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Tattoo the Earth
By Kerry Bryer
(more articles from this author)
2000-08-11
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The darkness in the basement of the Rave swallowed me as I entered the complex. The only light visible was behind the all inviting bar I had been waiting for on the long six hour journey to experience Tattoo the Earth in Milwaukee.

As I sat savoring my 7&7, letting my eyes adjust to the lack of light, I began to hear the thumping of the upstairs festivities. Following the sound I worked my way up the array of stair cases, finally rounding the last corner the room opened up into this unbelievable ballroom, with ceilings so high and so architecturally intricate the viewing of it made me dizzy.

When I focused my attention to the stage Mudvayne was giving the crowd the adrenaline they needed. I first experienced Mudvayne in a small BYOB club in central Illinois. I was impressed then, but they have ripened over the last two years. Epic records has made a profitable choice in signing this band. Three hours after they left the stage I still heard the random MUDVAYNE yelled through the crowd. The fans where definitely impressed, and with the improvement in Chad's vocals and the tightness of the music they are going to ride this flow straight to a major headline very soon.

I soon caught Hed p.e. on stage, their sound is heavy with a dash of hip/hop, very Cypress Hill. If you enjoy both styles of music Hed is definitely worth your time checking out. After checking out Hed I ventured outside were my goal was to get a piercing. I soon learned that the wonderful city of Milwaukee had shut down this end of the festival, Major disappointment to a lot of concert goers. I'm sure I wasn't the only one who wanted a souvenir of this experience. So I flipped through the tattoo books of Paul booth instead. His work is tremendous, I had the pleasure of watching him draw while Slayer was playing and he is truly a spectacular artist.

Speaking of Slayer I saw them on the Clash of the Titans tour many years back, they took me to a hypnotic place then and they haven't lost their touch. Slayer is the daddy of heavy, but they still have what it takes. Tom's voice is unmistakable and the riffs are still the heart beat of every individual presents insanity.

I also saw U.P.O. as I ventured through the complex looking for a bar that had standing room. The only description for them I can think of is just good heavy music. Not the kind of thing that leaves you with a tremendous impression, but good enough to give them a listen occasionally. The vocals are well rounded and it gives them a slight edge that makes them worth your time.

After grabbing a $4 slice of pizza, I went upstairs to give Sevendust a listen. Last time I saw them they had broke off from Ozzfest with Coal Chamber to play a club in Champaign, Illinois. They are just as impressive now as they were then and the fans were giving the energy right back. Nashville Pussy was stirring up energy of their own on second stage. I continually hear this band compared to Zeke do to the vocal style, but musically they are too much on the Warrant side for my taste. Their main selling point is their female bassist and guitarist and I wasn't that impressed.

I finally got to see Sepultura with their new lead singer Derrik Green. His talent is unique and deserves to be judged as so. There is no comparison to Max, because well Max is MAX.(the great one as I refer to him) Derrik is a great singer in his own right, and I was impressed with his range and overall ability. Sepultura has made a wise choice.

With the end of the festival came the presence of Slipknot on main stage. It was the second time I experienced the knot and I was contorted once again. This band is exactly what I've been waiting for from the music industry for years. After each show I feel like I just had a mind blowing orgasm, my only hope is that they will be able to accomplish the same effect with their next album. This act is going to be hard to fallow even for them.

Tattoo the Earth was a great experience into the world of sound and I hope that the promotion and record companies continue to see the advantage to these type of festivals, because they are truly spectacular to behold.

Even though, I will always love the small venue experience of a great band. There is something more personal about it.


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