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Seven bands, heat make for memorable EndFest

By James Robichaux
On July 12, 2001

What do you get when you mix seven hard-core modern rock bands with multitudes of people in an open field in New Orleans? For the thousands who braved the 100-degree-plus-heat index this past Sunday, EndFest was quite an experience.The show started with Cold taking the stage at 11 a.m. and Staind wrapping up the festivities shortly before sunset.

Water was sprayed from hoses into the sun-parched crowd, quickly turning the mosh pit into a mud pit.

Since Staind was booked for the show before its new album "Break the Cycle" became the number one album in the country, the band's appearance, playing equal time with six other bands of far less fame, was almost comical.

It's a safe bet this will be one of the last of these radio shows that Staind will be playing in. The band will soon be selling out arenas.

The Massachusetts-based quartet led off with the bass-driven hit "Mudshovel" off of its 1999 major-label debut "Dysfunction."

Front man Aaron Lewis displayed his wide-ranging talent by performing the hard-hitting screaming in "Mudshovel" and "Can't Believe" to the melodic rhythms of "Outside" and "It's Been Awhile."

Lewis asked for audience singing for "Outside" when he was on stage alone on a stool, playing an acoustic guitar.

"That was beautiful," Lewis told the crowd at the end of the song.

Before the end of the set, Staind would play its most well-known single "It's Been Awhile." Again, Lewis played his acoustic guitar.

After "It's Been Awhile" many could be seen leaving for the exits, testifying to the song's drawing power.

Lewis carried himself in the detached demeanor by which he is identified.

As an example of the crazy free-for-all carefree attitude of such concerts, two young girls each riding the shoulders of another below, could be seen momentarily exchanging saliva (the real thing, not the band.)

Papa Roach performed two acts before Staind. Pushed forward by the tortured-soul lyrics of vocalist Coby Dick, Papa Roach's major-label debut "Infest" appealed to those unsatisfied with the corrupt aspects of human culture.

Dick enthused listeners with tracks like "Last Resort," in which he considers suicide, "Between Angels and Insects," a song about materialism, frivolity and vanity, and "Broken Home," in which he sings about the plight of growing up in such a home.

After one song's performance, during which he observed a female crowd-surfer being violated, Dick exclaimed that it was fine to crowd surf, but it wasn't acceptable to "grab" the girl's breasts.

The Cult's performance was sandwiched between Papa Roach and Staind, but the 15-plus year-old band did not enjoy the same audience enthusiasm as did the popular newcomers.

Front man, Ian Astbury wanted to know what was wrong with the crowd.

What was wrong with the crowd? First, it was full of young people, some younger than The Cult itself. Second, it was full of hot, exhausted people. Many were saving their energy for the much anticipated final act.

First aid tents were placed in the park, and many were forced to use them.

Many people fainted due to the incessant heat. A patron could spend as much money on beverages to keep himself from dehydrating as he paid for admission to the festival itself.

Despite the heat, The Cult was able to eventually arouse many older attendees with its 1985 hit "She Sells Sanctuary."

Preceding Papa Roach was Crazytown, the punk/hip/rock band that served as the middle act.

Crazytown came to prominence with its recent single "Butterfly."

Seven Mary Three, who gained fame in 1995 with the throaty "Cumbersome," preceded Crazytown and followed Saliva, the Memphis quintet, whose head-banging antics roused the high-noon audience.

Saliva came into the limelight with its hit "Your Disease."

Florida's own, Cold opened the festivities as droves of fans were still pouring in from the parking lots.

It was a day to remember for those who were there, as a motley lineup ranging from relative unknowns like Cold and Saliva played on the same stage as veteran rockers The Cult and double-platinum album selling Staind.

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