Concert Review

A Night in the House of Korn and Rob Zombie

Korn pummeled a packed Ak-Chin Pavilion with hit after hit on Saturday night during a 14-song set that spanned their entire catalog.

From opener "Right Now" the new metal pioneers reminded fans not only how important they have been to the metal scene over the years but that they haven't lost a step either. The return of guitarist Brian "Head" Welch may have been the best thing for the band because their chemistry was reminiscent of the band's early years and the night really was a celebration of their two decades of accomplishments.

"We've got a long history with this wonderful fucking town. We wrote and recorded a little but of one of our albums here ya'll," said Korn singer Jonathan Davis before debuting the brand new track "Rotting In Vain," which sounded like something that could have appeared on Life is Peachy or Follow the Leader.

The key to Korn's success has been consistency. Drummer Ray Luzier, who joined in 2009, isn't really the new guy anymore, and while he is an absolute beast behind the kit his finest attribute may be the new life he gives to the band's older material like "Shoots and Ladders," which Saturday night featured a snippet of Metallica's "One." 
Another good decision Korn made was to bring horror king Rob Zombie along for the trek. Zombie also delivered in a big way, and the bill could have easily been flipped where he was the night's closing act. He made it clear he wasn't messing around when a giant devil on stilts followed him around the heavily red-drenched stage as images of fire appeared on video screens during "Superbeast." Zombie's set included solo favorites, White Zombie classics, and covers, but he also played newer tracks like "In the Age of the Consecrated Vampire We All Get High" and "Well, Everybody's Fucking in a U.F.O." from 2016's oddest album title of the year The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser. The Zombie stage show is one of the best in the business, and even after all these years it's quite the assault on your senses. The difference is that these days is the singer isn't running out of breath onstage like he used to and he sounds much better.
In This Moment also made the best of their short opening set, which was theatrical in its own right. Singer Maria Brink and the band have transformed themselves into somewhat of a metal cabaret show. These days Brink stands on platform in the middle of the stage where she is joined by two female dancers. The show is highly entertaining and is clearly all about Brink, but her demonically painted band also adds just enough dimension to the show that it doesn't make her seem like a solo artist. 

Critics Notebook:

Saturday Night:
Korn, Rob Zombie, and In This Moment at Ak-Chin Pavilion.

Personal Bias: Korn's guitar tech got his start working for one of my past bands. He wouldn't return my calls.

Overheard: Fans singing along to almost every song that performed by all three bands.

The Crowd: Metalheads, just the way it should be.

Random Notebook Dump: In This Moment let photographers shoot their entire set. Bands should take notice.