The Molson Amphitheatre, Toronto, ON
Monday, 28 August, 2006

It was looking a bit dicey at the 11th hour for the return of KoRn's long-mothballed Family Values package tour.

The recent, frantic offering of a "2 for 1" ticket deal for last night's Molson Amphitheatre stop seemed to confirm suspicions that the Family Values brand name might suffer in the wake of the numerous other multi-band festivals that have catered to Toronto heavy music fans this summer. This year's System of a Down-headlined edition of Ozzfest fell short of a sellout in the same venue in July, arriving just behind Slayer and Lamb of God's Unholy Alliance tour and this year's ill-fated Sounds of the Underground outing, which had to humbly relocate to the 2,000-capacity Kool Haus.

Soggy weather didn't prevent a good 13,000 or so from turning out last night for a seven-hour affair headlined by KoRn, their respectable-nu-metal peers the Deftones and Slipknot side project, Stone Sour.

Lesser known hard-music entities Flyleaf, Deadsy, Bury Your Dead, Dir En Grey, 10 Years, Bullets & Octane and Walls of Jericho clipped by on a briskly paced undercard, but reaffirmed KoRn's commitment to exposing new talent to its huge and still rather unlikely mainstream audience.

Nice to see the Deftones still hogging the spotlight despite a brief silence and a dodgy last album, 2003's "Deftones," since their visceral mix of spastic hardcore shrieking, Goth textures and deliberate, face-flattening heaviness is still one of metal's most intriguing populist-crossover success stories.

KoRn itself thrives in front of festival-sized crowds (the California outfit's lurching, brutalist low-end misanthropy was, after all, among the music blamed for catalyzing the Woodstock '99 riots), so last night brought the expected, if unsurprising satisfaction of a thunderous set list that didn't deviate much from the band's Air Canada Centre gig a few months back.

The Nine Inch Nails-esque material from last year's decent, electro-shocked comeback, "See You on the Others Side," is aging better than expected, although not without its laborious moments. Still, Jonathan Davis can bellow with the best of 'em and crushing standards like "Falling Away From Me" and "Got the Life" are among the rare rock tunes that actually sound better surrounded by thousands of head-whipping kids who don't give a damn that their shoes are sodden and they're miles away from the source of their release.

01. Right Now
02. Twist
03. Love Song
04. Thoughtless
05. Falling Away From Me
06. Coming Undone
07. Got the Life
08. Throw Me Away
09. Shoots and Ladders
10. Here to Stay
11. Freak on a Leash
12. Hollow Life (Acoustic)
13. Twisted Transistor
14. Y'all Want a Single
15. Blind

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