Korn in The Garden

By Jason Koerner

Who says it is inhumane to keep crazy people locked up in cages? The "lucky" group of individuals that was detained in a steel cage at the Korn / Rob Zombie show on April Fool's Day would beg to differ with that belief. I had three people offer me up to $100 for my general admission ticket on the way into Louisville Gardens! Those were hard offers to turn down, but I'm sure glad I didn't give in.

After a cruel, yet convincing April Fool's joke by a local radio station jesting that Korn would not be in attendance that night - due to the illness of lead singer Jonathan Davis - the capacity crowd was overflowing with zeal. The mega-group did perform, however, and left a lasting impact on their fans. The Louisville venue, though sold out, was the smallest crowd on the "Rock is Dead" tour. The tour upheld the idea that rock is definitely alive and well today.

Opening with the hardy "Blind" (as usual) was a perfect choice to get the crowd awake (not that they needed any help.) The mosh pit was like the stormy waters of a hurricane, and some the weaker members found out they could not swim as well as they thought they could. In the past two concerts that I have been to, bagpipes have been played. I must apologize to the group that performed at the Rod Stewart show for saying this, but there is something about the mixture of a bagpipe player (Davis) in a kilt and a pimp hat, multi-effect-laden seven-string guitars, thumping bass (tuned down to the key of 'A') that makes your chest and throat sore from the vibration, a heavy drum beat relying on the many toms and high-tuned snare drum and nursery rhymes that just kicks!

"Chutes and Ladders" proved this like no words can describe. All the familiar grooves were played, including the early "A.D.I.D.A.S.," the main dive into the mainstream "Got the Life," and the most recent single "Freak on a Leash." The show maintained the high energy level throughout with the barbaric ditties of "Kill You,""Dead Bodies Everywhere" and "Twist" (This is a song that only Jonathan Davis could perform correctly. If you haven't heard this style of growling, he has trademarked for himself, listen to this introductory track to the album Life Is Peachy to see what I mean. Then try to imitate it.)

Rob Zombie and his band (bearing close resemblance to the cast of "Night of the Living Dead") sent chills down the spines of those in attendance. Dressed in full makeup, a long dirty trench coat, a soiled hat covering the roots of his lengthy dreadlocked hair, cataract-colored contact lenses, and yes, the real 'X' burned on his forehead; Zombie made quite an appearance this night. The crowd reacted in a most pleasing fashion to Rob. He described the ambiance of the Gardens that night to be like a "nasty club atmosphere," much to his liking: ungodly hot, humid, jam-packed, violent, noisy and a half-nude crowd. The moshing up front near the stage mimicked the pointer of a wedge board . . . the combination of everyone's activity was responsible for the motion, but no one person in particular was responsible for the constant swaying.

The over-played radio hit "Dragula" regained respect in my book due to the live performance. It is very tragic to realize the way radio stations are necessary to make a good song popular but are also responsible for butchering it by drilling the tune over and over again in your ears like a power-tool. It was a treat to see Zombie do it in person, even if his live voice was not exactly like the mastered CD version.

"Living Dead Girl" was also among this category. A bigger gift to me was the fact that he also sang some old White Zombie classics like "Thunder Kiss '65,""More Human Than Human" and "Supercharger Heaven." These lesser played hits of "yesterday" were my personal favorites, since I never had the opportunity to see the old group in concert. The sound was spectacular.

Lucifer would have been proud of this stage: enough fire to roast hot-dogs from the back row, go-go dancers choreographed to the tunes and recurring lyrics of death/rage/demons and the like. Zombie's lead guitar player made a habit of drinking "blood" from his translucent guitar, but neither the monsters on-stage or the people in the crowd seemed to mind. They put on one hell of an exhibition! (Ha, Ha, I kill me!)

Videodrone for some reason reminded me of a scene out of a movie I once saw featuring some European techno club-band. They entertained me quite well for a few songs, but the music grew old quickly. Jonathan Davis (Korn) revived the restless crowd by joining in on a song, which made the unsuspecting audience go wild on first sight of him in his bright red suit. This band reaffirmed my faith that some white boys do have rhythm, and it's called techno.

If you had any hearing left after this show, you were lucky. If you had hearing left without a constant ringing inside your ears after this show, you obviously couldn't hear that well to begin with and shouldn't be listening to music this loud. Many people I spoke to said the same things: they were there to hear Korn and to see Rob Zombie. Any way you look at it, different crowds came together for a breathtaking concert, in every sense of the word.