This whole show was very well thought out and well performed. Korn did well to find something to really modernise their sound and change what they do. I loved their first three albums and have fond memories of seeing them much earlier on in their career, when they were more edgy, dangerous and even a bit scary on stage. That said, for about the last ten years I feel that they have just re-made the same album over and over, with a couple of good singles on it each time.

Their gig at Bristol at times had a party atmosphere, which was right on the money, showing this band does still understand its audience. I think they are wise to have taken a change in direction, as they were running the risk of simply becoming parodies of themselves, if they haven’t already done so. Jonathon Davies does not always help his cause either with the things that he says to journalists, for instance “we invented dubstep” and “we were never a metal band” (I think he is wrong on both counts there), but this time the music and the performance did the talking. The crowd were willing to give J Devil and Downlink a chance I feel. Downlink made a good judgement call in playing his remix of “Chop Suey!” last before Korn’s set began, as it became a kind of sing along and set the tone well for what was to come. The atmosphere amongst the punters was for the most part pretty friendly, even though everyone was packed tight into a fairly small, sweaty, enclosed space. A couple of times strangers struck up conversations with me about the music, or speculated on what the band would play next. I am used to London audiences where that kind of thing almost never happens. During the greatest hits part of the show, those standing on the main floor behaved like savages and it was brilliant to hear classics like ‘Freak on a Leash’, ‘Blind’ and ‘Falling Away From Me’. I think the band made another good call in including ‘Oildale’ from ‘Korn 3: Remember Who You Are’ in tonight’s set list, a song they hadn’t played on any of their other stops on this tour.

This was the smallest venue I have ever seen them play and so it was cool to see the band members at close quarters. I enjoyed Ray Luzier’s drumming, which visible to everyone as he was lifted up on a very high drum riser, with his kit inside a kind of metal cage. The new album means that Korn will be around for a good few years yet, but I wonder how much of a Korn album it is and how much it is Jonathon using his band as a vehicle for his own interests. They played six songs from ‘The Path of Totality’ and if I’m honest it is hard to see what involvement the other band members had with the creation of those tracks and what input they provide to the performing of them on stage. Munky and Fiedly seemed to mope around during that part of the night not knowing what to do with themselves. I don’t think Korn can really do another dubstep/ metal album successfully, nor do I think they can re-tread any old ground any more.

Advertisements