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Sno - Core 2000 Logo

System Of A Down / Incubus / Mr Bungle / Puya {short description of image}..1/22/00 S.F Ca



Brandon Boyd of Incubus
....This year at the Warfield in San Francisco the lineup of System of a Down, Incubus, Mr. Bungle and Puya wasn't finalized until mid-December. Musically, Sno-Core 2000 deviated from the standard Korn and Bizkit rock menu. All the participants were plenty heavy, but they strayed from popular metal forms with ethnic influences -- namely the Puerto Rico-bred Puya's Afro-Cuban/Caribbean/salsa rhythms -- dynamic shifts and interrupted melodies. This commercialism hardly shocks the new generation of hardcore punk/metal fans. In fact, they're so aware of their own consumerism they halfway expect to be bombarded by advertisements. Unlike the black-clad outsiders that defined heavy metal in the '80s, current metalheads are a culture of teens raised on designer clothing and violent video games who express themselves through materialism rather than trying to destroy it. When "Welcome to the Jungle" flashed on the video screen, Axle Rose got a respectful response; when a Dr. Dre video showed him stepping out of a European sports car, it practically got a standing ovation. The performers of this heavy music are a strange mix of Korn-like metal mania mix bands, cutting through the sonic madness and trying to make their mark.
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.....Though System of a Down were the nominal headliners, Incubus had all the makings of future wunderkinds of alt-rock radio. Any displays of personality were left to the absurdist rock outfit Mr. Bungle, led by former Faith No More singer Mike Patton, who could have made this the most warped tour ever if he had lent a few of his head-spinning musical ideas to the acts that followed him. Instead, the show's most explosive 30 minutes of metal, drum 'n' bass, pMike Einziger of Incubusolka and reggae--all of them often in the same song--were relegated to a support-band slot. Mr. Bungle, the once-side project of Faith No More's Mike Patton, gleefully and willfully confused the crowd with their carnival atmosphere zipping through bits and pieces of klezmer, rockabilly and thrash-metal without fully developing any one of them. Not even the song "Sweet Charity" came off as a complete song. Opening with a lounge rendition of Burt Bacharach's "What the World Needs Now," the band came out dressed like the Village People, with Patton as white-capped sailor man. Sticking with the theme they all look like the 70s band the" Village People". Patton baited the predominantly macho crowd with goofy phases. "He acted like a Ass?" he asked the booing crowd, what's inside all these baggy pants here tonight. They reacted by extending their middle finger. Patton reacted by saying be careful where you put that thing -- you might enjoy it!" Patton also got a rise out of the Sno-Corers by ripping on some LA heroes ("Red Hot Junkie Peppers".
....Incubus preceded to the stage, things were a little more temperate. Sergio Curbelo of PuyaWith Mike Einziger's shimmering guitar work and DJ Chris Kilmore busy at the turntables, washes of sound and echo-like scratching gave a moody feel to the band's neo-metal. At times, when Einziger got lost in his effects pedals, Incubus could have been the hard rock cousin of Slowdive , as swirls of feedback in "The Warmth" looped around the melodies, squalling and chirping like birds. Singer Brandon Boyd did double duty as a percussionist, with a bongo secured around his waist during half the set, as his shirt threatened to come off, inching up higher and higher until he tore it off in the midst of "Pardon Me." Swaying as if he were about to fall over, he looked as impassioned as he sounded, tilting as far back as his body would allow, limber as a rag doll. His mic could have been turned up more, but the fans didn't mind . Incubus has really been hard at work since I interviewed them last year at the Bottom Of the Hill Club in San Francisco, and found them very promising. Their music is more polished now .
...... But where Incubus seemed to captivate the crowd when at their gentlest, System of a Down coaxed out the inner thrasher in all, indulging in joke Slayer riffs and a cover of Black Sabbath's "Snow-blind." Looking like a mad Rasputin in his traditional Armenian garb, frontman Serj Tankian stomped, sneered and howled through his songs about sex, drugs and politics. Body-painted guitarist Daron Malakian, bassist Shavo Odadjian and Tankian constantly played off each other, at times simulating whipping each other. Tankian's hand movements, hands clasped as if in prayer, gave an odd sense of reverence to the herky-jerky guitar lines. Last time I saw System of Down was last summer and they really have come 360 with crazier stage presents .They have all the glamour and glitter of Heavy Metal, mixed with a little Alice Copper.

System of a Down

By Randy Cohen

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