We jumped back into the 1990’s last Saturday night as Korn took the stage at the Scheels Arena in Fargo, North Dakota. The crowd was filled with babies from the 70’s reliving their rebellious 20’s as they moshed and crowd surfed to their hearts content.
Out on the Nocturnal Underground Tour with Breaking Benjamin, Korn has brought on Silver Snakes as support. For those new to the name, imagine 90’s industrial meets modern hard-core. They possessed great stage presence, setting the moody atmosphere by keeping the stage dark and musicians backlit, with the exception of drummer Garrett Harney, who’s glowing kit lit him up. I was impressed by how clean their sound was. Vocalist Alex Estrada had great clarity and quality, and was just as good live as any recording I had heard of him.
Breaking Benjamin followed next, with a very excited crowd welcoming them to the stage. Unfortunately, I found the set to be a little bit of a letdown considering frontman Benjamin Burnley didn’t sing as much as expected. Instead bassist Aaron Bruch took the reins, with the exception of Burnley taking over for their iconic songs.
This aside, the energy was great and the interaction with the crowd was fantastic. Burnley was constantly addressing the fans, expressing his gratitude for the participation and loyalty to the band over the years. At one point a red lightsaber was brought on stage and a tribute to all of the “fellow nerds” in the crowd was commemorated with an electric rendition of the “Imperial March”. All in all, Breaking Benjamin’s connection to the fans is really what made their time on stage most enjoyable. An avid listener wants nothing more than to feel a bond with an artist, and making that bond evident seemed to be a goal of the band.
Chaos let loose as soon as the lights dimmed for Korn. The crowd, made predominantly of men and women in their late 30’s and 40’s, was one of the more enthusiastic I had ever seen. With fist in the air and feet off the ground, there wasn’t a song when the audience was still. The crowd surfing got rowdy only ten minutes into the set. There was a steady number flowing up over the barrier and coming out of the pit bruised or bloodied, yet despite the apparent injuries, there wasn’t a face not smiling as they made their way back into the crowd for another go.
Korn was pumped on stage, putting on a full production and giving the fans a real show. With wild lights, fog and flying hair, there is always something to look at. Frontman Jonathan Davis’s vocals were unfaltering as he belted out every song. His signature vocals have made Korn’s sound unique, and his solid live performance has made them nu metal favorites. The wild night ended perfectly with an encore of “Freak on a Leash”, many present using the infamous anthem as their last chance to really let loose.