohorts explode into the confrontational (sic). They rampage in perfect sync, with Corey Taylor sounding especially unhinged as he rants and snarls inches from the faces of his crowd’s front row.

With the whole set being composed of songs off Slipknot, it contains what are now live rarities. Purity, which was removed from the album following a copyright complaint, is aired, with that chorus  somehow sounding even more creepy than on-record. Spit It Out is pulled out without that classic “jump the fuck up” trick, soon followed by a particularly savage Eeyore that sees percussionist Shawn “Clown” Crahan leap into the masses.

If you ever wondered how Slipknot cracked the upper tiers of metal in such a short time, the clip below is basically all you need to see to understand.

Slipknot setlist: Hairy Mary’s, Des Moines, Iowa – May 22, 1999

Wait And Bleed
Spit It Out
Only One

Matt Mills

Louder’s resident Cult Of Luna obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.