The freak was unleashed and the man was let out of his box when genre defining heavyweights Korn and Alice In Chains brought their co-headlining tour to Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN Friday night, with openers Underoath and Ho99o9 setting the tone early. The sixth stop of a 30 date US tour spanning mid-July to early September, Nashville once again proved a worthy host to all things metal as throngs of black t-shirt clad revelers funneled through the arena doors in fervent anticipation of coming undone.
First up on the bill was New Jersey founded, but now LA based, alt hip-hop group Ho99o9 (pronounced horror). Blending a wide array of influences ranging from hip-hop to punk, Ho99o9 wasted no time injecting a jolt of energy into the eager crowd. However, due to scheduling conflicts at the venue, photographers weren’t escorted in time to cover Ho99o9. It’s good to see smaller groups like Ho99o9 getting exposure to a larger audience on this tour, but try to catch them at a club if they roll through your town in the future. Check out their live performances on YouTube to see why . . . it’s pure chaos.
Rounding out the openers for the tour was the ever-evolving Tampa, FL band Underoath. After disbanding in early 2013 and subsequently returning in 2015, Underoath has been very active as of late. Their latest album, ‘Erase Me,’ released in April 2018, produced a Grammy nominated single for Best Metal Performance and a couple more tunes have been getting major airplay on rock radio. Lead singer Spencer Chamberlain and the boys brought that fire to the stage as they shot straight out of a cannon and into “On My Teeth” and “Loneliness” before Spencer asked the crowd, “Nashville, how we feelin? I can’t hear you, I said HOW WE FEELIN?” Making quick work of a nine song setlist that pulled heavily from their last release, Underoath got the juices flowing in the arena before wrapping up with fan favorite “Writing on the Walls” and another new tune “Sink With You.” Following their US tour with Korn and Alice In Chains, Underoath heads down under in September to support The Amity Affliction on their Australian tour. Connect with the band via their social media accounts to stay up-to-date on when they might hit a venue near you.
Out in support of their 2018 release ‘Rainier Fog,’ legendary Seattle metal band Alice In Chains brought nearly 30 years of experience and a metric ton of heavy tunes to the stage Friday night. ‘Rainier Fog’ marked their third album recorded with frontman William DuVall and third in a row produced by Nashville based Nick Raskulinecz (who also produced Korn’s last and upcoming albums). Making their way to the stage to the sounds of piano keys being increasingly tapped with a dual-iris eyeball peering at the crowd from the big screen behind the drum riser, the fellas eased their way into “Angry Chair” to start the night, the first of six songs they would feature from arguably their most popular album, ‘Dirt.’ With DuVall and founding guitar player Jerry Cantrell sharing six string duties and showcasing their signature vocal harmony, the band quickly transitioned into the song that made Alice In Chains a household name, “Man in the Box,” which was accompanied by one of the louder crowd sing-a-longs of the night, complete with that notorious talk box wah wah riff. The hit parade marched on as the band peppered in songs from across their six studio albums, including “Check My Brain,” “Them Bones,” “Down in a Hole,” newer stuff like “Rainier Fog” and “The One You Know” and even “No Excuses” off their ‘Jar of Flies’ EP. But what AIC show would be complete without “Would?” and of course the quintessential Alice song “Rooster,” so it was fitting that the band would wrap up their 15-song set with those two tunes. 30 years in and Alice In Chains is still going strong, and minus one mic snafu that was quickly remedied mid show, they sounded heavier than ever. Whether it’s the thunderous kick drum from Kinney’s pounding foot, the growl coming from Jerry’s hot-rodded Friedman amp, the rumbling bottom end of Mike Inez’s bass or the powerful vocals and harmonies of DuVall, Alice In Chains prove to be the heavyweight champs who emerged from that fruitful 90s Seattle rock scene. Upon the completion of this US tour, the fellas head home to Seattle for a hometown show on September 20th and DuVall will be releasing his first solo album, “One Alone,” in October.
Not many bands out there can follow the powerhouse that is Alice In Chains, but nu metal pioneering, two-time Grammy Award winning Korn just happens to be one of those bands. Prepping for a September 13th release of their upcoming new studio album, ‘The Nothing,’ Korn comes into town firing on all cylinders and based on the new single “You’ll Never Find Me,” they continue to perfect the sound they created nearly 25 years ago on their self-titled debut. After a little clip of Nashville’s own George Jones singing “Oooh Jesus, please take the devil out of me,” the giant curtain in front of the stage dropped and the boys kicked straight into “Here to Stay” to a huge cheer from the crowd followed by the song that started it all back in 1994, “Blind.” After lead singer Jonathan Davis took a moment to greet the near capacity crowd, the band went on to play “You’ll Never Find Me” and “Twisted Transistor” before treating the crowd to another twist. At the end of “Shoots and Ladders,” complete with Davis on the bagpipe intro, Korn broke down into the heaviest part of Metallica’s “One” and that brought a little life into the pit. Having the unenviable task of choosing a setlist from a soon to be total of 13 studio albums, Korn was able to pick tunes that appealed to fans new and old, including the uber-popular “Freak on a Leash,” “Got the Life,” “Somebody Someone,” and “Make Me Bad.” Before wrapping up with “Falling Away From Me” they incited a kornucopia of crowd participation when in the middle of “Coming Undone” they played a snippet of Queen’s “We Will Rock You.” Davis ended the night with,” Nashville, thank you guys so much! You all were an amazing crowd and we hope to see you all sometime real soon when we come back through!” All day I dreamed about seeing Korn and Friday night they did not disappoint. After this tour, Korn will release ‘The Nothing’ on September 13th and then hit the Aftershock Festival in Sacramento, CA on October 13th. With both Limp Bizkit and Deftones reportedly working on new music and a little touring activity stirring in the Staind camp, maybe 2020 will be the year to get the ol’ gang back together and resurrect the Family Values tour. Wouldn’t that be divine?
The Korn and Alice In Chains co-headlining 2019 North American Tour Dates:
Aug. 02 – Darien Center, NY @ Darien Lake Amphitheater*
Aug. 03 – Camden, NJ @ BB&T Pavilion^
Aug. 06 – Wantagh, NY @ Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater*
Aug. 07 – Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center*
Aug. 09 – Mansfield, MA @ Xfinity Center^
Aug. 10 – Hartford, CT @ XFINITY Theatre*
Aug. 11 – Saratoga Springs, NY @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center*
Aug. 13 – Clarkston, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theatre*
Aug. 14 – Toronto, ON @ Budweiser Stage*
Aug. 16 – Cuyahoga Falls, OH @ Blossom Music Center*
Aug. 17 – Burgettstown, PA @ KeyBank Pavilion+
Aug. 18 – Cincinnati, OH @ Riverbend Music Center+
Aug. 20 – Noblesville, IN @ Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center+
Aug. 21 – Tinley Park, IL @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre+
Aug. 23 – Maryland Heights, MO @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre+
Aug. 25 – Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center+
Aug. 27 – Albuquerque, NM @ Isleta Amphitheatre+
Aug. 30 – Irvine, CA @ FivePoint Amphitheatre presented by Mercury Insurance+
Aug. 31 – Phoenix, AZ @ Ak-Chin Pavilion+
Sept. 02 – Chula Vista, CA @ North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre+
Sept. 04 – Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheatre+
+with FEVER 333