Fort Wayne, IN rock station 98.9 The Bear did teasers for a week about their 20th Anniversary Birthday Bash (guaranteed to be of “epic proportions”) when news finally broke on a lazy Monday that KORN would be stopping by on their Escape From the Studio tour, along with The Used and Burn Halo. At any time this would be huge for those of us longing for some good rock/metal, but then the djs announced the show would take place at Piere’s Entertainment Complex, a group of nightclubs with the capacity to hold 1400 in the main stage area. In other words, this show was obviously going to sell out, be off the charts insane, and bring out every mosher within the tri-state area. I was correct on all three.
About fifteen minutes before the start of the show security apologized for what was about to happen to those of us down front to shoot pictures. I can only speak for myself, but I think it’s safe to say we were all completely thrilled to be where we were no matter what was going to ensue.
Within seconds of the infamous Giger mic stand being unveiled band member Ray Luzier on drums emerged, followed by back-up members Shane Gibson on guitar and Zac Baird on keyboard. The crowd immediately surged towards the barricade and the sound was deafening by the time James “Munky” Shaffer, Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu, and Jonathan Davis took their stance on the stage and ran it up to full throttle with “Right Now”. It was about that time that I turned around to see that the “NO MOSHING ALLOWED” sign had been ripped down and a full-on pit was already raging.
There were a few instances when I wondered if there was a sound problem, but I think it was a combination of the crowd and raw power of the music itself that overshadowed Davis’s singing for the first couple of songs. There was also an issue with heat in the club. Davis mentioned this numerous times during the hour plus set, asking “What is up with this fucking heat?!” before slowing things down a bit with “Clown”. By the time the bagpipes came out for the beginning of “Shoots and Ladders” I felt like I was crawling out of my skin. This was absolutely the best concert I had been to in years and I was amazed and blown away by the perfection of the musical talent on the stage. It’s been said that the set list KORN is performing is the best since 2000 or possibly ever, I would agree. There are also some skeptics that have complained about Brian “Head” Welch not being with the band at this time, let me assure you that he is missed by presence only as Gibson fills Welch’s shoes so well that if your eyes were closed you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.
After being treated to songs such as “Chi”, “Ball Tongue”, and “Faget” there was a short break before the encore. Even the most hardcore concertgoer could not deny the instrumental anarchy that had been bestowed upon their ears the past three quarters of an hour. Upon returning as soon as the first notes left Munky’s guitar the crowd responded with “BLIND!” and from there sang along with every word of the song. The set was finished off with “Got the Life” in an extended version as Fieldy threw out t-shirts to the crowd and one by one each band member threw out picks, drum sticks, and some signed drum heads.
The chemistry between the bandmates might have changed through time, which is something you’d expect from any band that has stayed together over fifteen years, but their passion and growth has also changed-for the better. Todays KORN is unbelievably better than the KORN of a few years ago. Their love of their fans, their music, and what they are doing is conveyed to the audience like a neon sign. If you’re in the states and missed them on the first leg of their tour they will be back in July for a second wave. Save up some cash or pay off your credit card and get some tickets as this tour is not to be missed. (BONUS! Fieldy signs copies of his book before the show at the merch booth)
Here to Stay
Got the Life
ESCAPE FROM THE STUDIO EUROPEAN TOUR
06.08.09 – Zitadelle Spandau, Berlin, Germany
06.09.09 – Tesla Arena, Prague, Czech Republic
06.10.09 – Gasometer, Vienna, Austria
06.12.09 – Download Festival, Donington Park, UK
06.14.09 – Greenfield Festival, Interlaken, Switzerland
06.16.09 – The Rockhal, Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg
06.17.09 – Le Bataclan, Paris, France
06.18.09 – La Luna, Maubeuge, France
06.20.09 – Sonisphere Festival, Nijmegen, Holland
06.22.09 – Razzmatazz, Barcelona, Spain
06.23.09 – La Riviera, Madrid, Spain
06.24.09 – Polideportivo Anoeta, San Sebastián, Spain
06.26.09 – Idroscalo, Milan, Italy
06.27.09 – Graspop Metal Meeting, Dessel, Belgium
07.01.09 – Store Vega, Copenhagen, Denmark
07.03.09 – Quart Festival, Kristiansand, Norway
07.04.09 – Arvikafestivalen, Arvika, Sweden
07.06.09 – Helsingin Jäähalli, Helsinki, Finland
07.07.09 – Jubileyn Hall, St. Petersburg, Russia
07.08.09 – Gorky Park Green Theatre, Moscow, Russia
07.10.09 – EXIT Festival, Belgrade, Serbia
Message Board: http://korn.bhlabs.com/kornboard/
Jonathan Davis and the SFA: http://www.jdsfa.com/
Sebastien Paquet-photography and videography: http://www.klown.org/portfolio/