The Kings of the Game tour created a controversial atmosphere at the Electric Factory on Oct. 29.
The conflict and controversy were brewed by the tour, which featured three groups, Project 86, (hed) and P.O.D. Project 86 and P.O.D. are two heavily religion-based groups, while (hed) is a secular rap-metal group. The tour’s goal of successfully combining the bands was quickly dismissed as discord between their different crowds arose. The two atmospheres did not mix well together and both sets of fans had a difficult time swallowing what went down.
As the small group of (hed) fans waited for entrance outside the Factory, the arrival of a packed Christian church van should have been an indication that it was going to be an awkward evening.
Mingling was not on the agenda of this divided crowd as they waited for the show to start. Shortly after 8 p.m., Project 86 took the stage and played tracks from their new album, Drawing Black Lines. “Me against me” was the band’s stand out performance.
(hed) tore into the bipartisan crowd after a lengthy intermission with their powerful song “Killing Time.” Despite the group’s intensity, the crowd was ridiculously quiet until they played “Serpent Boy.” At the start of the song, (hed) fans formed two fierce mosh-pits. Between songs, (hed) took time to see who was on ‘their side.’ Those that were raised their middle fingers in support. This gesture seemingly outraged and offended the Christians. Realizing this, (hed) said they were only ‘messing with us.’
Following this offensive incident, (hed) drew on their crowd support for the song “I Got You,” in which the crowd served as chorus. Their animated single, “Bartender” followed in chaotic fashion. (hed) closed out their energetic set with the song “Ground.” In spite of the split crowd, the constant raw energy expressed by (hed) made for a great performance.
Following (hed)’s performance, many of their followers headed for the exits choosing not to wait for P.O.D. With their opponents gone, the religious warriors took the stage. P.O.D. (Payable on Death) played tracks from their platinum-selling album Fundamental Elements of Southtown. P.O.D.’s powerful songs with positive messages included their hits “Southtown,” “Lie Down” and “Outkast.”
The crowd was rather disappointing on both sides. You could definitely tell the difference between those there to see (hed) and those there to see the other bands. The latter were accompanied either by a youth group or by their parents. The show’s attempt at mixing secular rock bands and Christian bands was not tolerated by the crowd. Concert management should reconsider this strategy when planning future tour-mates.