Bakersfield’s funk-metal kings Korn hit the Pond stage with all guns firing, treating the first of two sold-out Anaheim crowds to an ear-splitting and nightmarish spectacle worthy of the band’s over-the-top reputation.
Flames rose from the mouths of black gargoyles that ringed the large stage as the quintet launched into “Falling Away From Me,” the opening track on the band’s 1999 hit Immortal/Epic album “Issues.” The group’s bass-heavy, often violently themed ruminations are seen by fans as an accurate expression of, and reaction to, youthful alienation, though it’s debatable whether the band’s relentless music is more likely to alleviate nightmares or cause them.
Vocalist Jonathan Davis was at the center of the musical storm. Dressed in a somber long black robe, he wove lyrical tales of abusive adults and other similar struggles, alternating between his unspectacular straight singing voice and his more effective blood-curdling growl. A variety of visual images shown on giant behind-stage screens added to the effect.
The 90-minute show’s set-list was chosen by the group’s fans during pre-tour Internet voting, and included songs from all four of the band’s platinum-plus albums, including satisfying renditions of their best-known songs, such as “Got the Life,” the nursery-rhyme-themed “Shoots & Ladders,” and early hit “Blind,” though the individual songs’ subtleties were sometimes sacrificed to the arena gods.
Show, tagged the Sick & Twisted Tour, also featured opening act Staind, as well as a series of cutting-edge animated shorts that were shown between bands on the big screens.