Tag Archives: Korn

REVIEW: System Of A Down & Korn Help Phoenix Get Lost in the Grandeur (1-31-22)

PHOENIX — In 2020, System Of A Down announced a massive tour co-headlining with Faith No More and Korn, with support from Helmet and Russian Circles. As the pandemic progressed, the shows were postponed a total of three times, with the final postponement due to Serj Tankian (frontman of System of a Down) contracting COVID in October. Faith No More also announced that they would be canceling the concerts so Mike Patton could step back to handle mental health issues. Korn had dropped out, but once Faith No More canceled, Korn returned. To the delight of the metal faithful in Arizona, it was also announced that this line-up (excluding Faith No More and Helmet) would be playing a show at an arena in Phoenix now known by many names. This arena, built in 1992, is now known as Footprint Center and is now on it’s 6th name. The arena just completed a much needed remodel, which brings the once dated arena firmly into the 21st century.

The show started off with Russian Circles, a group that was founded by two childhood friends, Michael Sullivan and Dave Turncrantz, who play guitar and drums respectively. They are joined by Brian Cook, who is the bassist, baritone guitarist, and keyboardist for the instrumental band. Surprisingly, the set was only 18 minutes and 3 songs, but in that short timeframe the post-metal band impressed the audience with their highly technical prowess. If Russian Circles is billed as an opener, it is well worth your time to arrive early enough to catch this trio’s excellent mastery of crescendos and crashes of bass and drums.

Jonathan Davis of Korn in concert at Footprint Center
Jonathan Davis (Vocalist) – Korn
| Photography:
Katherine Amy Vega © All Rights Reserved

With a “Here we go!” from lead singer Jonathan Davis, the first bars of Korn’s “Here to Stay” began, spotlights flashed from the stage, and strobing lightboxes backlit the band. Throughout the night, the unmistakable voice of Davis was replaced many times by the audience, as he solicited audience participation. When performing live, Korn has an underappreciated ability to echo the sound of their studio recordings, and it speaks to the vast talent of not just Davis, but guitarist Brian “Head” Welch, guitarist James “Munky” Shaffer, drummer Ray Luzier, and Ra Diaz (who is filling in for Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu while he takes time to “heal and reflect at home”). 

Brian Welch of Korn in concert at Footprint Center
Brian Welch (Guitarist) – Korn
| Photography:
Katherine Amy Vega © All Rights Reserved

Korn is well known for their staggeringly large discography, with 13 studio albums having been released, and a 14th out on February 4th named “Requiem”. The audience was treated to the live debut of the song “Start the Healing”. As part of the upcoming album release, Korn will be playing a “Requiem Mass” on the evening of February 3rd at Hollywood United Methodist Church, which will be live-streamed worldwide.

Jonathan Davis (Vocalist) & Ray Luzier (Drummer) – Korn
Katherine Amy Vega © All Rights Reserved

Three songs later, Davis came out on the stage with his bagpipe, playing the intro to “Shoots and Ladders,” the third single from their eponymous debut album. This, predictably, caused the crowd to erupt, much to the delight of Davis. There is a connection and love between Korn and the audience, which takes the shows to another level. Davis is 4 months removed from his battle with COVID, which saw him have to sit on a throne and use oxygen while performing during a show on August 27th. It is a relief to watch him move around with no noticeable side effects from his battle, which he said scared him shitless.

Jonathan Davis (Vocalist) – Korn
| Photography:
Katherine Amy Vega © All Rights Reserved

The crowd, at the urging of Davis, held up their middle fingers collectively during “Y’All Want a Single” – a song written in response to Sony asking for them to “write a radio hit.” This likely is not at all what the poor sap who made this request expected to get, but it has become a fan favorite. Other hits included “Freak on a Leash,” “Did My Time,” and “A.D.I.D.A.S.” As Korn wrapped up, Davis thanked the fans, and almost ominously said, “…we’ll come back and fuck this motherfucker up one more fucking time.”

As the opening notes of “X” played, System Of A Down was silhouetted against the curtain in the moments before it dropped. Serj Tankian – vocalist and keyboardist – was center stage, flanked by guitarist Daron Malakian to his right, bassist Shavo Odadjian to his left, and drummer John Dolmayan almost directly behind him. “Prison Song” was performed next with an arsenal of nearly blinding strobes that assaulted the audience. An extraordinarily intense light show, designed to match the intensity of their music, would persist through the night.

Serj Tankian of System Of A Down in concert at Footprint Center
Serj Tankian (Vocalist, Keyboardist) – System Of A Down
Katherine Amy Vega © All Rights Reserved

To watch System Of A Down play is like watching one of the great Renaissance masters paint. A great painter must carefully select their canvas, their paint, and then they must be able to combine these quality pieces in such a way that it withstands not only the test of time, but withstands the test of the taste of that particular moment. System Of A Down does this with an ease that defies the expectations of a band that has only released 2 new songs in the last 16 years. Tankian’s voice is the paint over the music that stands in for the canvas, and we in the audience are the viewers who do not necessarily realize what beauty we are witnessing in the moment.

Serj Tankian of System Of A Down in concert at Footprint Center
Serj Tankian (Vocalist, Keyboardist) – System Of A Down
Katherine Amy Vega © All Rights Reserved

Tankian has one of the greatest vocal ranges in all of metal at 4 octaves. This was on full display in “Chop Suey,” one of the songs that landed them squarely in the mainstream limelight, though the metal community was made aware of the band a few years before with the release of their first album and the success of “Sugar” and “Spiders.” While lavish praise should be heaped on Tankian for his immense vocal talent, the same praise should also be heaped onto Odadjian and Malakian, as they make highly technical and rather difficult riffs look absolutely effortless.

Imagine how incredible it would have been if Tankian and his would-be tour mate, Mike Patton of Faith No More (who boasts an unbelievable 6 octave range) accompanied each other for one song.

It is impossible to discuss System Of A Down and their impact without discussing their political contributions. Tankian in particular acts as a prominent voice for the downtrodden and the less fortunate, both in lyrics and in his personal capacity. The two new songs, “Genocidal Humanoidz” and “Protect the Land,” were released in response to the Nagorno-Karabakh war in 2020. The two singles raised about $600,000 for the Armenians who were affected by the devastating war. Both songs were played separately during this concert, with Malakian first thanking the audience for the last year, and then starting to explain what the song “Protect the Land” was about, only to turn to Tankian to ask him to explain the song. Tankian turned to the audience and said, “This one goes out to all the indigenous people in the world that are fighting for their rights. For all of the people in the world protecting their families against evil and injustice. We are all united, and we are one.” As the band launched into the song, the lights behind the band lit up in the colors of the Armenian flag.

Shabo Odadjian of System Of A Down in concert at Footprint Center
Shabo Odadjian (Bassist) – System Of A Down
Katherine Amy Vega © All Rights Reserved

It could be argued that the mark of a great show is that it alters the perception of the passage of time. In this case, by the time the band played the opening notes of “Sugar,” their first hit that made the metal world take notice of the band with Dadaist lyrics, a distaste of the exploitation of the less fortunate, and a lyrically devastating take on war – both the wars between countries and the war on drugs – it felt like only moments had passed, when in reality it was an hour and a half set.

Serj Tankian of System Of A Down in concert at Footprint Center
Serj Tankian (Vocalist, Keyboardist) – System Of A Down
Katherine Amy Vega © All Rights Reserved

Earlier in the night, Davis had said, “It’s so good to be back up here, y’all. The world has been going through some crazy shit, and this is where I get to forget all about it. I want y’all to do me a favor tonight: I want you to just forget about everything. We got System Of A Down coming up, and I want you guys to do this for me: just forget and have a good fucking time!” This challenge was accepted by the enthusiastic crowd, who spent 4 hours losing themselves to the sounds of these masters of metal as they performed their greatest hits.

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Photographer: Katherine Amy Vega

System of a Down & Korn – Footprint Center 1-31-22

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Photography © Katherine Amy Vega, Kataklizmic Design
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System Of A Down Online:

Korn, Breaking Benjamin Announce 2020 North American Tour

Grammy award-winning heavyweights Korn and multi-platinum hard rockers Breaking Benjamin today announced their epic tour set for 2020. Fans will have the chance to see two of the biggest forces in rock perform on the same stage each night across North America in the new year. Special guests Bones UK will also join the tour on all dates.

Produced by Live Nation, the expansive 24-city outing will kick off January 23rd in Allentown, PA and make stops in Montreal, Columbus, St. Paul, Portland and more, before wrapping March 1st in Fresno, CA.

Citi is the official presale credit card of the tour. As such, Citi cardmembers will have access to purchase presale tickets beginning Tuesday, October 29th at 10am local time until Thursday, October 31st at 10PM local time through Citi EntertainmentSM. For complete presale details click HERE. Tickets go on sale to the general public beginning Friday, November 1st at 10am local time HERE.

Korn and Breaking Benjamin 2020 North American Tour Dates

 1-23-20 Allentown, PA PPL Center*
1-25-20 Manchester, NH SNHU Arena
1-27-20 Québec, QC Videotron Centre
1-28-20 Montreal, QC Bell Centre
1-30-20 Grand Rapids, MI Van Andel Arena*
1-31-20 Columbus, OH Schottenstein Center
2-3-20 Evansville, IN Ford Center
2-4-20 Fort Wayne, IN Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
2-6-20 Rockford, IL BMO Harris Bank Center
2-7-20 St. Paul, MN Xcel Energy Center*
2-9-20 Green Bay, WI Resch Center+
2-12-20 North Little Rock, AR Simmons Bank Arena
2-13-20 Springfield, MO JQH Arena
2-15-20 Cedar Rapids, IA U.S. Cellular Center
2-16-20 Wichita, KS INTRUST Bank Arena*
2-18-20 Lincoln, NE Pinnacle Bank Arena
2-20-20 Sioux Falls, SD Denny Sanford PREMIER Center
2-21-20 Rapid City, SD Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Ice Arena
2-23-20 Missoula, MT Adams Center Arena
2-24-20 Boise, ID Ford Idaho Center Arena
2-26-20 Spokane, WA Spokane Arena
2-27-20 Portland, OR Moda Center
2-29-20 Reno, NV Reno Events Center
3-1-20 Fresno, CA Save Mart Center*
*on-sale starting 12pm local time

+on-sale starting 11am local time

About Korn

Earlier this year Korn shook the world with the release of their acclaimed new album The Nothing. The GRAMMY® Award-winning group’s latest effort is highlighted by singles “Can You Hear Me,” Cold,” and “You’ll Never Find Me,” the latter of which is joined by an official music video (watch HERE). “It continues Korn’s mission of probing the hidden corners and harsh realities of life within a shroud discordant darkness,” declared Noisey with The FADER adding, Korn have never shied away from innovation… the icons have always looked forward.” Los Angeles Times applauded the “…deep and potent performances from the band, evoking their ever-present rage but also feelings of loss and isolation,” while NME affirmed, “This urgent and important record will ensure the veterans don’t get lost in the shuffle.”

Furthermore, Korn recently announced the imminent arrival of their groundbreaking dramatized anthology podcast series, ‘The Nothing,’ which was written and created by Adam Mason and Simon Boyes with Korn. ‘The Nothing,’ a six-part dramatized series, tells the story of journalist Matt Singer who travels to the small town of Wellden, Kansas to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a teenage girl. He soon discovers not everything is as it seems in the rural community, and finds himself heading into his own heart of darkness. Produced by Elizabeth Mason and directed by Adam Mason (Blood River, The Devil’s Chair), ‘The Nothing’ stars Keir O’Donnell (Wedding Crashers, Fargo, Legion), Darri Ingolfsson (Dexter, Black Antenna) and Mikayla S. Campbell. Fans can subscribe to ‘The NothingHERE with additional details and airdates to be announced in the coming weeks.

Korn Online:

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About Breaking Benjamin

Multi-platinum band Breaking Benjamin announced today they will be releasing Aurora, a collection of reimagined songs from the band’s vast catalogue, on January 24, 2020. Breaking Benjamin’s most recent release, Ember debuted at #3 on the Billboard Top 200 and marked the multi-platinum band’s fourth Top 5 debut on the Billboard Top 200, following 2015’s #1 debut for Dark Before Dawn (Gold), 2009’s Dear Agony (Platinum) at #4 and 2006’s Phobia (Platinum) at #2. Additionally, the band has garnered nine #1 songs at rock radio, has charted Top 10 across numerous countries worldwide and topped #1 charts across multiple genres, including Top Alternative Albums, Top Rock Albums, Top Hard Rock Albums and Top Digital Albums. Breaking Benjamin boasts an impressive 6.8 billion combined audio/video streams worldwide with a social imprint of over 6.5M, a testament to the band’s global influence and loyal fan base. Watch the music video for “Red Cold River” off of Ember HERE.

Breaking Benjamin Online:

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About Bones UK

Bones UK consists of vocalist Rosie Bones and guitarist Carmen Vandenberg. Their self-titled debut album is out now via Sumerian Records. The group confronts everything from the beauty industrial complex to toxic masculinity to music-scene sexism, embedding each track with choruses primed for passionate shouting-along. True to the L.A.-based band’s anti-conformist spirit, Bones UK unfolds with an entirely uncontainable sound, a riff-heavy collision of rock-and-roll and rough-edged electronic music. After recruiting Filippo (a former classmate of Carmen’s at The Academy of Contemporary Music in Surrey), Bones UK began pushing toward the heady complexity that now defines their music. Joined onstage by their drummer Heavy, Bones UK now see their live set as the ideal medium for their ever-expanding message, a vehicle for both catharsis and transformation. Watch their music video for “Beautiful Is BoringHERE.

Bones UK Online:

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