Korn and Alice in Chains Rocked Saint Louis Together Friday

Korn performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

–by Sean Derrick

 

When putting together a co-headlining tour the 1st two band that come to mind probably isn’t Korn and Alice in Chains. Combining nu metal stalwarts and grunge icons may seem a bit weird with the styles and attitudes fans of each genre have had for the other in the past, but watching the show Friday at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre Friday it actually made sense.

The show gave a diverse offering to metal fans hungry for a change of pace from the same old same old.

Korn performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Fridays show gave them just that.

Opening the show was Fever 333, who gave a very active performance (with lots of airtime jumping around). Their style was another variant for the night, as was the 2nd support act, Underoath.

Underoath, a Christian metalcore band, was certainly more mainstream of the two support groups and more well-known. It’s too bad we had to shoot their performance form the soundboard as their set would have been more epic from the pit to capture.

Underoath performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

While their set was highly energetic Alice in Chains countered with a deep and brooding experience, complete with somber undertones along a continuing assault of low E/A chords from guitarist Jerry Cantrell. Not that that is a bad thing. On the contrary any AIC show without it would be, well a Pearl Jam show.

The band came out strong with “Angry Chair”, “Man in the Box”, and “Check My Brain” before hitting overdrive with the gut puncher “Again”.

Alice in Chains performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

AIC has a specific style that few can emulate properly. With the death of original lead singer Layne Staley the band was forced to try to find someone who could come close to that style Staley had but bring his own blend to the band as well. In that they found William Duvall in 2006 who has done a masterful job in paying homage with Staley and forging his own path with the band.

The memory of Staley still lives on in the band as shown in one of the more moving experiences of the night when Cantrell changed up the setlist and switched “Dirt” for “Down in a Hole” and told the crowd to light up their cell phones in honor of Staley. The crowd happily obliged.

Alice in Chains performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

The band’s stage setup was kept simple with five flat light panels behind the band to enhance the mood of the music.

Drummer Sean Kinney and bassist Mike Inez were superb and was a typical great set from the grunge kings. This was my 7th time seeing them (including Staley’s 2nd to last show in 1996), and my 3rd with Duvall, and he gets better each time.

Alice in Chains performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

By the time Korn came on the crowd had already seen a wide range of metal acts. So, it was fitting that Korn rounded it out with a hot dash of nu metal.

Korn’s setup was more elaborate than AIC’s, though not by much. Several mirrored panels behind them that gave way to lights and video along with four moving suspended boxes of the same style hanging above.

Korn performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Though not heavy on the crowd facing lighting, the band did have some wicked bright spotlights hitting the stage from harsh angles.

Vocalist Jonathan Davis’s voice was strong as ever and the rest of the band (guitarists James “munky” Shaffer and Brian “head” Welch, bassist Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu, and drummer Ray Luzier) was tight.

Korn performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

From the first chords of “Here to Stay” and “Blind” the crowd could tell Korn was on that night.

By the time Davis came out with his bagpipes the crowd went nuts for “Shoots and Ladders”

Korn performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

While both Alice in Chains and Korn are veterans who have been around more than a quarter century they kept the songs fresh enough that seeing them live never gets old. And this combo was a fresh take on co-headlining that you want to question at first glance, but once you see it you understand that somehow it just feels right.

Check after the setlists for a gallery from the show.

Alice in Chains Setlist:

Angry Chair

Man in the Box

Check My Brain

Again

Them Bones

Dam That River

Hollow

Never Fade

No Excuses

Down in a Hole

Junkhead

We Die Young

The One You Know

Would?

Rooster

 

Korn Setlist:

Here to Stay

Blind

Divine

Rotting in Vain

You’ll Never Find Me

Twisted Transistor

Shoots and Ladders

Got the Life

Make Me Bad

Somebody Someone

Freak on a Leash

Encore:

4 U

Twist

Coming Undone

Falling Away From Me

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