Various Artists – Family Values Tour

Maybe you’re like me — you like the idea of festivals, but you don’t like attending them. Sure, seeing a dozen bands in one day would be great, but who needs the crowds, the heat, the pushing and shoving, and the overpriced bottled water and T-shirts? So, if you wanted to experience last year’s Family Values Tour but didn’t make it out of the house, crank up your heater, send me five bucks for every glass of water you drink, and pick up this year’s Family Values Tour CD — it’ll be just like you were there!

This year’s Family Values Tour CD contains 12 songs recorded live during the festival. All of the songs on this CD sound great — I have no problem with the quality of the recordings at all. The recordings are loud and crisp, with great mixes and just the right amount of crowd noise throughout the tracks (a lot in between tracks, and very little during the songs).

Stone Temple Pilots win the award for most songs on the CD, taking up 4 of the 12 tracks. STP appears on the CD with versions of “Vasoline”, “Wonderful”, “Wicked Garden” and “Creep”. While all the bands on the CD sound good, STP proves that they can still pull it off live and they sound great doing it. Maybe it was the heat, but every STP track on the disc is slower than the album version for some reason.

Staind appears several times on the compilation. While the whole band performs both “Fade” and “It’s Been Awhile”, Aaron Lewis performs a solo, acoustic version of Pearl Jam’s “Black”. Lewis also jams alongside Stone Temple Pilots during “Creep” and with Linkin Park during the CD’s closer, “One Step Closer.”

Linkin Park appears a second time on the disc, with “Runaway”. Static-X appears twice with their singles “Cold” and “Push It”, and the disc is rounded out by newcomers Deadsy with their cover version of Rush’s “Tom Sawyer”, which is much better than it sounds on paper. Deadsy’s fuzzed out, overdrive guitars combined with clean keyboards and eerie vocals will have kids lined up for blocks for their debut CD, I’m guessing.

The positive? Most of the songs on this disc are things you’re just not going to find elsewhere. Whether it contains cameo performers or just live cover songs that don’t appear on albums, most of the tracks are original in some way. Of course, the negative is that it contains a lot of Linkin Park and Staind.

01. Vasoline Stone Temple Pilots
02. Runaway Linkin Park
03. Fade Staind
04. Wonderful Stone Temple Pilots
05. Push It Static-X (featuring P. Exeter Blue)
06. It’s Been A While Staind
07. Wicked Garden Stone Temple Pilots
08. Cold Static-X
09. Black Aaron Lewis of Staind
10. Creep Stone Temple Pilots (featuring Aaron Lewis)
11. Tom Sawyer Deadsy
12. One Step Closer Linkin Park (featuring Aaron Lewis)

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