Jonathan Davis - The Orpheum, Los Angeles
Thu, 06 Dec 2007 17:17:46
Korn's Jonathan Davis has never sounded as tortured as he did at the LA Orpheum. This was a stop on his special "acoustic" tour, and he had every fan in the house captivated. Even without the trademark wall of de-tuned guitars behind him, his voice is still chilling, creepy and downright cathartic. Replace that metallic cacophony, with standup bass, keyboards, violin and acoustic guitars, and you get Davis unplugged and ready to rage. Sitting in an ornate throne center stage, Davis looked like a dreadlocked version of Al Pacino in "The Devil's Advocate." He sported a slick black pinstripe suit that was menacing, even with his orange and black Nike Air Force Ones. All in all, the gothic look and the candles onstage completely set the mood. This was definitely date night for the vampires.
Davis convulsed and writhed in the chair channeling his trademark intensity while belting out rarely played Korn cuts like "Kick the P.A." and "Le Petit Mort" as well as “Forsaken” and “Not Meant for Me” from "Queen of the Damned." His delivery was just as powerful as it’s always been, if not more so. His voice could really take center stage and his sensitive vocal schizophrenia truly struck a chord on "Dirty" and "Hushabye." The backing band was packed with virtuoso musicians that truly enhanced the overall performance—from the tripped out standup bass to the foreboding keyboards. An interesting choice of covers—Neil Diamonds’ “Love on the Rocks” and Duran Duran’s “The Chauffeur”—allowed fans some insight deeper into Davis. Regardless of how intense he can be, the man knows and loves a catchy tune, just like the rest of us.
Surprisingly, the violin-infused rendition of “Got the Life” stole the show, bringing much of the crowd to its feet, while “4U” from “Issues” was just as dark and powerful as the airy original. Opener Godhead was a welcome surprise providing solid acoustic fare in the form of “Sinking” and a solid cover of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here.”
In the end even when the instruments are unplugged, Davis is still directly plugged into the emotions of his fans, and he delivers live every time.