Finally after a long, hot day it was KORN’s turn to play. I was interested to see how they would be received by the crowd of varying tastes. They certainly are great enough to headline this type of show, but even though they transcended “nu-metal” long ago they are still guilty by association to some modern metal fans. While my tastes have certainly changed in the ten years since I last saw them live, I have remained impressed with their musical output. As the lights went down for the last time of the day their massive stage was revealed. Never a political band in their career, their entire set was fashioned into an oil refinery complete with burning wells, drums and pipelines. This also also the theme of their new album’s artwork. They started playing right away and to my mild surprise most of the venue was into it. “Right Now” was a great choice to open with as the song is brutal, uptempo and had everybody in the place moving. Saying little to the crowd and blasting through cool renditions of “Here to Stay” and “Did My Time” KORN definitely kept the energy high. There were definitely a few hecklers that hung around to diss them and I don’t understand why they would. Why not just beat the traffic home? However, just like last year when MARILYN MANSON totally upstaged SLAYER in the face of boos, KORN took no prisoners and they owned the night anyway. After addressing the crowd lead singer Jonathan Davis introduced their first new song of the night “Oildale (Leave Me Alone)”. Fitting right in with their older material, the song went over big with the entire place joining Davis in his anguished wail for the chorus.
Sixteen years into KORN’s career Davis still rocks the track suit, still has the sick HR Geiger microphone stand and still delivers as one of the best singers ever in heavy music. Whether it’s rapping, singing, screaming, crying or bringing the deathly growls, Davis is a true artist. He is joined by remaining founding members Fieldy on bass and Munky on guitar. Between his Les Claypool inspired rhythmic thunks, great stage presence and his tuneful bass work, Fieldy is the heart and soul of the band. Munky now shoulders a lot of the playing and singing responsibility since Brian “Head” Welch departed a while back. The band is also joined by backup musicians Shane Gibson on second guitar and Zac Baird on keyboards, samples and additional vocals.
“Falling Away From Me” was introduced with a beautiful piano melody by Gibson before the entire band kicked in with that haunting, memorable riff. Another song from fan-favorite album Issues (Epic) was “Somebody Someone”. The track built to a slow boil and contrasts between a super funky baseline and a cool vocal line. The ending and has a crushing, dirge-like quality to it that I just love. Drummer Ray Luzier is truly a beast and really killed with his performance on this song. With his little mop of blond hair and his crazy, alternating over-handed stick style he kind of looks like Animal from The Muppet Show. He played a two-minute solo at the end of the song that was nuts and the crowd loved it.
Another new song, “Let the Guilt Go” was next and was a fast change of pace. After that Fieldy and Luzier traded impressive bass and drum solos and then jammed for a while with Gibson and Baird too. This led into the band’s best known song “Freak On A Leash”. The thing that never ceases to amaze me about KORN is their ability to write these huge, QUEEN- like sweeping choruses into songs in the frame of these down-tuned metal songs. Next was a trip down memory lane in the way of angsty first-album anthem “Blind”. “Shoots and Ladders” was and is still as creepy and ill with those dark nursery rhymes screamed out full bore. After the fast part at the end of the song the band went into the “jamming version” end part of METALLICA’s “One” and again the entire place erupted. Another old-y but goodie in “Clown” was also great to hear since it’s so sludgy and harsh. The harshness makes for a good contrast with the cool melody lines and the cathartic lyrics about alienation and payback. Hearing over 10,000 people singing “Clown you ain’t shit, turn around, get your face split!” at the same time is hard to beat as far as concert experiences go. When the last strains of the final song of the day and night “Got the Life” rang out in the venue it was safe to say Korn ruled the night and left everybody spent and happy when it was all over.
Here To Stay
Did My Time
Oildale (Leave Me Alone)
Falling Away From Me
Somebody, Someone/Drum Solo
Let The Guilt Go
Bass Solo/Drum Solo/Band Jam
Freak On A Leash
Shoots And Ladders/One (Metallica cover)
Got The Life
Reviewed on July 28th, 2010
by Keith Chachkes
Tags: alice cooper, All That Remains, Animal, avenged sevenfold, Brian “Head” Welch, Clockwork Orange, devilbat, Dream Theater, Eruption solo, Fellini, FFDP, Fieldy, Freak on a Leash, Guns N Roses, House of 1000 Corpses, Iron Maiden, Issues, Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan, joey jordison, John 5, jonathan davis, Killswitch Engage, Kiss, korn, Lamb of God, Les Claypool, M. Shadows, Marilyn Manson, Mark Morton, Metallica, Mike Portnoy, Munky, murderdolls, One-jamming version, Ooompa-Looompas, Overkill, pyro, Queen, Randy Blythe, ray luzier, Rob Zombie, seemless, Shadows Fall, Shane Gibson, slayer, Slipknot, Synyster Gates, the acacia strain, The Muppet Show, The Star Spangled Banner, three inches of blood, unearth, van halen, White Zombie, Willy Wonka, Zac Baird, “wall of death”