Huge festival shows are always a bit iffy in my book. Many of them try to pack in too many bands, have insanely long lines to everything and nowhere to go or nothing else to do if you don’t like the particular band that’s on stage.
The Family Values Tour at the Coors Amphitheater was just the opposite.
As a matter of fact, I didn’t even have time to do everything that I wanted while I was there, and came away feeling musically satisfied. Too bad that doesn’t happen in all aspects of my life! Jonathan Davis of Korn took in thousands of emails from fans about what they wanted in this tour and I guess it worked, because the 14,000 people there seemed to have a damn good time.
Male, female, or asexual, the first thing you noticed besides the beer cart when you walked into the courtyard was the stripper pole. I’ve seen a lot of shit at a show before, but never a portable stripper pole. It was pretty amusing, with scantily clad entertainers on display for the wide-eyed crowd to ogle. There was also a Climbing Rock sponsored by U.S Army that led to an awesome race to the top between me and my buddy Luke. I still swear I won although he says it was a tie, but hey, that’s what all the losers say, right?
By far the most hilarious of all the attractions was the “Kick me in the Balls” tent. And yes, that is exactly what it sounds like. For 5 bucks, you could try to kick a soccer ball into this poor guys balls. And for another $5, you got 3 tries to send him to his knees. If you succeeded, you could treat yourself to a table full of free booty such as CD’s, shirts, hats and pins. The coolest of the games was the 3-on-3 paintball, and unfortunately I missed getting to play. The outfit provided full suits, masks, and an inflatable course with walls and obstacles, and it looked like a blast. As well as the ball-buster activities, there were plenty of vendors with overpriced goodies, a smoking tent, and balloon popping games. It almost reminded me of a county fair for metalheads.
Now, on to the real reason why we’re here: the music.
The first band I saw for the day was 10 Years. The band as a whole was decent, together, and on time, so if you like their brand of catchy radio rock you would have liked them. I then found out I missed Deadsy, Bullets and Octane, and Bury Your Dead because I couldn’t get out of work early enough, and I left an hour and a half earlier than usual. The only gripe I had about the show was that it started at 3:00. Wouldn’t have been a big deal on the weekend, but for a Tuesday it threw a curve ball at me. Fortunately not at my balls! Before the dusk sky set in, Dir En Grey took the stage with their Japan-a-metal and threw down. They would have to be the first Japanese metal band to make a name for themselves in America, and if not, I sure can’t think of any others.
Flyleaf was up next and I have to admit, I was dreading seeing this band. I listened to a few minutes of one of their songs back a couple of weeks ago, and the piercing tea kettle like voice of Lacey Mosley voice made me want to shave my head and dive into a tack factory. But, after seeing them live I have somewhat of a new respect. I didn’t realize that Lacey was so young. On the album she sounds like an older girl with a high, screeching voice, but live you see that she’s a simply a tiny girl who has been through a lot in her life and has the potential to grow into her voice with a few more years experience. Stonesour came out throwing below-the-belt punches but I thought their edge tapered off and became somewhat monotonous. The Deftones had great energy and threw down hard as always, but their mix was way off. Maybe the sound guy was busy talking to his buddy’s neighbor’s brother’s ex-girlfriend.
To top off the night, the packed house had all eyes on Korn. It’s pretty impressive that 10 years after the nineties Nu-Metal craze they are still able to fill such a large venue. The shit was tight, sound was on, and they blazed on stage. The backline was filled with masked musicians playing guitars and toy-like keyboards, along with a second percussionist. The mix was thick and everyone’s playing was right on.
Jonathan Davis pulled off his signature bagpipe solo, and the set was diverse with older and newer songs, which is always cool for the old school fans. But the best thing about their stage presence hands down is his H.R. Geiger designed mic stand. That thing is just badass.