Return of The Dreads show coverage at Ak-Chin Pavilion

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On July 23rd 2016 in Arizona’s hot desert far far away I set off towards Ak-Chin Pavilion for the Return of The Dreads show. Featuring In This Moment, Rob Zombie & Korn for the headliner. I figured I would arrive a little early get everything situated, get in the gate and buy my merch before the madness started. Upon arriving at the venue I was greeted by a long line of people waiting to get in already. So like every other patron I waited my turn to gather my tickets and head in the gate.

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Once I entered the venue I met up with my partner in crime for the night Beverly Shumway. This was her first big show covering for us and I thought it would be a perfect one for her. Once we got situated we headed down to the stage to prepare for In This Moment who took the stage first. The intro started and they opened up with a crowd favorite of Sick Like Me. With the temperature nearing 110 out and a packed venue it was definitely getting hot. In This Moment delivered an energetic set to match the opening song. The excitement from the crowd who couldn’t take their eyes away from the enormous stage. That’s where it was visible how the dancers and somehow different show they deliver works perfectly with their music. They closed the set with another crowd favorite of Blood.

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The sun finally setting and the temps down to 105 the crowd took a moment to try and cool off a bit before the next set. Ak-Chin Pavilion installed these new water cannons awhile back to help control the fires that happen from time to time at these metal shows.. I honestly think they helped more with cooling people off from the 100+ degree temps.

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Before you knew it the next set was starting and Rob Zombie took the stage. Opening up with Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown the crowd once again started to mosh, thrash around and crowd surf. With some classic tracks and some covers like Tone‐Lōc’sWild Thing,” White ZombieMore Human Than Human,” or John Stafford Smith’sThe Star-Spangled Banner..” After a while of giving everything possible on stage, the show culminated with a trailer of Rob Zombie’s 31 leading to the last track “Dragula.”

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The final and most anticipated act was gearing up to take over the stage. Korn has gone through a lot in their 20+ years of career but that hasn’t stopped them to continue surprising their most avid or newest fans with their shows. Opening up with Right Now it opened loud and heavy and so did the crowd. After following “Right Now” with “Here to Stay,” Jonathan Davis talked about how good it felt to be in Phoenix.

“You know, we’ve had a long history with this wonderful f–king town,” he said. “We wrote and recorded a little bit of one of our albums here, y’all. So tonight we want to play y’all a new song tonight.”

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And with that, they launching into the chiming guitar introduction of “Rotting in Vain,” the first single released from their forthcoming album, “The Serenity of Suffering.” Word has it this is definitely a flashback to the past coming out of “The Paradigm Shift.” And if “Rotting in Vain” is any indication, the new material is as heavy as promised.

“It is hot as f–k up here, y’all,” Davis said after “Coming Undone.” “And it’s about to get a whole lot hotter.” Then he asked if everyone could help him out by throwing their middle fingers in the air and yelling “F–k that!” as a lead-in to “Y’all Want a Single.”

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Something interesting that may have created a different wave of opinions was the presence of the band’s family and friends on the side of the stage. That’s a common practice by any band out there but it was interesting to see how guitarist Munky or Welch were distracted by their closest ones and giving them a good amount of attention instead of the crowd in front of them. Some of their younglings were also seen on stage for almost the entirety of the show and even took them away from the stage every now and then. Korn ended the night with Freak on a Leash. By the end of the show the crowd was drenched in sweat, beer, and water.

Return of the Dreads, was such an amazing night with three amazing bands who gave it their all. We are honored we had the chanace and pleasure in attending and covering this show. Thank you to all involved in putting this show together and thank you to Ak-Chin for once again providing a great venue for it.

Coverage By: Adam Messler & Beverly Shumway

Photos By: Adam Messler

Photos By: Beverly Shumway

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