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 Korn
Rocking the USA!
 
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......Korn's video screens suspended over the stage at the San Francisco Cow Palace Arena, a recurring image out of a child's primal nightmare welcomed fans into Korn's netherworld. While the guitarists in the Bakersfield, Calif., quintet hunched over their instruments like black-clad penitents, as the videos showed a youth fleeing an unseen predator. Wandering through a house out of "The Shining," the boy confronts demons and ghosts, and his worst fears come to life in the claustrophobic shadows. Korn's set began with Blair Witch-like footage of people running from something in the woods being projected on the huge Korn TV set at the back of the stage.
......With the rest of the band lurching over its open-tuned guitars as if the weight of the music was pressing down, Davis' tortured psyche was unleashed through a sexy, biomechanical mic stand designed by H.R. Giger. Unlike the two opening acts, Korn's set was dominated by crowd-pleasing hits from past albums such as "Blind," "A.D.I.D.A.S.," "Freak on a Leash," and "Dead Bodies Everywhere," with newer tracks like "Here to Stay" and "Hating" thrown in as well. While it sounded at times as if the band was on the verge of falling apart, Korn was able to make it through each song, even pulling off a cover of Metallica's "One" - a song that clearly influenced all the members of Korn.
..... One of the better moments of the show was when the aggression and head-banging pace gave way to the creeping industrial sounds of "Alone I Break," with Davis allowing his emotional vulnerability to shine. Korn was able to please the several thousand fans in attendance, even breaking out the bagpipes in its encore for the nursery rhyme medley of "Shoots and Ladders." In true arena rock fashion, the show ended with a bang as shimmering confetti was blasted into the air, raining down on the stage and the lucky fans on the floor level.
.....While Korn's sound has influenced a number of today's popular bands and has evolved over time to remain appealing, it was clear on this night that metal will always be better than pop music - no matter how popular that metal might be. Though Davis has an undeniable anti-charisma, both as a stage presence and singer, his subject matter made for a one-note concert. He sang in a multitude of voices about not fitting in, over and over again. Especially on the latest album, "Untouchables," obsession with squealing guitar solos and instead used their effects pedals to conjure the sounds of rusty swing sets and children's music boxes, cinematic colorations that served as sonic reminders of Davis' forlorn past.
......But much of the inventiveness and nuance in Korn's sound was sacrificed in concert to the bludgeoning of arena rock: This was less about melody and psycho-drama than it was relentless thump and grind. Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu's bass kept the hip-hop element in the band's sound at the forefront, often at the expense of everything else. In the cavernous arena, Arvizu's bass sounded like Satan's mallet, smashing down on Davis' vocals until the melodies he brings to Korn's latest album. became little more than mulch. Korn is the biggest rock band in North America at the moment, with "Untouchables" jousting with Eminem's "The Eminem Show" for chart supremacy, and complacency has started to set in. A remorseless professionalism has replaced the dreadlock-flinging intensity of the quintet's mid-'90s concerts, when Korn was infiltrating the suburbs by word of mouth. Back then, the band hadn't quite refined its sound, but it had no problem filling the mosh pit with pit-bull hysteria. Now, with nothing to prove, Korn basked in its stardom, with Davis turning his self-flagellation into a misfit celebration of sorts on the anthemic "A.D.I.D.A.S.," "Freak on a Leash," "Faget," "Got the Life" and the latest single, "Here to Stay." At least Davis has a musical persona that is grounded in some sort of original vision, however twisted. . And that's become a really, really good thing as the group have honed their chops and taken their low-riding seven-string guitar-driven sound into all sorts of interesting new directions, none of them wanting in the least in the wallop department. Jonathan Davis has grown, too, managing to get both his low range bellow and his high pitched warble to work well for him, sometimes in the same song--or even the same line of the same Song. N short, Korn sound like Korn--and nobody else

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   Korn Setlist:
01. Here to Stay
02. Twist
03. ADIDAS
04. Blind
05. Embrace
06. Faget
07. Falling Away From Me 08. Blame
09. Medley: Make Me Bad/ One/ Intro to Justin
/ Freak On A Leash
10. Somebody Someone
11. Thoughtless





 
 
 
 

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