–by Sean Derrick
Nu metal bands Korn and Staind teamed up for a co-headlining tour which made its way to St. Louis Sunday and a stop at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre. Thanks to Covid-19 it was the first metal show at the venue since, ironically enough, Korn appeared there August 23, 2019. Also, thanks, in part, to Covid the show itself had a different feel, as well.
The evening opened with an invigorating set from Fire From the Gods. The rap metal artists got the crowd amped up with a 45 minute set that was hot from the get go. Their energy seemed infectious and didn’t have a dull moment.
Staind came out next and while the music sounded good and tight for the most part the only energy coming from the stage was from guitarist Mike Mushok (who always brings his beast mode onstage) and drummer Sal Giancarelli. Even bassist Johnny April had his moments.
But vocalist Aaron Lewis seemed more subdued than normal. Most of the set, when he didn’t have a guitar, he simply leaned against the mic stand to prop himself up. When he stepped away he just walked sluggishly and slowly in a small area not interacting with the crowd much at all. It was the 3rd time I have seen Staind and Lewis has never really been animated, certainly not like Mushok, but this was the most subdued I have seen him yet. It was almost like it was a bother for him to be there. As a photographer he was extremely boring to shoot.
The crowd, for the most part didn’t seem to mind the lack of energy from Lewis. Songs like “So Far Away”, “It’s Been A While” and “Right Here”, resonated well and played more into his subdued state.
For Korn, it was almost the polar opposite, even if outside forces tried to temper their performance.
Korn had to cancel or postpone several dates on this tour after vocalist Jonathan Davis contracted the deadly disease, which sapped him of much of his stamina. They actually have had to cut the popular song “Shoots and Ladders” from the set, apparently because it was too much for Davis, especially with the bagpipe intro.
Korn’s bassist, Fieldy, had to take a leave of absence from the band to deal with some “bad habits” and Ra Diaz form Suicidal Tendencies is filling in with a marvelous attitude and performance. He and drummer Ray Luzier did a 4 minute drum/bass riff with several solos from Diaz after “Clown”. Diaz fits in nicely with the high energy output of the band, especially Luzier.
The set was electric from start to finish and the band was as tight as I have ever heard them. Highlights came in the form of “Freak on a Leash”, “Falling Away From Me” and “Coming Undone”.
For Davis, Covid has sapped him of much of his strength and energy that he has a throne onstage which he frequently rests and sings from. Davis has insisted that he will still perform and give it all he can. Davis also struggled at times to hit his signature growls and screams but made up for it with his enthusiasm and tenacity, not letting any personal issues ruin his onstage performance.
Davis seemed genuinely appreciative to be onstage as he thanked the crowd several times for coming, noting at one point that it was “Still amazing that after 27 years this many show up for a mother F*cking Korn concert.” Enthusiasm makes up for a lot. Davis’ was commendable, considering what is pushing back at him, that is something his contemporary in Staind should take note of.
The tour last until October 3.
Sept. 09 – Salt Lake City, Utah @ USANA Amphitheatre
Sept. 11 – Mountain View, Calif. @ Shoreline Amphitheatre
Sept. 12 – Irvine, Calif. @ FivePoint Amphitheatre
Sept. 14 – Phoenix, Ariz. @ Ak-Chin Pavilion
Sept. 15 – Albuquerque, N.M. @ Isleta Amphitheater
Sept. 18 – Austin, Texas @ Germania Insurance Amphitheater
Sept. 19 – Houston, Texas @ The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion presented by Huntsman
Sept. 21 – Dallas, Texas @ Dos Equis Pavilion
Sept. 23 – Louisville, Ky. @ Louder Than Life Festival
Sep. 25 – Scranton, PA (rescheduled from Aug. 14)
Sep. 28 – Wantagh, NY (rescheduled from Aug. 17)
Sep. 26 – Holmdel, NJ (rescheduled from Aug. 18)
Oct. 01 – Mansfield, MA (rescheduled from Aug. 21)
Oct. 02 – Hartford, CT (rescheduled from Aug. 20)
Oct. 03 – Gilford, NH (rescheduled from Aug. 22)
Be sure to check out the rest of the photos after the setlists below.
Eyes Wide Open
Open Your Eyes
So Far Away
It’s Been Awhile
Falling Away From Me
Here to Stay
bass and drum jam
You’ll Never Find Me
Coming Undone (with refrain from “We Will Rock You” by Queen)
Can You Hear Me
Freak on a Leash
It’s On!/Trash/Did My Time