Korn – [Live]

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Now almost twenty years into their career, it could be said that fans never know what to expect when Korn announces a new album and supporting tour. Any misgiving that even the longest-running, most devout fans might have is understandable; Korn is short two founding members these days and has made a lot of changes to their sound (from nu metal to electronic to goth to meddling with dub step and more) – so the idea that the band may have lost a little potency as their direction has become obscured isn't just reasonable, it's almost expected. The beauty of preconceived notions is that they beg to be toppled though, and that's exactly what Korn did when they completed the second leg of their North American Tour in support of The Path of Totality in San Francisco at the Warfield Theater. There, the Bakersfield-bred quartet showed the near-sold-out crowd that they are still a relevant force in the world of modern metal and demolished all the preconceived notions, misgivings and concerns that crowd may have had.

Opening (perfectly enough) with “Predictable,” Korn tore the stage apart immediately and never looked back with a set which included rarities, covers, hits and a surprisingly large number of songs from Path of Totality. The set guaranteed that the band would have their audience's attention, but even better was the image that they cut as they made their way along; with dramatic lighting effects, guitarist Munky Shaffer seemed to just seethe as he knocked out all of the textural tones of songs like “Helmet In The Bush,” “Chaos Lives In Everything,” “Get Up!” and “Here To Stay,” while Fieldy stood opposite him onstage, striking majestic poses with his bass. That set the backdrop but, as he's always done, singer Jonathan Davis was the true spectacle at stage center. Now back in what could only be called “fighting shape” (read: the singer has shed the weight he's been known to put on depending on the consistency of his mood), Davis nailed every note of his performance and whipped the crowd to a froth as he did it; the tenor of the show only increased as the set began to slide back and include a few older hits (“Freak On A Leash” and “Falling Away From Me” were particular stand-outs) and reached a pinnacle of power with the band's cover of Pink Floyd's “Another Brick In The Wall,” following which the band walked off-stage for a few minutes before returning for their encore.

For their encore, Korn made sure to give fans the songs that everyone knows and wants to see, beginning with “Shoots and Ladders” before sliding into “Got The Life” and wrapping with “Blind.” None of these choices was wildly surprising, but the fans were obviously hooked on every note as “Shoots and Ladders” saw the crowd begin to turn vicious – fueled by “Got The Life” – before absolutely erupting one last time with “Blind.” That end was the finest exercise for Korn because, above all else, it proved the band still has teeth and is still very much a relevant force in modern metal. Korn knocked their audience out hard at the Warfield; it's good to see that they still can.

Korn – Warfield Theater 03/04/12
01. Predictable
02. Lies
03. No Place To Hide
04. Helmet in the Bush
05. Narcissistic Cannibal
06. Chaos Lives in Everything
07. My Wall
08. Get Up!
09. Way Too Far
10. Here To Stay
11. Freak on a Leash
12. Falling Away From Me
13. Another Brick In The Wall

01. Shoots and Ladders / One
02. Got The Life
03. Blind


Korn – San Francisco, CA – Warfield Theater – 03/04/12


Korn's world tour continues. For a list of upcoming shows, click here .


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