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Concert Reviews:
Korn Brings Family Values To Pulverizing Close

Of the Oakland Press

Posted: Thursday, July 26, 2007

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INDEPENDENCE TOWNSHIP -- Its record company marketing executives might have blanched at Korn's show-closing appearance at Wednesday night's Family Values Tour show at the DTE Energy Music Theatre

The group's amplifiers were covered with scrims depicting an album cover -- for 2005's "See You on the Other Side," not headbanging group's new album, "Untitled," which hits stores on Tuesday. It was hardly making the best use of its captive audience.

But the 12,000 fans could have cared less. What they wanted from Korn was a blast of the unhinged industrial-style "nu" metal that's the group's stock in trade. And that's just what Korn delivered over 85 minutes and 18 songs that brought the nine-hour Family Values extravaganza to crowd-pleasing close.

Topping a bill of 13 younger and mostly up-and-coming acts worked to Korn's benefit on Wednesday. It reinforced the notion that regardless of sonic and stylistic trends, a veteran group that's still at the top of its game still wins the day -- especially when the finishing spot maximizes the impact of a full-scale light and laser show. Evanescence certainly exhibited the style and dynamics that befit a headliner, but it was an apprentice working in front of a master.

The only shortcoming of Korn's show was an extended (35-minute) set change -- including the actual construction of two elevated side ramps for frontman Jonathan Davis and the other band members to trod upon -- that forced the group to trim two songs from its set list to meet DTE's curfew. Otherwise it was a full on fusillade that sampled a few tracks from the upcoming "Untitled" -- including the set-opening "Here to Stay" -- and served up plenty of fan favorites such as "Dead Bodies Everywhere," "Trash," "Falling Away From Me," "Faget," "Twisted Transistor," "Blind" and the group's cover of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall."

Korn also threw "OG" fans a treat with "Fake," a song from the band's double-platinum 1995 debut album that Davis told the crowd Korn hadn't played in 11 years.

The seven-piece edition of Korn -- with Davis, guitarist James "Munky" Shaffer and bassist Reggie "Fieldy" Avizu joined by four backing musicians, including Slipknot's Joey Jordison on drums -- remains tight but still fierce, attacking Korn's precision arrangements with brutal exuberance. The group smartly doled out its visual effects, too, waiting until the fourth song to fire up a venue-illuminating light wall behind the band and another nine songs to let loose the lasers that encased Davis in center-stage cone of light and also panned green and purple hues over the fans' heads.

Family Values, like touring brethren such as OZZFest and Projekt Revolution, is a demanding day for the headbangers. But Korn delivered a pleasingly pulverizing payoff for those enduring until the end.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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