Family Values @ PNC Bank Arts Center

Five Finger Death PunchIt’s kind of ironic that they call it the “Family Values Tour” since that famous four letter “F” word (you know what I fucking mean) was just as much a part of the tour as any other headlining act of the day. Although, what American family do you know that hasn’t tossed that word around like a football at some point? So actually, calling this profanity filled day full of music and “F”- bombs the Family Values Tour is really just a testament to who we really are—and that fucking rocks!

As always, the headliners of the Main Stage didn’t go on until later in the day, but the show kicked off around 3 p.m., so when I arrived, I headed right over to the second stage to check out that scene. As I walked through the parking lot where the stage was set up, I came across a great band that, honestly, I wasn’t too familiar with until now, but Through You delivered a raunchy, rocking set of loud, crazed thrash metal, and the fans just ate it up.

Luckily for me, I had the opportunity to take a quick side step from being slammed at the front of the stage to head behind the scenes and mingle with some of the artists. I met the members of the headlining B-stage band, Five Finger Death Punch and all I can say is, what a great group of guys. Getting the chance to hang with them for a bit was absolutely well worth the torturous heat that settled in that day, if nothing else. But besides that, they put on a kickass show. Taking over the stage after a rowdy, crowd-hyping performance by Blood Simple, FFDP delivered a performance worthy of a Main Stage presence, and from what I saw, it’s pretty obvious that they’ll get there soon enough. The crowd was all ears and the screaming never stopped as they encouraged the band and sang along with them. The two even engaged in a little call and receive, yelling from the stage, “Five Finger,” as the crowd reciprocated, “Death Punch!” Fists were flying high for the entire set, which I only wish could have lasted a little longer, as did the rest of the crowd, I’m sure.

After the show, the band noticed fans waiting by the gates that blocked off the stage, hoping to get in some face time, so in true DIY fashion, Ivan, Zoltan, Jeremy, Matt and Darrell set up a makeshift signing table—pretty badass, if you ask me. I told you, they’re definitely a cool bunch of dudes.

The rest of the show was equally entertaining. Atreyu drew a massive crowd as they performed old favorites along with new material from their upcoming release, Lead Sails Paper Anchor. As usual, they got everyone singing along with a cover of Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On A Prayer,” and they closed the set with my favorite, “Lip Gloss And Black.”

As the stage was prepared for Amy Lee and her band, Evanescence, consisting of two new members, more and more people began to fill the seats of PNC, but nobody sat for too long because as soon as the lights went down and Amy came running on stage, everyone went wild. The music was tight and Amy’s voice sounded perfectly in tune, however, I just didn’t picture them as such a fist-in-the-air kind of metal-crowd-pleasing band. But, hey, they held their own and it was quite obvious that a good majority of the people there came to see them.

After waiting a short time for the band that everyone came to see—they finally took to the stage, and the constant roar from the crowd was just as much a part of the performance as the music they played—Korn took over PNC. Their show kicked ass and they surprised the crowd by playing mostly new songs off their untitled eighth studio album instead of concentrating on old favorites that everyone has heard a thousand times before. That’s not to say that they didn’t play anything from their massive archive, but they definitely took a chance that was well worth it, because the fans went nuts. Also, just a quick side note, and something that I recently learned, Korn are extremely environmentally conscious, making an effort to have their presence on the tour be an Earth-friendly one by fueling their 16 vehicles with domestically produced bio-fuels which are derived from natural matter on the planet, such as soy, vegetable oils and, coincidentally, corn.

So, all in all, although the scorching heat made for a somewhat uncomfortable day, this year’s Family Values Tour was well worth it by far, and I only hope that the rest of the tour provides as much kick ass music as it did in Jersey!

Photo Credit: Angelo Ismaelito