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  • Live Review: Korn — The Rabobank Theater, Bakersfield, CA

    Mon, 14 Jun 2010 13:35:47

    Live Review: Korn — The Rabobank Theater, Bakersfield, CA - Korn destroy Bakersfield during a triumphant homecoming and ARTISTdirect.com editor and <i>Dolor</i> author Rick Florino catalogs it all in his exclusive review...

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    Korn shook Bakersfield to its very core this past Friday during the hometown stop of their Ballroom Blitz tour at The Rabobank Theater.

    The theater itself sits underneath The Rabobank Arena, smack dab in the town's center, and it was the perfect epicenter for Korn's 90-minute plus aural earthquake. Korn's homecoming was the stuff of legend, as they tore through a battering set of classics from their storied catalog. Bakersfield was where it all started, and Korn played with the same fervor and fire that's been characteristic of their entire career.

    After the ominously orchestral "4U," the dementedly inviting intro of "Dead Bodies Everywhere" seeped through the speakers and into the minds of everyone in attendance. James "Munky" Shaffer slowly slit psyches, cutting through the music-box style guitar lead-off, as Jonathan Davis, clad in a classic Adidas track suit, sauntered up to the center of the stage and clenched the mic.

    For the next five minutes, Korn summoned the same demons that made them goddamn legends in the first place. Shaffer conjured a warped symphonic effects-laden solo, before Davis exploded into the final refrain of "You want me to be, something I can never ever be." The crowd barked right back at him like a choir of demons, and he was all smiles upon the final echoes of distortion.

    Immediately, "Need To" pulsated with a pulverizing energy as Shaffer practically bent the string off his guitar and Davis seamlessly screamed in tandem. Ray Luzier's rhythms bobbed and weaved with a pronounced flare during the double hit of "Coming Undone" and "We Will Rock You," while Reggie "Fieldy" Arvizu's bass-slap beat a wily groove into submission. Luzier kept flipping sticks and powering through precise moments of double bass—never missing a step. "Here to Stay" caused numerous mosh pits to bloom in the middle of the floor, while Zac Baird's haunting keyboard intro evoked an eerie calm before the torrential attack of "Falling Away From Me."

    Davis stood godly, staring out at the audience and then snapping into new single "Oildale," from their ninth offering and first for new home Roadrunner Records, Korn III — Remember Who You Are (Available 7/13/2010).

    The brand new cut is draped in the same unsettling ere that made Korn's self-titled debut so classic, and live it smashes profoundly. Shaffer slams through one of his most devastating riffs ever as Davis freaks out on the final bridge in some of the most beautiful bludgeoning that the band has committed to tape. Bakersfield felt it deeply.

    An entrancing spacey interlude followed "Helmut in the Bush," as the band commenced a vibrant jam session. Shaffer' s deft fret wizardry took center stage on "Freak On A Leash," as the synth-y squeals careened from his amp. It all ended fittingly with "Shoots and Ladders," "Clown" and "Got the Life," in the place it all began.

    Korn's as dangerous as ever and not only do they remember who they are but also where they came from.

    —Rick Florino

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