July 28, 2008

Seether Rocks Dubuque Fair


Today's highlights The demolition derby will rev up at the race track at 11:30 a.m. and the NASCAR weekly racing series starts at 7:30 p.m. Admission at the fair today is free for children 11 and younger. For those 12 and older, admission is $7. News You can use

She don't listen to no Kidz Bop.

This 7-year-old Dubuquer's favorite band is Papa Roach. And by the way, she's already seen them live.

Amber Taylor sat with her younger sister, Arianna, 2, and brother, Dylan, 4, waiting for the Seether concert to start Saturday at the Dubuque County Fair. Her mother, Candi Weaver, 27, of Dubuque, said her kids love rock and metal, and she's taken them to the county fair shows before. It's a little more of a family- friendly environment than, say, a Slipknot concert.

When Weaver goes to see Slipknot, she usually gets a baby- sitter. Does Amber mind being left at home? Not at all.

"My mom and dad told me it's really wild there!" Taylor said, of the Des Moines, Iowa, metal band with a penchant for wearing masks designed to give children like her nightmares.

Taylor doesn't seem like a typical Seether fan, but she's not out of place. The concert, which sold out the lower grandstand and the festival area in front of the stage, was filled with a diverse crowd. Amid the sea of pale faces, dark hair and black T-shirts was a Dairy Princess, grandmother and a lot of babies. There was a mood of enthusiasm before the lineup - which consisted of Sick Puppies, Drowning Pool and Seether - kicked off.

Jess Willman, 16, of Dyersville, Iowa, had waited in line since 3 p.m. to secure a spot at the front of the stage with her friends Kelsey Horstman, 17, of Worthington, Tim Blaser, 17, of Peosta, and Kyle Gaul, 17, of Epworth. The teens said it was worth their while to stake out prime spots to watch Seether, even if they had to fill nearly four hours with idle conversation. But the biggest battle was yet to begin, as the petite girls waited for the music to start and the crowd to violently push its way toward them.

"We're counting on the boys to protect us," Willman said.

While Willman and her friends defended their territory, Matt Latham, 16, of Hazel Green, Wis., collected signatures on his T- shirt. Through the serendipitous connection of a friend's parent, he and two friends were granted special access to the VIP line before the concert for autographs and small talk. He carefully planned which spot on his kelly green

T-shirt would be graced by each band member, and he joked that it would be a long time before he washed the shirt again.

Originally published by COURTNEY BLANCHARD TH staff writer/[email protected]

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