Photos: Chris Besaw
Review: Kelly Besaw
Rob Zombie and Korn made a stop on their co-headlining “Return Of The Dreads” tour at the Lakeview Amphitheater in Syracuse, NY on August 27. In This Moment joined as special guests.
First up was Los Angeles based heavy metal band In This Moment lead by front woman Maria Brink. Although Wikipedia and other sites state the band is from Los Angeles, my sources informed me that Brink’s roots lie here in Upstate New York, Schenectady to be exact. Brink is the Lady Gaga of metal. She is sexy, gritty, sarcastic and theatric. My friend described her as the love child of Madonna and Alice Cooper. The set was loaded with props and costume changes all backed by some powerful guitar and drum work. Mix in Brink’s sultry, attention grabbing vocals and In This Moment is a must see. The band was intriguing from the opening notes of “Sick Like Me” to the final chords of “Blood.” With song titles like “Sex Metal Barbie” it is difficult not to be curious about their music. I will definitely see this band again and admit that I am listening to their music as I write this review.
Co-headliner Rob Zombie took the stage next. Fans raced to get back to their seats as the first notes of “Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown” hit the air. I credit Zombie with creating some of the most bizarre song titles in the industry. Rob Zombie and his mega-talented backup band are currently on tour in support of their 2016 release The Electric Warlock Acid With Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser (another unique title). To keep going with the odd names, the band played a few songs off the new album including “The Hideous Exhibitions of a Dedicated Gore Whore,” “In the Age of the Consecrated Vampire We All Get High” and my favorite song of the set, “Well, Everybody’s F***ing in a U.F.O.” Rob Zombie’s wife, Sheri Moon Zombie, made a cameo appearance at the beginning of the song to hand over two inflatable aliens to her husband. Zombie insisted that the crowd have an E.T. race. “Ok let’s see who can get E.T. all the way to the lawn and then all the way back up front.” Zombie tossed both inflatables into the crowd and the band started chanting “go E.T.! go E.T.! go E.T.!” Someone in the crowd decided they were going to try to steal the alien inflatable to which Zombie responded “Awe c’mon it’s a race, it’s not supposed to be a souvenir.” One alien did make it to the lawn but alas did not make a return visit to the front of the stage.
Zombie took the fans through a fifteen song set that consisted of a worthy mix of hits, oddities and new songs. With Ginger Fish on the drums, John 5 on guitar and Matt Montgomery AKA Piggy D on the bass, Zombie had plenty of muscle to back him up. John 5 is an outstanding guitarist. He showcased his skills during a roaring solo while Zombie ran around the venue with a hand-held video camera “checking out the fans.” Zombie arrived back onstage as the crowd screeched applause for John 5 who later played the “Star Spangled Banner” with his teeth. After engaging with the fans Zombie stated “Now that I have walked around the whole place, I understand what’s going on (he points to his head). I would like to ask you to do me a big favor, just put away your cell phones for three minutes. I promise you that your Twitter, your Instagram, your Facebook, your Snapchat accounts will survive. Just three minutes. Can we all just spend three minutes being crazy, f***ing, stinking humans at a rock show? Watch how fun it can be when you focus on f***ing sh*t.” It’s amazing that when the singer beckons, the fans obey. Fans tucked their phones into their pockets and the band rewarded the legion of followers with a killer version of “Thunder Kiss ’65.”
Zombie worked a promo of his upcoming horror film 31, in theaters September 1, into the evening before wrapping things up with a sarcastic cover of Grand Funk Railroad’s “We’re an American Band” and fan favorite “Dragula.”
Set list: Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown, Superbeast, In the Age of the Consecrated Vampire We All Get High, Wild Thing (Tone Loc cover), Living Dead Girl, Well, Everybody’s F***cking in a U.F.O., More Human Than Human, Never Gonna Stop, The Hideous Exhibitions of a Dedicated Gore Whore, House of 1000 Corpses, Guitar Solo (John 5), Thunder Kiss ’65, We’re an American Band (Grand Funk Railroad cover), Dragula
It was time for the final band of the evening. Drummer Ray Luzier took the stage first, sitting at his drum kit, he smiled and started rocking slowly forward and back as if he were winding up like a mechanical music box getting ready to strike. The rest of the band slowly crept onstage and Luzier sprang into action pounding the drums and signaling the start of opening song “Right Now.” The loyal fans went crazy. Frontman Jonathan Davis wowed the crowd with his versatility. He transitioned effortlessly between harmonious, smooth vocals, to deep throated growls, raps, and what I can best describe as metal scat. The combination of Luzier’s intensity, Davis’s flexibility, guitar players Munky and Head trading off riffs and Fieldy thrumming and slapping the bass explains why Korn is still one of the hottest nu-metal acts after twenty plus years in the business.
Korn is releasing their twelfth studio album The Serenity of Suffering on October 21. The band performed a few songs off the upcoming release including “Rotting in Vain” and “Insane.” The tracks stay true to the roots of traditional Korn songs while integrating some new twists and grooves.
Jonathan Davis was clearly appreciative of the band’s fan base. “I’m so glad there are still people in this world who love heavy rock music.” Davis got fans pumped when he offered them a chance to blow off a little steam during “Ya’ll Want a Single.” Davis bid the attendees to put their middle fingers in the air and sing along. The fans with Davis at the helm began a healthy chant of “F**ck that!” that echoed through the amphitheater.
Davis offered a treat to the “old School” Korn fans promising that the second half of the evening would be filled with “old school sh*t.” He kept his promise making his way onstage with bagpipes in tow for “Chutes and Ladders” followed by “Twist” and ended the evening with late 90s mega hits “Falling Away From Me” and “Freak on a Leash.”
Set list: Right Now, Here to Stay, Rotting in Vain, Somebody Someone, Coming Undone, Y’All Want a Single, Make Me Bad, Insane, Shoots and Ladders (with Metallica One segment at the end), Blind, Twist, Got the Life, Falling Away From Me, Freak on a Leash