THE PEARL AT THE PALMS, LAS VEGAS
Nu metal icons ramp up the fun factor to commemorate a classic album
LAS VEGAS HAS
been blessed with some pretty special Korn shows over the last few years, from intimate venues like the House Of Blues to the 20,000-max-capactity T-Mobile Arena, but it doesn’t get more special than a venue boasting that no seat is more than 120 feet from the stage. Not that anyone is sitting in them, of course, the packed house of 2,500 being ready to rock from the off, but, still, this is a great place to see one of just three shows celebrating the 20th anniversary of the groundbreaking Follow The Leader album.
As such, the first part of the set is taken up with just that, kicking off with the aptly named It’s On!, Freak On A Leash, Got The Life, and the thunderous Dead Bodies, each sounding as fresh as the day they were released. Curious minds will have already seen the setlist from the LA show two days earlier, so it’s no surprise that the band skip Children Of The Korn (featuring Ice Cube) and All In The Family (featuring Fred Durst), although strange that they also omit Pretty from these shows. Perhaps after 20 years that harrowing tale is still too raw. This is, after all, a night of celebration.
Indeed, the band seem to be genuinely having fun tonight. After a very short set change they launch into Blind, frontman Jonathan Davis all smiles as the crowd blow the roof off this place. Not that there aren’t serious moments – hey, this is Korn – a stunning rendition of 4U from ‘99s Issues album clearly aimed at Jonathan’s recently deceased wife, and for a moment he seems all alone up there. But before that is the truly uplifting singalong Y’all Want A Single, which in its own way is just as moving. Just try not to grin at two and a half thousand people yelling “Fuck that!”
In keeping with the anniversary thing, Korn close the set with My Gift To You, the last song on Follow The Leader. It makes sense in that context, but, in all honesty, doesn’t really work as a finale, being rather too long and too slow, although again moving since it’s aimed at Davis’s wife. It would also have been cool if they touched on later albums just a little. Sure, tonight is a look at the past, but Korn are still leading where others follow. Hell, some bands still haven’t caught up yet!
Jonathan Davis proves Korn still lead the nu metal pack Head has long reclaimed his place in the Kornline-up