Show Review: Korn @ Wellmont Theatre – May 22nd, 2013
Korn returned to New Jersey with an old friend: founding guitarist Brian “Head” Welch.
Korn returned to New Jersey with an old friend: founding guitarist Brian “Head” Welch. Many people would have never imagined that Welch would one day reunite with his old bandmates. Brian left the band back in 2005 but reunited on stage with the California nu-metal act last year.
Before Mr. Welch could rock out with Korn, he had to step out as vocalist for Love and Death, his alt-metal band which released their latest album entitled Between Here & Lost on Tooth & Nail Records. As expected, the crowd was very supportive as the slim dreadhead took the mic for the band’s first song “Paralyzed”. “I think it’s time for ‘Whip It'” said Welch as he strapped on a guitar to cover Devo’s most popular tune. The metal version confused some in the crowd (mainly the older audience) but it was a top notch cover nonetheless. The audience didn’t seem as lively as they did in the beginning of the set which led to Welch saying “I remember a time when people started moshpits”. He decided to take matters into his own hands during their final song “Chemicals” (a song that he dedicated to those that have gone through or are going through substance abuse) by starting his own one man moshpit on stage and jokingly stating “I’ve seen a church youth group go crazier than you guys”.
Even after fronting a platinum selling, arena packing band for 15 years, starting fresh with a new band can be a challenge. Will the fans follow him on his new voyage or will they do the typical, “it’s not as good as his old band” talk? Luckily for David Draiman, legions of Disturbed fans showed their undying support towards his new project Device. The Brooklyn native stepped on stage wearing a black trench coat and greeted the crowd with “Are you ready, Montclair?”. The crowd responded with a sea of metal horns when Device dove into “Penance”. Draiman’s stage presence was very meat-and-potatoes which, depending on your point of view, could have been comforting or completely tedious. Russell Allen, vocalist for New Jersey’s own Symphony X, joined them on stage for the song “Haze”. It looked like Russell had a little trouble remembering the words as he kept glancing at his cellphone every few seconds. Device’s set wasn’t just filled with original tunes: the band belted out their cover of the Lita Ford/ Ozzy Osbourne track “Close My Eyes Forever” (a track that Draiman jokingly said would probably get everyone laid) and ended the evening with a cover of Nine Inch Nails’ “Wish”.
Around 10pm, the lights went down and Korn drummer Ray Luzier took his rightful place behind the kit to the roar of the crowd. Hitting the opening cymbals of “Blind” proved to be enough to get the sold out crowd fired up as moshpits broke out instantly. Cue the guitar riff and the cheers grew inordinately loud. Out comes Jonathan Davis and the metal horns were promptly thrusted in the air. With the words “Are you ready?”, the venue damn near shook with intense bouncing, hellacious movements in the pit and pulsating stage lights. “Blind” is one of those tracks that could have easily worked as either an epic finale or, in this case, a “kick you in the teeth” kind of intro that will undoubtedly set the tone for the entire set. The band then went into “Ball Tongue/ It Takes Too/ Lodi Dodi” which kept the ferocious energy from faltering.
Things slowed down for a bit during “Narcissistic Cannibal”, the Skrillex/Kill The Noise produced track from their 2011 “metalstep” album The Path of Totality, but the energy shot through the roof during the following song “Dead Bodies Everywhere”. Speaking of “Narcissistic Cannibal”, a lot of the samples from that and every other track during the set were very muffled. Jonathan Davis arrived with bagpipes in hand to signal the start of their nursery rhyme filled number “Shoots and Ladders” which ended with the outro to “Somebody Someone”. Their epic cover of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall” flourished with some guitar solos from James ‘Munky’ Shaffer.
The encore found Korn going back to The Path of Totality with “Get Up!”, a track which had the entire crowd scream “Shut the f**k up, get up”. Hearing “Got the Life” reminded me of the time when bands like Korn and Marilyn Manson were just as dominant on MTV as pop princesses Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Finishing off their set with “Freak on A Leash”, Korn (with Head back on board) sounded more dominant than ever. Davis took some time to acknowledge their returning band member with “I hope you had as much fun as we had with Head back”. With an uproar that could have been heard from their hometown of Bakersfield, it’s safe to say that Korn fans have welcomed him back with open arms.
Ball Tongue / It Takes Two / Lodi Dodi
Falling Away from Me
Dead Bodies Everywhere
Did My Time
Shoots and Ladders / Somebody Someone
Here to Stay
Helmet in the Bush
No Place to Hide
Another Brick in the Wall (Pink Floyd cover)
Got the Life
Freak on a Leash