A continuous stream of amazing music, from 7 different artist, was performed at the 2017 Krockathon Festival. The Krockathon Festival is relatively small music festival hosted by several collaborating local radio stations in the Central New York region. Until this year, it was annually held at the New York State Fairgrounds. Traditionally it features local as well as nationally renowned bands. Past participants have included Breaking Benjamin, Shinedown, Halestorm, and Chevelle. The Festival began in 1996 and has become a much anticipated event for rock music fans in the Western and Central New York area.
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The opening acts consisted of Glen Street, who was a local winner of a battle of the bands, for the honor of appearing at the festival, Red Sun Rising, Ded, and Yelawolf. Other than Yelawolf, who is in fact a rapper, the festival caters to rock music and features not only touring headliner bands but newer up and coming bands. These up and coming bands are sure to be headliners themselves in years to come, given time and exposure. Due to the change in venue, the lineup for this year was significantly smaller. With the exception of Red Sun Rising and Glen Street, this festival mostly consisted of bands already touring with Korn for their Serenity of Summer tour. The smaller bands, while strong performers, either just didn’t have the draw to pull the crowd into the amphitheater early in the afternoon or due to an error in the advertising of the show, which listed the start times as 6pm rather than the actual 4pm, the attendants just weren’t aware of the early opening hours, as the majority of the crowd appeared more towards the evening. The big headlining bands for the festivals were Skillet, Stone Sour and Korn, who each in their own unique ways delivered memorable performances.
Skillet is by no means a stranger to this event having played the festival in 2013. They can always be counted on to give a hard pounding performance that quickly amps up the crowd. While they perform a show that is on key and on point with extremely passion and professionalism, they are by no means aloof to the crowd. They appear almost humble, making direct eye contact and gestures to individual member of the audience. Making sure that everyone is involved, including the people seated in the lawn. At one point, John Cooper, the lead singer, took a moment to acknowledge a fan in the audience that they met earlier, who was recently beat cancer. He locates the fan in the audience, whom the crowd turned to and applauded, at which point the band sings their big hit, “Hero”. Their stage show isn’t over the top with lights and pyrotechnics but that works for this band. They are out to perform and interact directly with the audience. Anything else would remove that personal touch they bring to their performance.
Stone Sour was able to demonstrate a versatility to front man, Corey Taylor. While typically known for his role as the lead singer of Slipknot, Stone Sour is Taylor’s first band. Not as widely known in this capacity, Taylor was able to treat fans expecting to see a hardcore Slipknot type performance, to a fun and colorful carnival of sound and light. Corey Taylor worked very hard to interact with the crowd and was clearly having the time of his life; his passion for performing was obvious. In a bold move that had security scrambling to catch up with him, he navigated the small sections of the stage on either side; climb up on the guard rail to sing to the crowd. Producing a confetti cannon periodically, and tossing sprays of water from his water bottle at the crowd, was just another example of Taylor trying to have a little fun with the crowd in the pit. A heart felt rendition of their song “Through Glass” had the crowd’s rapt attention and joining the band singing. Closing out the show with a small army of wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube men on stage, the band was able to make the entire show feel like a party that the audience participated in.
Clearly the heavy hitter of the festival was without a doubt Korn. This was their 2nd time playing the Krockathon festival, having played in 2012. Pulling a few tracks from their newest album, The Serenity of Suffering, as well as old favorites such as “Y’all Want a Single”, “Falling Away from Me”, “Come Undone” and of course “Shoots and Ladders” that opens with Davis playing the bagpipes, always a crowd favorite. They were able to work the enraptured crowd with minimal talking and interaction. Front man, Jonathan Davis was full of energy, skipping around the stage in his playful manner, sport his usual kilt and knee socks. The energy throughout the amphitheater was literally tangible and the band used that to their advantage. Korn had the stage presence of a band with legendary status. Regardless of their performance, which was amazing, they merely needed to simply walk on stage to arouse the crowd to a fever pitch. A multi-generational audience, from 6 to 65 years old, didn’t hesitate to sing, dance, and head bang. One brave (or inebriated) concert goer thwarted security and climbed on stage to dance for a minute before being tackled by four security guards right on stage. The band, true professional showmen, didn’t miss a beat, in fact, they appeared more amused by the incident than annoyed by it. Korn closed out the festival with flare and fire, leaving the audience with a feeling that they had indeed received their money’s worth and then some.