Does anyone here remember the band Korn? When a high school buddy of mine first started driving, we gathered up the gang for a joyride, on numerous occasions, and blasted “Freak On A Leash” all throughout suburbia. We would have gone downtown, but he wasn’t allowed to drive on the freeway yet.

All through the countless Korn intervals, whether it was a lunch voyage or a Friday night wander, I kept to myself a horrifying secret that if uttered, would have ostracized me from the pack, ultimately resulting in my banishment: I didn’t like Korn. In fact, I couldn’t stand the incoherent bedlam it consummated--effectively closing out '90s music in mediocre shambles. Oh yeah, I remember Korn.

Although to Korn’s credit, it had some good videos and networked well with other distilled metalhead acts to put together great package shows for fans. Plus, the band’s appearance on the South Park Halloween special was magnificent. In 1998, frontman Jonathan Davis and company put together the first “Family Values Tour” with the now barely memorable Limp Bizkit (“Nookie” was fun, I admit, but easily one of the stupidest songs ever). After a five-year hiatus, Family Values returned in 2006 with the likes of the Deftones, Flyleaf and Dir en gray.

Despite my personal disaccord, fans still dig these shows, which, according to Billboard,, grossed 6.2 million and swooped in 347,000 in attendance for 26 shows. This year shouldn’t fare much worse, though I find the addition of the teenage tear-jerking Evanescence an odd choice. From a business standpoint, I get it--Evanescence is hot right now and should have no problem ushering in hordes of ecstatic youth to the Family Values shows. But does the operatic emoting of Amy Lee really blend with Korn’s straightforward raunchiness?

I thought no at first, but after taking a gander at Korn’s Web site and listening to a live Davis and Lee “Freak On A Leash” duet, I wept and concluded they are, indeed, a perfect union. It’s a shame, too, that Korn’s leash just got a little bit shorter.

Family Values kicks off July 16 in St. Louis and will visit 31 North American cities. Other performers include Hellyeah, Atreyu, Flyleaf and Trivium. Any additional bands for specific venues and dates will be announced sometime in the near future.

On a side note: If you wish to attend any of these shows, great, just promise that if any of your friends don't want to attend, go easy on them, will ya?

Here are the cities where Family Values will visit:

St. Louis
Columbus, Ohio
Camden, N.J.
Washington, D.C.
Hartford, Conn.
Buffalo, N.Y.
Scranton, Pa.
East Rutherford, N.J.
Orlando, Fla.
Tampa, Fla.
San Antonio, Texas
Oklahoma City
Kansas City, Mo.
Albuquerque, N.M.
Bakersfield, Calif.
Sacramento, Calif.
San Francisco
Irvine, Calif.

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