Korn, Foxy, Neon, Elephant, oh my

Jonathan Davis of Korn - photo by David Block

“I used to be a woman, but now I’m a man,” shouted Foxy Shazam singer Eric Nally — Welcome to Buzzfest 28.

A festival that began as a yearly event in 1995 sponsored by KTBZ 94.5 The Buzz eventually became so popular that organizers decided to do it bi-annually and it has yet to disappoint.

This version, which took place on April 21 at the friendly confines of the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion just north of Houston, had a little different sound to it than years past. When you mention Buzzfest, some automatically think of rock acts such as Seether, Godsmack, Papa Roach, Bush, Puddle of Muddle, who have all graced the main stage in year’s past. 

Performing on the main stage in front of the sold out crowd were The Features, Foxy Shazam, MuteMath and Cage the Elephant, which don’t possess the typical ‘rock sound.’

But don’t get it twisted — main stage headliners Korn, who made their second appearance (Buzzfest 22, 2009) and Evanescence, who performed for a third time (Buzzfest 11, 20) along with Blue October and side stage acts Evans Blue (third consecutive Buzzfest, sixth overall) and Hurt — reminded fans that mainstream rock is alive and well.

The show opened with Oklahoma’s Aranda, which is consists of brothers Dameon and Gabe Aranda. Other side stage acts included Dead Sara, Band of Skulls, The Dirty Heads and Neon Trees. One thing I love about the side stage is the fact that fans are able to crowd surf. Neon Trees’ front man Tyler Glenn commented, “Only in Houston can you see fans crowd surfing to Neon Trees. I love it!”

Back on the main stage, it was great to watch Foxy Shazam. This was my first chance to see the Cincinnati gang up close and personal and they did not disappoint. Nally did his thing as did the bearded Sky White and Alex Nauth on the horns put on a show of his own. It’s nice to see this band finally get their due and the new record, The Church of Rock and Roll, is a must have.

It was also a pleasure to see (and hear, of course) Amy Lee and Evanescence. The two-time Grammy Award winning group is touring in support of their self-titled album that was released last fall.

Korn was, well, Korn. These guys never cease to amaze me. From the light show to Jonathan Davis’ mic stand, which was designed by Academy Award winner and visual effect artist H.R. Giger, Korn was a perfect way to end a Buzzfest day.

The selection of bands continues to give festival goes a great variety of music — hence the sellout of every show — making it one of the biggest and best one-day music festivals in the country.

Oh, the weather was perfect, too.

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