It was a complete music meltdown at KISW 99.9’s Pain in the Grass 2017. Even with a rare early summer heat advisory, the show went on as planned Saturday, June 24th at the White River Amphitheater in Auburn, WA as temperature blazed into the 90’s for the day.
With no clouds in the sky and full sun, fans were already showing signs of sunburns, dehydration and heat sickness as they opened the doors for the day. The venue set up cooling water stations for fans walk through the water to cool off, fans could be seen applying much needed sunscreen and the water fountains were the biggest hit for fans to stay hydrated through out the day. The one odd thing, the venue does not sell any sort of sports drink such as Gatorade or Powerade, I think they need to add this to their concessions because the water alone wasn’t enough for quite a few concert goers. Paramedics were onsite for the entire event to assist anyone who needed assistance whether from excessive heat, helping by giving electrolytes to those who appeared to need them, fans who consumed too much alcohol and couldn’t control themselves (yes those started rather early in the day too, guys, guys, guys…. beer + excessive heat do not mix well, add water) and injuries. The venue and organizers were ready for anything so fans could just enjoy themselves for the day.
Regardless of the heat… fans were pumped for one crazy day of entertainment from a lineup of great bands. The show kicked off at 1:40pm with up and coming locals Ten Miles Wide as they officially kicked off Pain in the Grass 2017 from the main stage. Fans showed early in large numbers to support our local guys in their showcase event. The set was going as planned then suddenly got a bit weird as giant rooster walked across the stage mid-set, but the band kept on playing like nothing happened. You can always count on some sort of fun and games when our locals are involved.
From that point on, sets between the two stages were staggered with different start times so fans could catch a bit of each band if they wanted to move between stages during the sets. Each band had KISW on air personalities introduce them before their sets and being KISW….. Some of those introductions got a little rowdy, all in good fun!
The schedule of bands for the day was:
Outside of the bands on stage there were other activities around the venue. The KISW Rock Girls were out to take photos with fans. KISW had a premium experience where fans were able to sit and listen to band interviews in the press tent. Bands at from the CARSTAR / CENTURY MEDIA STAGE had signings going on at their merch booths and Century Media had a booth with promos cd’s for the bands on the line up and some cool swag to sell.
I caught many of the sets through out the day and I have to say that personally, I really enjoyed checking out the lesser known bands on the Century Media Stage. Last year Radkey was on that stage and they blew me away with their fun and funky rock sound and this year they were invited back and up on the Main Stage. This is an upcoming band to keep an eye on. It’s always great to discover a new band and it’s awesome when big shows like this have a platform for them to be found. There were some truly talented bands on the Century Media Stage this year! I personally enjoyed Aeges and Fozzy (I mean, Fozzy… any WWE fan would know to catch Chris Jericho and nerd out!!) the most this year on that stage, but you can’t go wrong with any of the bands that performed, they were all great and put on full energy shows in the demanding heat. And the fans!! The fans stood out in full force in the full sun to get up close to these bands and enjoy their sets. Really a fun experience on the “side stage” at this years event!
The Main Stage was just loaded with insane talent this year! As the line up was being announced back in March, I couldn’t believe the line up was as great as it was! The Pretty Reckless, Babymetal, Stone Sour and KOЯN on the Main Stage all in less than a few hours?? And to top it off they also had Ten Miles Wide, Islander, Radkey and Yelawolf!!! What??? Yes, it was a great announcement, but the day of the show blew the fans away. One band after the other hit the stage and performed high energy sets. Everyone was sweating their asses off and more than one band member could be seen pouring water over themselves trying to cool down and from time to time some would even spray the fans up front with water. It was a scorcher of a day and even as hot as the fans were, the music and energy throughout the event was much hotter.
Having seen many of these bands over the last year on other tours I was really excited to get to see many of them again in this event. Islander, Radkey and Yelawolf brought the grove, funk and rap infusion to this rock show. They had the crowd up and moving well before the headliner was even set to be onstage. All of these guys put on really fun and intense sets. Great lighting, sound and vibes from these guys.
Last year in July I had the chance to check out and review Babymetal live for the first time and I haven’t stopped talking about that show yet, their performance was just insane. Their band is AMAZING! and the ladies are such solid performers. The way they command their audience is an experience you have to see live. The fans are so dedicated and they just have something really cool for everyone to enjoy. This show was much of the same intensity, definitely not a “they got lucky at one show” experience, it was another incredible show! If you’ve never seen this band live, you have to experience it at least once! We were also out to review The Pretty Reckless as they hit Seattle in December while promoting their new release Who You Selling For. Again, another solid performance. Taylor Momsen has such an amazing voice and their writing style is just on fire.
Stone Sour absolutely kicked ass this year! I don’t know what the beef is with Nickelback‘s Chad Kroger talking crap about Corey Taylor recently, but as a music fan I truly enjoyed the Stone Sour set. Their music was great, vocals were killer and the performance was intense and fun. I’ve honestly never had that good of a time at a Nickelback show, ever, so Chad please focus on your own music and live performances instead of bashing others who are just out there making their music and entertaining their fans. The sun was pelting directly onto the band as they hit the stage and the guys were clearly hot as hell, but put on a great show. At one point in the show the fans in the pits lifted up a fan in a wheelchair and crowdsurfed him and his chair up to the front of the pit. Killer show, killer fans!
Last band for the night was KOЯN. I was lucky enough to catch them out on tour last year as well with Rob Zombie and damn what a show! This year at Pain in the Grass, I had to miss their performance due to a heat induced migraine that came on during the Islander set that was too much to make it through the last set of the night. After Stone Sour‘s lighting (mixed with the relentless hellacious heat) I was ruined for anything else loud or bright for days after the event. Super bummed having to miss KOЯN because I’ve been a fan for years, but from fans that I have talked to, it was another amazing show. I’ve seen the guys many times before and have never had a bad show, so I trust the collective in saying they ended the show right!
So all in all, another AMAZEBALLS Pain in the Grass. KISW 99.9 FM knows how to have a party. This once a year event is something that all of the rock music locals look forward to. We don’t get the big 2-4 day rock/metal music festivals up in Seattle, so this is our one day of elation where we all come together and celebrate the great music being made with many other fans from our area. So raise your glasses in cheers to KISW for another great Pain in the Grass! See you all next year and in between that time, get out and support all the outstanding live and local music we have all around the Seattle area and tours that are coming through. We’ve have to do our part to keep the music alive.
Enjoy some show photos below. Our full galleries are linked below (they are housed in our Facebook page photo galleries). You will only find Babymetal photos from the show with this review, they can not be posted anywhere else.
Review/Photos by: Diane Webb www.Facebook.com/YesterdazeNewsPhotography
Full Photo Galleries all the shows we cover are available on our Facebook page
Pain in the Grass 2017