The four-day Pot of Gold Music Festival, a celebration of music, beer, and a holiday many don't fully understand, ended Tuesday night with a mixed night of hard rock and metal.
Korn returned to the valley on Tuesday at Tempe Beach Park to finish off the music event that brought thousands of people together to see a multitude of artists perform. Korn's set was a bit unique, as their performance centered around the band playing their debut album that launched their career 20 years ago.
Before that point, the night was kicked off by Chevelle and Godsmack, offering fans a rock/metal experience that caused a flurry of excitement and anxiousness waiting for Korn to take the stage.
Upon entry of Tempe Beach Park, the final day was something I expected to cater more toward the St. Patrick's Day holiday. The expectation of the mythical "green beer" that is linked to events on this holiday was non-existent. The thought of settling for a Guinness for anyone that had that inkling in their mind was quickly dashed at the revelation that the beer available was Budweiser for eight bucks. While the theme of the day wasn't completely found among the vendors, the amount of people wearing green was enough to remind oneself of the holiday, along with the unnecessarily large hats that came with them.
To get things started, Chevelle played to a crowd of people still filing in throughout their performance, and while the band didn't seem to command the attention of fans like Godsmack or Korn did, they were able to get things going.
At times, it was difficult to hear vocalist the band compared to the other acts. It wasn't an overbearing crowd noise that caused this, but rather the sound itself. Compared to the rest of the night, it was a much quieter set than would have been expected. Because of the fans still filling the grassy field in front of the stage, the interaction and energy didn't come until Chevelle started playing some of their older, more well-known hits such as "The Clincher" and "Send The Pain Below." Singer Pete Loeffler's voice at its peak was as brilliant live as it is on the band's albums. The range of singing straight into a guttural scream kept the band's slower and heavier pace an enjoyable ride into the sunset, literally speaking. Chevelle's setlist left me wanting to hear some of their more heavier tracks such as "Forfeit," but closing with "Face To The Floor" was still a good way to cap things off.
By the time Godsmack took the stage, the night was in full effect. The abundant smell of weed, whether keeping up with the theme of green or just your average concert, was ripe in the air, and the crowd was finally alive to see the Boston outfit take the stage. At this point, the drunk nature of the fans began to come out, and shouting matches broke out throughout the crowd. During one of the songs, singer Sully Erna asked the crowd to jump at the musical high point. For the amount of people that were there, the number of people following the singer's request was respectable, and a light shake in the ground could be felt. Some drunk guy in my area even managed to sacrifice his beer in the process by dumping most of it on me and some others. Toward the end of their set, the band threw beers into the audience to share with them for the holiday, asking fans to drink it, chug it, but not to drop it. Godsmack's sound was much more impressive as there was a louder more resonant feel to the music at this point that packed more of a punch. The tracks that stood out most were the band's popular hits, such as "Voodoo," "Keep Away," and "I Stand Alone."
Finally, the moment of the night that people had been waiting for arrived when Korn took over.
From a visual standpoint, Korn and Godsmack were pretty comparable with lighting. Hhowever, Korn had placed a banner of their first album behind them and scattered candles all across the stage, creating a feel that was just as eerie as some of their music. The performance went on without missing much of a beat, as the band played one song after the other off the debut self-titled album. Fans could be almost immediately sucked into the gravitational pull of energy and enthusiasm as people next to them sang along, almost as loudly as Jonathan Davis could belt out the lyrics. Most of this energy could be felt during the performance of "Faget" as Davis roared his way through the end of the track and grunted his way off the stage to grab his set of bagpipes used for the opening of "Shoots and Ladders," another classic hit from the album. As Korn continued rampaging through their set, the group performed one of its more controversial songs, "Daddy," which singer Davis wrote about his experiences getting abused as a child. While the energy could have continued well into the night, Korn concluded playing their album by playing "Falling Away From Me," "Here To Stay," and "Freak On A Leash."
Setlist: Blind Ball Tongue Need To Clown Divine Faget Shoots and Ladders Predictable Fake Lies Helmet in the Bush Daddy
Encore: Falling Away From Me Here To Stay Freak On A Leash
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