As hard rockers Korn and their Family Values Tour turned toward Lafayette, La., last week, a worried clergyman and about a dozen followers twice took pains to visit the empty facility where the tour was headed, to pray for concert-goers and performers alike.
"We were just praying for the people who would be attending and,
in fact, prayed for those who would be performing," the Rev. Sam
Brooks said Wednesday. "As a church and as a group, we wanted to do
that in light of the content and the material that we had come to
understand were within the lyrics of the songs -- things like rape
The fall festival tour known as Family Values features rap-influenced
hard rockers Korn, fire-toting German industrial act Rammstein, rap
legend Ice Cube, hip-hop thrashers Limp Bizkit and goth-rockers Orgy.
As they walked this past Thursday and Friday through seat aisles and around the
stage of the Cajundome facility on the University of Southwestern
Louisiana campus where the tour was due to stop Friday night, Brooks
and approximately a dozen members of the local Bethel Baptist Church
and other religious groups asked God to protect concert-goers and
prevent "the enemy of the soul of man" from entering their minds,
A response from the Korn camp, issued through the band's publicist,
Amanda Cagan, stated that "the reverend was wasting his time
[praying near the seats of the stadium], since no one sits down at a
Family Values show."
Brooks responded that he and his fellow church members were not blessing the seats but praying for all concert attendees.
But Pam DeVille, assistant director of the Cajundome, said Wednesday that Brooks' group had originally sought to bless each of the facility's 11,300 individual seats, but, upon realizing the enormity of the task, changed their plans.
Brooks said his basic objection to Family Values was the way it was promoted in Lafayette. He described the concert's promotional poster, picturing a '50s-style kitchen with a note on the refrigerator that read "Come to Family Values."
"I would say they're using Family Values as a promotional thing and
as a spoof, but it's not a true reflection of what people of this area
would consider to be true family values," he said. "I don't think
that people would call incest and rape 'family values.'"
His group was not protesting the tour or trying to keep the show from going on, Brooks said. "We were not trying to cause a controversy," he said. "We were just doing our little bit as far as our particular community is concerned."
The show typically comes to a finale with the tour's theme song of
sorts, "All in the Family" (RealAudio excerpt), a cut off Korn's third album, Follow the Leader. The song features vocal interplay between Korn frontman Jonathan Davis and Limp Bizkit singer Fred Durst in which they express hatred toward each other.
DeVille said the show drew more than 7,000 fans and went off without incident. "The kids and the young adults that were there thoroughly enjoyed themselves. We had no problems whatsoever."
The controversy, she said, was stirred up by one Ralph Goodyear, who, DeVille added, "worked overtime" to lobby against the show. He distributed flyers with excerpts from Korn lyrics to the media, churches and prayer groups, she said.
"The one good thing that happened in all this," DeVille explained, "is, I think, a lot of parents were talking to their kids. So I think that was incredibly positive."
The Family Values Tour will stop at the Kemper Arena in Kansas City,
Mo., on Thursday (Oct. 22) and Kiel Center in St. Louis on Friday. Starting with
the Oct. 26 date at Wings Stadium in Kalamazoo, Mich., the heavy-metal
band Incubus will replace Ice Cube, who is leaving to begin work on a
The tour ends on Halloween night at the Patriot Center on the campus of George Mason University in Virginia.
Korn kick off their headlining tour Nov. 2 in Toronto.