[Concert Review] Pain in the Grass (2017)

Seattle radio station KISW hosts an annual all-day concert festival, Pain in the Grass, at the White River Amphitheater. This year’s eclectic performers, appealing to their fanbase or appearing in their programming, included Korn, Stone Sour, BABYMETAL, The Pretty Reckless, Yelawolf, and more. This outdoor event is similar to the Warped Tour, except there’s nothing to do except listen to music, or maybe sleep out on the lawn. Were the performances worth risking a sunburn?

Average Rating: ★★★☆☆ [3/5]

Driving through Auburn
Every year is becoming worse driving from Seattle to Auburn, though it’s not terrible yet. Mayhem 2013 and Soundgarden/NIN in 2014 had significantly heavier traffic arriving than leaving. Leaving the venue this time was terribly disorganized, rivaling Tool’s hour+ traffic jams.

White River Amphitheater
“They should lower the roof so we can see more of the Cascades.” Sound quality on the main stage ranges from below average to decent. Even against the back fence, you can still mostly see the stage.

Water and vendors
$7.50 for water?! Other than waiting in line to buy merchandise or seeing some vendor booths, there weren’t any entertainment options, especially if you don’t drink. Maybe they need some music activities or additional entertainment options next year?


(Without digital zoom)

The opening bands
No preconceived notions for any of the opening bands. None were noteworthy. Someone was trying to electrocute Fozzy with water. Their performance was adequate. The others were generic radio-friendly bands you wouldn’t hunt down .

Yelawolf
Three insubstantial songs in, just before leaving, he brought in more intricate rhyming and creative beats. Appealing to the lowest common denominator rarely works. Start off with your best material next time!
Bias: Dig “Worldwide Choppers
Rating: ★★★☆☆ [3/5]

The Pretty Reckless
They were decent in December. No improvement. Other than “Oh My God,” they weren’t exciting, so I’d stick to the studio recordings. They were also plagued with instrument technical difficulties.
Bias: Studio album band
Rating: ★★★☆☆ [3/5]

Alternate venue shots

BABYMETAL
Theatrical and entertaining performance, even from the $20 cheap seats. Expanding their musical palette past nü-metal meets anime soundtrack pop could really make them worth seeing again since they’re more than competent performers.
Bias: Enjoyed Metal Resistance
Rating: ★★★☆☆ [3/5]

Stone Sour
The soft ballad intermission of the evening’s festivities. Aren’t they a heavy metal or hard rock band? If so, they didn’t perform anything with a pulse, not terrible, just not interesting.
Bias: Hadn’t heard much
Rating: ★★☆☆☆ [2/5]

Korn [KOЯN]
Though their newest album was better than expected, the plan involved leaving after three songs if they weren’t engaging. During their second song, “Falling Away From Me,” they presented a surprising level of energy that, like Powerman 5000, showed they’re not past their prime. Definitely unexpected and worth seeing them again!
Bias: Wasn’t expecting much
Rating: ★★★★☆ [4/5]

Korn after sunset

Recommended?
With more entertainment than just watching bands on two stages, next year’s festival could be recommendable for anyone interested in rock music, even if they aren’t interested in all of the performers. Comparable to Warped.

For me, it was worth the sunburn, this year.

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Author: Zombiepaper (Anthony)

My big goal is to write. My important goal is to write "The Story." My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame a fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. Let's strive to be better everyday. (Avatar)

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