Korn - Hollywood Palladium - 12/6/11
See also: Wait, Now Korn Invented Dubstep?!
Better Than...going to a Brian Welch book reading.
To mark the release of their latest album, The Path of Totality, veteran hard rock outfit Korn took over The Palladium with an assortment of guests last night. The dubstep-driven album is a one-off experimental record that's different than anything the group has done. It's worked so far, spawning a surprise Top-10 rock hit with "Get Up!" featuring Skrillex, and has reintroduced them to a new audience, as was evident by the surprising number of younger fans in attendance.
Korn's 75-minute set had two very different halves. To go with the new album, the Bakersfield-bred outfit had some of the dubstep DJs on the work perform before their set, and then played with some during the dubstep portion of the show. The other half was their more traditional songs. This was as unique of a show as I've ever seen. Despite Jonathan Davis's proclamation that Korn is one of the forefathers of dubstep, splitting the gig like that took balls, and the fans seemed to respect their vision.
Despite having little familiarity withe band's new material, the crowd was as energetic as any I've seen in this city. As the dubstep portion of the set progressed, more fans were getting into it; pushing, jumping and crowd surfing to the point of reckless abandon and bodily harm. They didn't care about their bodies as they were so invested in the music. I must have been kicked or shoved half a dozen times while taking photos due to spillover from the fans into the pit. In the era of wussified indie rock it was nice to see people lose their shit at a concert. The show was being filmed for a DVD so I'm sure all of this was captured.
After a very short intermission the band returned for the second set, and the crowd's energy level rose to another level. Fans were jumping and flailing their arms in unison, screaming along to some of the band's biggest hits. After sporting an all-black outfit with what appeared to be a pirate apron wrapped around his waist during the first set, Davis performed shirtless for the second.
Before closing with "Blind," Davis thanked his bandmates for having faith in the album and putting aside their pride for the greater good of the project. He also thanks the crowd for supporting an experimental album. It was a poignant, raw moment where you could tell how respectful the band and its fans are of each other. Whether this album will have legs remains to be seen, but on this night, Korn's one of a kind show delighted most everyone in attendance.
Personal Bias: Not a fan of dubstep, but I still appreciated what they were doing.
The Crowd: Very diverse. You had everyone from teens to Fred Durst look-alikes roaming the floor.
Random Notebook Dump: Counting tattoos at a Korn concert can be quite challenging.
Set list below: