A tour with name like Family Values should bring up images of kids playing in a park, a big picnic with plenty of food, and someone breaking out a guitar and crooning some folk songs. Nowadays, it means something completely different. Think more along the lines of a massive pit of rowdy music fans, plenty of bad food from the concession stand, and enough heavy music to make any fan happy.
Nu-Metal godfathers Korn embarked on their infamous tour yet again, bringing along an assortment of bands from every corner of the heavy. Joining the trek this year on the main stage was Evanescence, Atreyu, Flyleaf, Hellyeah, Trivium, Neurosonic, and The Vanished.
While the tour did have a second stage for up and coming bands, I concentrated on the main stage to see what the trek had to offer. Opening the stage were Dallas locals The Vanished, the radio-friendly rock band that played as the fans began to trickle in. I’m not sure what to make of them but I do know they would be much better suited for a show with Nickelback than any metal band.
Canadian exports Neurosonic were brave to say the least. Wearing dark suits in the blistering Texas heat, they came and delivered a System of A Down-meets-311 combo that would have been great if it was still 2001. Having heard them online a few days before, I was looking forward to their set but what we got was a lackluster show instead. It was apparent they needed to do more touring down south of the Yukon before they can get the crowd going.
Metallica er, I mean Trivium was up next. Having seen them previously in the year, I knew what to expect and will say I wasn’t disappointed. The same show, different day. I am never going to downplay their musicianship as it is tighter than the majority of bands out there but I just don’t get anything out their live show. Some of their faithful few were very vocal in supporting but nothing to make their set anymore special.
Hellyeah hit the stage like a angry bull on fight night, welcoming one of Texas’ native sons Vinnie Paul (of Pantera/Damageplan fame) back to Smirnoff. While the music goes the route of somewhat southern metal n’ roll, the crowd didn’t care as they came alive during their set. With the first sing along of the day for sure, Hellyeah spent more time interacting with the crowd than playing. When they did get a song going, it didn’t sound bad at all as their current “Alcoholin’ Ass” prove to sound better live. Not my cup of tea musically but definitely good summertime concert music.
The ties to Texas on the tour continued as Temple, TX-based Christian melodic rockers Flyleaf hit the stage to much crowd anticipation. A sincere display of faith as they opened their show with an excerpt of well-known worship song that only a few caught. They played a shorten set as singer Lacey Mosley was having some vocal problems but it didn’t deter the rest of the band from playing with plenty of energy. With crowd-pleasers such as “Fully Alive” and “I’m So Sick”, the band got their biggest response with their current radio single “All Around Me”. I was able to sit down with bassist Pat Seals. Look for that interview in the coming days.
As the storms began to move in and the skies turned dark, it set the tone for Atreyu to come on and deliver one of the best sets of the day. The band sounded tighter than their previous Dallas stops and even played a couple of new songs from their upcoming new record, Lead Sails Paper Anchor. The highlight had to be their cover of Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name” which they managed to make their own. After cutting their ties with Victory Records, they are now among the many who have made the leap towards the majors with Hollywood Records. I definitely see big things are ahead for this California quintet.
Evanescence task as main support was to get the crowd ready for Korn but quite honestly, they could have headlined just as well. As the rain continued, they put on a show worthy of any stadium or arena. Vocally, Amy Lee sounded invigorated, singing their hits “Going Under” and “Bring Me Back to Life” (sans the already played out rap) The biggest crowd as Amy Lee got behind her piano and went into “Call Me When You’re Sober.” They also deliver a nice rendition of the Doors classic “People Are Strange.” Overall, a great set that could have closed the show nicely.
That is until the headliners Korn came on stage promptly for their 90-minute set. Opening with “Here to Stay”, they brought the crowd a nice dose of 7-string goodness. With adding Joey Jordison (of Slipknot) and Clint Lowery (of Sevendust/Dark New Day fame) they turned up the volume on their live show even more. The setlist included old favorites such as “Faggot” and “Dead Bodies Everywhere”, the show itself was great but I had a slight problem with someone on stage.
A certain blonde backup vocalist/percussionist was singing on every song and running around like a mad man. Now, in most cases this may not be a bad thing but why does Jonathan Davis need a backup like this? Can he not do it by himself anymore? Either way, I didn’t like it and that in a way ruin their set for me. While I didn’t stick around for the encore, I’m sure they played “Blind” which if it was anything like the last time I saw them, they delivered it with fury and ease and made all the fans happy.
Bottom Line: Korn played it smart in sticking to the heavier side of things with the bands they selected. While Ozzfest may have been free this year and had a decent lineup of their own, the Family Values tour proved it could be a great tour of it own. Definitely worth checking out if it comes through your town.Powered by Sidelines