So, I’m talking to my buddy Jesus. No, not that Jesus. If I talked to that one I’d probably be bilking you for donations and pretending to heal people. Anyways, he’s on his way to the Korn show in Rostraver. Freakin’ Rostraver. Belle Vernon, PA. Like well out of Pittsburgh. Why would Korn open their tour and first state side appearance with Brian “Head” Welch back fully with the band at a two thousand seat hockey arena in the middle of east “kubutt”?
Maybe it was the idea to have a nice warm up for the tour, the fact that drummer Ray Luzier’s grew up a stones throw from the place and much of his family was in attendance, or Korn just did not have a clue where Drusky Entertainment was able to book them? It doesn’t matter, it actually turned out to be pretty spectacular for the fans.
The excitement was pretty palpable for fans and bands alike. The audience was lined up fairly early in the day, made up of a lot of more rural folk who were pretty pumped for the big event. But what was even more interesting was to go behind the venue to the buses and see Brian “Head” Welch’s band Love and Death and their nerves piling up. Head himself rolling around in dirt, literally, soiling up his brand spankin’ new white outfit and prepping it for the tour as a film crew captured much of the happenings. Jonathan Davis cooly going about some last minute sound check vocals. David Draiman of Device (and Distrurbed?) just returning from his workout at the local gym (that he walked to) and enjoying some nutritious refreshment via Sheetz. These guys don’t act like rock stars. They don’t talk like stars. And most importantly they don’t treat anyone like the stereotypical rock star.
Before the show began I also ran into Josie from KornRow.com. She is super awesome and it was a pleasure to finally meet her and the people behind KornRow. Anyways, she shared some pix of her spending the day with some of the members of Korn who invited her, and other fans, hanging out at one of Ray’s family member’s farms (in the area) complete with camels and a leopard and all kinds of cool exotic animals. How many bands take their fans on intimate stuff like that? That was all before the show even began. But the show was what everyone was there for. Especially because Brian, fondly known as “Head”, was finally fully back with the band and even recording.
This was the first performance with Head in the States and it was going to be a momentous occasion. They could not have opened with a better song. It’s the song many of us discovered Korn with and became instant fans. (I remember seeing the video at 3AM on MTV one early morning after returning from Casey’s Draft House. It was the next day that CD became mine and my friends soundtrack. We saw the band at a small college in Ohio, caught them at Metropole, Lollapolooza, hung out with Fieldy and Head backstage at the Vans Warped Tour, and many more times in the beginning of their career.) All of it started with “Blind” and it remains my favorite song from the band. Return to present day and the hits just kept on coming (see the set list provided by KornRow.com). It was a special moment to hear them play “Chi”, especially when my bud Jesus gave Head a Chi sticker he made in honor of Chi Cheng from The Deftones (who was a very good friend of Korn) and he immediately put it on his guitar (see pictures below). Besides those mentioned, some highpoints would be “Falling Away From Me”, “Coming Undone”, “Another Brick In The Wall” and “Freak On A Leash”.
Korn is back in top form. For those of you who saw the Stage AE in Pittsburgh show last year, which was very good as well, there is nothing comparable to the interplay between Munky and Head that has returned. That chemistry was missing and is now back in full force. The between song guitar banter was mesmerizing. But as far as reunions go don’t hold your breath for former drummer David Silveria to come back (more on Korn’s end than his), but rather look forward to the release of the new record that promises to be a return to the old formula.
Setlist 5/15/13 Rostraver Ice Garden
Falling Away From Me
Dead Bodies Everywhere
Did My Time
Shoots & Ladders/Somebody Someone
Here to Stay
Kill Mercy Within
Helmet in the Bush
No Place to Hide
Another Brick in the Wall
Got the Life
Freak On a Leash
All photos ©2013 AWeldingphoto and Pittsburgh Music Magazine