Family Values Tour Translates into a Tour De Force

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, National Music, Concert Reviews,   From Issue 622   By: Jamie Griffin

21st September, 2006     0

Every so often a band comes around that defines a generation.  In 1998 hard rock icons KORN not only defined the generation, but also created a sub-genre of music.  Jonathan Davis and company created the genre known as Rap- Rock.  Fusing together Rock music with Rap-like singing, Korn became pioneers of the idiom. They have helped launch the careers of bands like Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park and Staind.  Along the way they also became the parents of the Family Values Tour.

The first installment of the Family Values Tour came in 1998 and featured Korn, Limp Bizkit and Ice Cube.  An un-likely combination in many people's eyes but it worked.  So did the album and new installments in years after, featuring Staind, Primus, Mobb Deep and even Stone Temple Pilots.  After taking some time off, the Family Values Tour returned this year to record crowds.  This was evident on September 9th at DTE Energy Music Theater.  With many lesser-known bands early in the day, Family Values gave fans a chance to check out up and coming metal acts. 

The day started with Detroit's own Walls of Jericho.  Front woman Candace Kucsulain got the ball rolling with fierce guitars and brutal vocals.  While there weren't many in attendance at this early stage of the show, Walls of Jericho seemed to please the small crowd with their energetic invocation.

Next up came Bullets and Octane.  This band was full of Rock 'n Roll energy and gave the crowd a great show, even though attendance was still small.

Deadsy was the next band to grace the stage. Fronted by Phillips Exeter Blue A.K.A. Elijah Blue Allman, the son of Cher and Greg Allman, Deadsy drove a techno/computer rock sound to their mix.  They played new cuts off their album Phantasmagore as well as Key to Grammercy Park  and their version of Rush's Tom Sawyer.  The crowd up front really seemed to enjoy these guys.

Boston's Bury Your Dead treated Hard Core fans to a lethal set.  They were the total Hard Core package.  Supporting their album Beauty and the Breakdown, Bury Your Dead had a great stage presence and seemed to be enjoying themselves. 

At this point t the crowd started getting bigger.  This was a welcome highlight for Japan's Dir En Grey, who got used to playing to small crowds on this tour.

Front man Kyo was amazing.  Even though they sing all in Japanese the crowd seemed to love it, partly due to Kyo's sense of theatrics.   He even cut his head open at one point during the set and in true Metal fashion the band just kept playing.

Dir En Grey have seemed to fashion a decent following here in the states.  Even the people waiting to meet them seemed beside themselves, with many people crying and likening their set to a religious experience.  I think they may be the next international band to break through here in the states. 

Flyleaf took to the stage next and played songs off of their debut self-titled album.  Front woman Lacey Mosley 's energy was great and she had many in attendance amazed at her ability. She even fell off of her riser at one point during their set.  Now that' Rock and Roll! 

The first of the heavyweights took to the stage when the Corey Taylor (Slipknot) fronted act Stone Sour performed.  The crowd was huge by this time and they really ate up the performance.   Stone Sour blazed through Inhale off their self titled album and 30-30/150 off of the new album Come (Whatever May) before slowing it down to perform the radio hits Bother and Through Glass.  The crowd sang along to every word of Bother.  Taylor mentioned that Detroit is one of his favorite stops because the crowd is always so loud and friendly.  Stone Sour gave way to the Deftones.  Front man Chino Moreno's haunting vocals could be heard throughout the venue.  Deftones opened with a blistering version of Shove It (My Own Summer) off of 1997's Around the Fur.

They also gave the fans a hint of the new album that's not due out until October.   Moreno held a captive audience throughout the show. It culminated with a terrific rendition of Change (In the House of Flies) that seemed to shock and amaze the almost capacity crowd. 

While the Deftones seemed to be the surprise of the evening, Korn definitely stole the show.  For the first time in years singer Jonathan Davis seemed happy.  Singing violently into an H.R. Geiger designed microphone stand, Davis had the crowd in the palm of his hand.

From the tracks Come Undone and Twisted Transistor off of See You on the Other Side to old favorites like Got the Life and Freak on a Leash, Korn nailed it, pure and simple. Their performance was full of energy and emotion.  Davis pulled out bagpipes and serenaded the crowd with the intro to Chutes and Ladders before the band ripped through the track that's become one of the staples of Korn's live show.  

The biggest surprise of the night came when Davis was joined by Chino Moreno for a surprise duet on Wicked.  A song that embodied the spirit of the whole show, Wicked took the crowd to a whole new level.  After treating the audience to an acoustic encore of Hollow Life, Korn left the stage and the crowd with their anthem Blind.  From the start of the guitars to the rumbling Arrreee yoooouuuu reeeaaadddyyyyy, the crowd never left their feet. 

While older fans may have been disappointed at the lack of older tunes, all in attendance should agree that Korn are still the kings of their domain.

I'm sure Jonathan Davis and company are very pleased with this novel tour they've created.  As always, one can only dream of what the line up will be next year.

Indeed, so many metal heavyweights have graced that DTE stage this year, but few of them rocked it the way Korn did.   It just goes to show that people (and music) do get better with age. 

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