December 1, 2005

Korn’s Gotham gig lacks usual excitement

By Mick Stingley

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Multiplatinum nu-metallers
Korn wheezed through some hits and showcased a few new songs
before a sold-out crowd during a special show Tuesday at New
York's Hammerstein Ballroom. The set was filmed for an upcoming
MTV2 special.

Expectations were high given the attention surrounding the
band's recent signing of a rumored $15 million deal with EMI,
in which the record company will share in the profits of the
band's touring and merchandise.

Appearing onstage before a multilayered digital video
screen, the band opened with "Here to Stay" and blazed right
into "Twist" and the discofied "Got the Life" before a mosh pit
of adoring fans. Singer Jonathan Davis looked slightly less
puffy than he has in recent years and bounced around the stage
flailing his dreadlocks. The band was tight and seemed eager to
prove itself after some time off.

Perhaps it was the distraction of the cameras, or perhaps
it was post-Thanksgiving tryptophan malaise, but Korn turned in
a scattershot performance completely lacking the sense of
danger that has made its live shows so exciting in the past.

The crowd didn't seem to mind. As Davis stomped about the
stage, bassist Fieldy salvaged the evening with his exuberant
headbanging. Half-kneeling while pounding his instrument, he
plays as if he's working out anger-management issues, scowling
at the crowd like they owed him money. He's fun to watch and
soaks up a lot of the attention.

Davis seemed winded and kept returning to his H.R.
Giger-designed microphone stand, grasping it and growling out
the lyrics to the hits "A.D.I.D.A.S," "Did My Time" and
"Blind." He did perk up briefly halfway through, when he broke
out his bagpipes for the intro to "Shoots and Ladders," drawing
enthusiastic whoops from the hall.

The band featured a few new songs from the forthcoming "See
You on the Other Side" (EMI/Virgin), notably "Coming Undone"
and "Twisted Transistor," which demonstrated that the band
retains its ability to churn out excellent heavy rock.

The one shining moment on this off night for Korn came
during the encore with a rollicking performance of the song
"Y'All Want a Single," the band's scathing indictment of the
record industry. Considering its groundbreaking deal with EMI,
the words rang hollow.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter