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UnRated Magazine Review: <i>"Support our national heroes, the men and women serving our country and keeping freedom and democracy in tact."</i>
Band Concert Review
Jagermeister Musictour 2003 Chicago House of Blues

Jagermeister Musictour 2003 Chicago House of Blues

"Support our national heroes, the men and women serving our country and keeping freedom and democracy in tact."

By Adam Bielawski
Photos by Adam Bielawski

When mainstream artists voice their opinions of how much wrong is being conducted by our President, here is a bunch of bands brought together by the people from Jagermeister in full tilt in support of our troops right here at the House of Blues in Chicago. The common chant from all, fans and bands as they took the stage, "Support the troops!". The 2 main spokesman that strongly stood out were Jahred of (hed)PE and Josey Scott of Saliva. Both rallied the fans during their set as well as Stereomud, Systamatic and Breaking Benjamin to give 100% to our men and women in uniform and our Commander-In-Chief, President Bush.

Political issues cannot be avoided during this time in our living history, as it's seen on every news outlet, be it print, radio or TV. Josey Scott of Saliva spoke with pure angry passion as he stated during one of their sets, "Vedder, Dixie Chics and others, if you don't like our country, get the fuck out!". If there was any booing, it was very much overpowered with cheer from everyone within the House of Blues. This fan base shouted proud in support and let their voices be heard to all in the House of Blues.

The show was being filmed for the Jagermeister DVD and one wonders if any of the support given by the bands will make it to release. We will wait to see if anything will be censored when many in this country who hold power to speak and influence us on a daily basis suppress American support and promote a water downed ideal.

The now famous Jagermeister Tour presents metal finest with a sideshow to match, making it affordable for all during the spring while most acts prepare for the summer concert season. If we stepped back one year, a successful Jagermeister 2002 show featuring Drowning Pool, Ill Nino, and Coal Chamber. Remembering Dave Williams, the front man of Drowning Pool and "Bodies" as one of the anthems drove the new millennium. Today we welcome Saliva, (hed) Planet Earth, Breaking Benjamin, Systematic, Stereamud for 2003.

I can chronologically detail the more then 5 or 6 hour show, but why? The best of the night was (hed) Planet Earth. The powerhouse hip-hop, funk, reggae and metal band filled the night with pure fun energy. Mixing a blend of urban sounds and hardcore metal into one neat little package that is not distressful but strong and potent to all. (hed) PE got me hooked and introduced me to what's the buzz about on MTV2 and in the media releases promoting this band from California for their third studio release, "Blackout". Consisting of Jahred (vocals), Wes (guitar), Mawk (guitar), B.C. (drums) and DJ Product 69(c) (turntable).

As the background intermission music stopped! The ads on the HOB TV screens stop rolling! A sound begins to fade-in louder and louder introduced by electronica mix as young Jagermeister girls walk onto the stage caring a torn cardboard box flattened and held by the four. There's a hairy guy running around the stage in fatigues and wearing goggles as he controls what is happening right at this moment, no thought of onlookers, us as the audience and fans. The DJ table is his control console as he runs over to center stage and begins to write on the cardboard held by the beauties, "SUCK IT UP". Everyone begins to chant the words and DJ Product takes his place on the right hand of the stage. However, not in silence, very vibrant and complete with the band as one instrument called (hed) Planet Earth.

The rest of (hed) step out and now the sound of funk, hip-hop and metal complete and take the crowd. Jahred a very prominent figure on stage wearing long dreads covered by a bandana. This is what majority of the younger fans came to see. Built on hip-hop and a metal attitude. Jahred stands tall on stage and controls his presence while singing and busting out rhymes or reggae. (hed) went on to perform as co-headliners for at least a good part of the hour. The funk/hip-hop style of metal was an interest to the listener as myself who has never been exposed to (hed) Planet Earth. The band complemented themselves on stage and have for much of the past decade. By looking at the (hed) you would not guess the many influences by appearance of punk, reggae, metal and just plain classic rock. But the guys are not just show, they were able to back up their personalities completely.

During their song set Jahred ventured and interacted very heavily with the fans. Speaking that we must support our troops and the war as he shouted out, "I'm a proud fucking American, show support for our troops!", "Now that Iraq is liberated, you know there will be a McDonalds and a Starbucks on every corner", continuing on with sexual innuendos about the women and what they will be free to do.

Toward the end of the last songs, Wes (guitarist) plunges into the crowd not once, twice, but three times to be brought right back up without missing a chord. Leading into the final tune of the night, "Blackout". Jahred himself leaps into the fans and is quickly propelled back up to the stage to complete the final song on the set list. Everyone welcomed (hed) Planet Earth and I know they got their money worth. (hed) PE finished, bowed, thank everyone and walk off stage.

During the so-called intermissions, Jagermeister had the Lizard Man doing odd sideshow theatrics of sword swallowing, snake eating, handing out t-shirts and doing a chug of drink. A drink of blue mix and Jager through a clear hose, then the Lizard Man with a giant syringe measuring more then a foot, pumped out and then drank. Image it, and then think about it again. Not only did the Lizard Man drink his own stomach liquids, but someone, a fan, partner or whoever shared a full 16 oz cup and chug contest commenced between the two for a Jager t-shirt. Who won? Who cares? You want to puke your own out.

The supporting bands, Systematic, Stereomud and Breaking Benjamin received a very welcomed appearance. Everyone seemed to have their favorites but no one turned their backs on any of the supporting players on the Jagermeister Musictour 2003.

Systematic supporting their own new release, "Pleasure to Burn" consisting of front man Tim Narducci (vocals and guitar), Adam Ruppel (guitar), who created a cohesive bond together since the mid-1990's. Narducci worked this crowd and had full control Chicago. Commanding all "Put your hands in the air! This is Chicago, not LA! On 3 everyone jump up and down!". The white backlit stage as Nick S. Denis (bass) spits above his head and creates a cloud of vapor spray creating the effect of glowing mist as Systematic entices the fans. A new disc, new fans to listen to their new music, it was all taken in right.

Systematic are no cherries to festival tours. Being one of the sought bands a few years back at Ozzfest. They have built themselves as a powerful aggressive presence on stage ripping out hard crunching metal, no wonder Metallica's own Lars Ulrich backed Systematic. Somewhere in the middle of the set outputting a little "Seek and Destroy" as they jump into their own "Not Like You" from Pleasure To Burn. Their influences are aggressive traditional metal crunching chord and heard even in the final cut "Leaving Only Scars".

Stereomud, another act in support of a new disc (Every Given Moment) consisting of Eric Rogers (vocals), Corey Lowery (bass), Dan Richardson (drums), John Fattouso (guitar) and Joez Z (guitar). Make a powerful quintet of heavy metal rockers. Eric Rogers holds his ground with a hard melodic tone on stage as a veteran player in rock. Creating a image for himself with a look of the 70's rockers. Stereomud held up this crown without giving anyone the ability to loose their adrenaline to continue for what was to come in the night. They did the job and did not release anyone from a night of heavy metal with their final and hit "Pain".

Breaking Benjamin: as they came on stage you sensed everyone especially the female audience getting obsorbed in the Jagermeister Tour. Breaking Benjamin was one of the more anticipated acts of the night, having a couple hit singles in rotation on the radio and a front man that can be compared to Gavin Rossdale from Bush. Ben Burnley (voice, guitar) made every teen aged and early twenty something lady race to the front of the stage uncontrollably. Singing along word for word to all the songs. Consisting of Aaron Fink (guitar), Mark James Klepaski (bass) and Jeremy Hummel (drums) to complete the lineup known as Breaking Benjamin. Don't think these guys are a melody act; they are aggressive and put a punch in the sounds produced on their debut disc "Saturate" and not to mention in heavy rotation on local alternative and metal stations.

Breaking Benjamin performed to what I believe is their whole disc during for just over 30 minute set. During closing off their final song, Jahred joined the guys on stage to finish off and let everyone know what was coming next and that is already known.

Saliva took the stage finally probably after 10 PM and some of the younger fans dispersed and left after (hed) Planet Earth. That could have been expected, still majority of the house stayed and could be considered more mature in age and were ready for some good heavy metal music for the next 45 minutes to an hour.

Josey Scott took the stage with definate confidence as his own place, his fans and his job to close off the night for optimum climax. A veteran now after a breaking year during 2001 debut on a major label entitled "Every Six Seconds". Currently holding the top of the charts, "Always" which ended the night! The final minutes with a red backlit stage, Josey extended his microphone to the crowd as everyone sang the along to "Always".

Chris Dibaldo (guitar), Wayne Swiny (bass), Paul Crosby (drums) and of course Josey are what makes this power quintet that has been saturating much of the past couple of years. Josey Scott as the spokesman of Saliva between each set would stop and communicate to the fan base.. Taking every opportunity to present and voice his views such as asking everyone to create 15 seconds of silence for the men and women overseas. The House of Blues was in complete silence, everyone honored Josey's request beside one jackass that you could hear laughing; proving that the majority of Americans hold reference for our country and our military.

Josey went on through out the whole show either bringing up the passion he has for America and making sure everyone knew it, "When Americans can come together, it's a celebration". "I want to dedicate this to the Coast Guard, Army, Navy, Air Force and MARINES! "Raise Up" everyone!"

Josey ran the front the stage and I bet no one could take that from him without a fight. He would consistently be up in your nose, not allowing any inch of space to separate Saliva and us. Josey made you feel that Saliva was not out of reach, "I love this town" and he thanked the other supporting acts by name.

Josey again stepped back a bit to mentioned how proud he is of his 11 year old son, the ambitions he has and how he exclaimed to him, "Dad, I want to be a rock star, just like you!" for "Superstar".



RELATED LINKS
(hed) planet earth by Jade Greene