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KORN 05-24-2010
Written by Adam Tibbott   
Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Jagermeister's Ball Room Blitz Tour
Sokol Auditorium
Omaha, Nebraska
May 24th, 2010

Even with a sold out crowd ready to see one of the most prolific rock/metal bands of my generation, a dark cloud hung over Sokol Auditorium. Months before the show, tickets were sold out, leaving fans nearly rabid for the chance to see KORN in such an intimate venue. Hours before the show though, it had been announced that Paul Gray, founding memeber of SLIPKNOT, had been found dead in a Des Moines, Iowa hotel room. Even with the excitement of the evening, you could feel the somber tone coming from the crowd. It only took a few hours from the time the doors opened for the horrible news to reach nearly everyone in auditorium. I was one of the few who'd chosen to wear one of Slipknot's shirts to honor Paul's memory. My eyes were met my many somber glances and quiet nods or recognition through out the evening. We all muscled on though and prepaired ourselves for Jagermeister's Ballroom Blitz tour.

Local band Curb Stone opened the show. They're a Jagermeister sponsored metal band and did a great job priming the crowd, especially with their cover of Chris Isaac's Wicked Game.

2 Cents kept the momentum of the evening going. These guys really know how to pump up the crowd and keep that energy going. Then there's Adam O'Rourke. See, Adam O'Rourke does something uncommon in the metal genre, he's not only the lead singer of the band 2cents, he's also their drummer. Adam did take pass drumming duties off to a few special guests for the last portion of their set, and took the opportunity to strut around the stage like a stag guarding his harem. And yes, Adam confirmed after their set that he really does want to eat Skittles out of a girl's butt. How's that rainbow gonna taste?

And then there was Korn. What can I really say? It wasn't until 2006 that I saw Korn for the first time. I honestly regret not joining my friends on a roadtrip to see the band play in Iowa City, Iowa back in 1994. And I really wish I'd have gotten to see the original Family Values back in 1998. There are very few bands touring today that, when I photograph, honestly make me nervous. Korn is one of those bands.

I got a sneak peak of the setlist as the crew was setting up the stage. Not a single song from Korn's last two releases would be played and the majority would be taken from their first 3 releases. My first clue that tonight would be brutal was the stage manager drilling Jonathan's H.R. Giger inspired mic stand to the stage, the crowd's was the revealing of said one-of-a-kind mic stand. I've never heard people scream for a mic stand before.

Ray Luzier was the first member to take the stage. In case you haven't heard, this guy is a fucking animal behind a drum kit. Not that Silveria isn't a fabulous drummer, but Ray seems more at home shyaring the stage with Korn than Silveria did. Shane Gibson and Zac Baird, wearing his trademark horse mask and bridal, soon followed and the crowd's approval grew even louder. Munky and Fieldy came bouncing onto the stage and ripped into the openeing chords of 4U, only increasing the crowd's excitement. It's great that Munky takes on such a unique persona on stage. This time the upper half of his face painted white with black dots outlining a Day of teh Dead-esque mask. From the opening chords alone, Dead Bodies got the crowd worked into a quick frenzy and the band continued that momentum through and into Need and Coming Undone. Fans started crowd surfing and flowing over the barricades regularly during Here To Stay and Falling Away From Me. The entire venue shook during Here To Stay. It was so amazing to see a band like Korn in such a small venue. Oildale was met with an incredible enthusiasm from the crowd, especially with it being such a new track. Like anyone int he crowd would have responded negatively when Davis asked us if we wanted to hear a new song. Retreating to the back of the stage, Davis tooks hits off of an oxygen mask during the interludes between Somebody Someone, Did My Time and Throw Me Away. The crowd was given just enough space between each track to catch their breathes before being pummeled into aural submission again. The bass was thundering. You could feel the entire venue vibrating through your shoes.

The vast majority of fans that I'd spoken with during the show had never seen Korn live before. Given that Sokol Auditorium only hold upwards of twenty five hundred people, this was a very intimate experience for everyone, especially the newbies. I did find a slight piece of irony that Johnathan Davis was wearing an A.D.I.D.A.S. jogging suite, even though the song of the same name wasn't played.

Helmut In The Bush. Always a crowd favorite. This tour really was a thank you to all the old school Korn fans. I've only seen Korn live a handfull of time so it was great hearing the older tracks that were rarely played on tour now. Freak On A Leash got the ground bouncing and that momentum continued into Blind. I've never seen the fans at Sokol Auditorium erupt like it was doing during Blind.

Thankfully only a handfull of people left after the closing chords of Blind. The crowd quieted just enough for Davis' bagbipes to break the silence. The show was far from over. Shoots And Ladders got the exhausted crowd back on their feet and pushed them to the edge. A collective gasp sounded when the band broke into Clown, another track that isn't played nearly enough. If the crowd was in fact exhausted from Korn's set, it didn't show. Every bit of energy the crowd had during Dead Bodies was shared during Got The Life, the last song of the evening. Over all, Korn proved once again they are "here to stay."

I was one of the lucky few to get a high five from Davis as he was being escorted out of the venue. Munky joined a small group of fans after the show and hung out with us for almost an hour. We spoke about Paul Gray and how he and Munky were going to start a side project this fall. We offered Paul a moment of silence and none of us had dry eyes, even Munky shed a tear. Talking with Ray Lazuir after the show, he confirmed that Army Of Anyone is not dead. After Korn, Filter and Stone Temple Pilot's summer tours, Luzier said he would be re-uniting with Richard Patrick and the Deleo brothers to write for what will be Army Of Anyone's sophomore release.




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