Paradiso, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
20th March 2012
Korn, Downlink, JDevil
With their 10th album ‘The Path of Totality’, nu-metal formation KORN is again taking a new path in their career. The new album combines the raw edge of the KORN sound we know with Drum N Bass and dubstep influences from producers such as SKRILLEX and NOISIA. KORN has been around for over almost 20 years now, their career seriously taking off in the nineties with the albums ‘Freak on a Leash’ and ‘Here to Stay’. Their sound has changed with every album, but has always been distinguishable with the sound that KORN stands for, although not all KORN fans would agree. Tonight’s show at Paradiso was completely sold out, and the band announced on their website that the entire show would be streamed live. You can check out the full show right here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymRx0zZACco
JDEVIL is the alter ego of KORN front man Jonathan Davis, exploring his qualities as a Drum N Bass DJ. http://jdevil.com/. Quite a smart move to put JDEVIL aka Jonathan Davis in the program as support act. While Paradiso gets more and more packed, JDEVIL entertains the audience with some nice beats. There’s not much more to say about this short intro, except that Jonathan was definitely having a great time on stage, jumping around and welcoming the audience. He seemed to have a bit of trouble seeing through his black lenses though, resulting in difficult expressions while gazing at his computer screen. Having read the reviews of my colleagues here at RoD from the German shows, I was relieved that the sound was at a very acceptable level.
Total: 5.5 / 10
DOWNLINK is a Canadian DJ with roots in Jungle & DnB. He grew up in Kelowna, an industrial town in British Columbia, Canada, and was first introduced to dubstep in 2007. DOWNLINK combines the laid-back vibes of the old school DnB and jungle with broad influences from heavy metal to astrophysics. His first two releases charted at #1 on several popular online music stores and soon he found his way onto Rottun Recordings which seemed a suiting place for his music. http://www.myspace.com/downlinkdub
Music & Performance
DJ DOWNLINK provided a very short set since we were already running behind on schedule. Nonetheless, he treats the audience to some very groovy and heavy beats, providing a proper warm up for the KORN show, which for sure will include some DnB influences as well. The audience began to move a little bit to the beat, although most of them seemed just to be impatient for the KORN show to start. If this would be a regular night out on the weekend though, and I was looking for some dancing beats, I could easily enjoy myself on the dance floor with the sound of DOWNLINK.
Total: 5.8 / 10
KORN started out almost 20 years ago in 1993, releasing their first self titled album ‘Korn’ just one year later. Along with the next album ‘Life is Peachy’ from 1996, it is a favourite among early KORN fans. The third instalment ‘Follow The Leader’ proved to be their commercial breakthrough but was criticized by many of their fans. ‘Korn III - Remember Who You Are’ was supposed to have a bit of the old dark flavour and received mixed critiques. The most recent album ‘The Path Of Totality’ poses a new challenge to the flexibility of the old fans, mixing rock elements with DnB. KORN is Jonathan Davis (vocals), James Shaffer (guitar), Reginald Arvizu (bass) and Ray Luzier (drums). http://www.korn.com/ / http://www.facebook.com/korn / http://www.myspace.com/korn
Music & Performance
After DOWNLINK, the last preparations were made quickly for the KORN show. When Jonathan’s signature Giger microphone stand (affectionately called “The Bitch”) was placed on stage and the intro started, the audience began cheering and clapping already. The lights went out and bass player Reginald entered the stage with some fancy fluorescent strings on his guitar, tapping the first tones for and old-school song. KORN takes off with some old songs, starting with ‘Predictable’ and ‘Lies’, both from their debut album. The audience went crazy, jumping up and down, which made taking photos quite a challenge since Paradiso has no photo pit. Nothing wrong with a little challenge though! After ‘No place to hide’ from their second album ‘Life is Peachy’ and ‘Good God’, the band makes a leap forward to their latest album ‘The Path of Totality’. I have to admit that I had a hard time getting used to the dubstep beats on their new CD. In their live show, the overall sound was balanced much better, mixing heavy electronic influences with the bass and brutal drum sound of Reginald and Ray. I can get used to that!
After a taste of the new KORN, the band reassures the audience with some greatest hits. ‘Here to Stay’, ‘Freak on a Leash’ and ‘Falling away from Me’ turn Paradiso in a steamy mass of moshing people. KORN proves their live status with a blast of energy and a great light show with awesome led panels. I noticed Jonathan needed to use an oxygen mask a few times during the show (he’s been dealing with the consequences of asthma since he’s a kid), but this did not at all seemed to temper his energy nor his devotion to the show. Respect! The main set is concluded with PINK FLOYD cover ‘Another Brick in the Wall’ and Jonathan waves the audience goodbye. As the audience kept cheering and yelling, it did not take long for KORN to climb the stage again for the encore. The concluding songs of their show start with the classic ‘Shoots and Ladders’ from their debut album, the intro taken care of by Jonathan on his bagpipe (how I would’ve loved to take some photos of that part!). The song flows into METALLICA’s ‘One’ and is followed by two more classics ‘Got the Life’ and ‘Blind’ visibly satisfying the audience, who sung along loudly.
Although I still appreciate the old wicked KORN sound, this live show also convinced me about the new path they’ve taken. Personally I think we cannot expect from artists to keep doing the same thing for years and years, no matter how much we like their old work. In the end, this will become monotonous and boring for the artist in the first place and eventually also to the audience. Whether you like the new KORN is of course a matter of taste, but there’s no doubt that live the band definitely stands their ground. Thumbs up!
03. No Place to Hide
04. Good God
05. Narcissistic Cannibal
06. Kill Mercy Within
07. Chaos Lives in Everything
08. My Wall
09. Get Up!
10. Way Too Far
11. Here to Stay
12. Freak on a Leash
13. Falling Away From Me
14. Oildale (Leave Me Alone)
15. Another Brick in the Wall (Pink Floyd cover)
16. Shoots and Ladders / One
17. Got the Life
Total: 7.8 / 10
All pics by Ruth Mampuys (www.ruth-less.nl)