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Four bands urge flouting of authority

(July 28, 2004) — As famed spoken-word artist and heroin addict Gil Scott-Heron once noted, “The revolution will not be televised.” But without the assist of today's relentless video channels, you wonder whether anyone would even be aware there was a revolution in the first place.

The Projekt Revolution Tour certainly implies there is one. Tuesday's 10-act, daylong show at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center featured four bands that have benefited immensely from video's image machine: Linkin Park, Korn, Snoop Dogg and the Used.

And the revolution was clearly expressed by these inflammatory performers calling on their audience to participate in mass acts of “flipping the bird.”
In the minds of the 10,000 at Darien Lake, the night clearly belonged to Linkin Park and Korn.

Korn, featuring the kilted maniac Jonathan Davis, seems less open to the suspicion in its earlier days that it's using the band members' alleged abuses suffered while growing up as a way to sell records. No, Korn is now simply a pretty good band.

Davis' swirling bagpipe call to arms at the opening of “Chutes and Ladders,” and the massive sway of arms held overhead, is a compelling sight. So too is calling on the crowd to give the finger, and its choice of covering Pink Floyd's The Wall, which fell right in with Korn's theorem of oppressed youth.
Linkin Park is no stranger to self-absorption. A musically smart band, its intent is to break down the walls between hip-hop, classic rock, electronica, metal and grunge, creating something everyone can understand. Less suffocatingly cathartic than Korn, if angst isn't your bag, at least you can tune out the words and listen to the musical pieces come together.

Like Linkin Park, the Used's revolution seems to be personal (Used jockey shorts were available for $15 at the merchandise booth). Lead singer Bert McCracken bounded around the stage in one red glove, which must mean something. At one point, McCracken urged the crowd to raise a middle finger and attempt the wave. The coordination was a little off, but it was only about 5 o'clock and most of the crowd wasn't awake yet.

You want a revolution? Snoop's been around since he debuted in 1992 on Dr. Dre's The Chronic, and considering his film career and lackluster recent albums, you'd think the old gangsta rapper was in the midst of chronic career downslide. But he's been turning to the rock audience since signing on with Lollapalooza in 1997, and was energized for this show, saluting Tupac and “Gin & Juice” and calling for a joint to smoke.

“If the police gonna take me to jail,” he said, lighting up, “which one of you are gonna (expletive deleted) him up?” Emboldened by the cheers — and Snoop pulls this stunt a lot — the 31-year-old rapper puffed contentedly away.
Now, I can't tell you if that was really pot that Snoop was smoking, any more than I can state definitively that Alice Cooper really used a guillotine to behead some guy at a show in Cleveland some 30 years ago. But it sure smelled like revolution on that stage Tuesday.



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