August 12, 2019 Korn & Alice In Chains Storm Jones Beach, NY 8-6-19 w/ Underoath & Ho99o9
In the dead of winter, February of 2019 to be exact, two of the most game-changing bands in history announced one of the biggest co-headlining tours of the summer. Who are we talking about? Could it be two bands who beyond a shadow of a doubt played major roles in defining not only new genres, but an entire generation? If you answered yes to that question you are one intelligent music fan!
Coming in first, from Bakersfield, California, the pioneers of Nu Metal, Korn. Beating to their own drum, Korn exploded onto the music scene in 1994. Brilliantly ahead of their time, Korn’s dark, stop and go, Rap Rock formula handed millions of music fans a cunning and very original outlet for their angst. That said, Korn is beloved by a devoted fan base much in part for songs that show fans they are not alone when asking: “All my life, who am I?” One of the most popular bands ever, Korn announced their much anticipated new album, The Nothing, will be released on September 13th, 2019.
Teaming up with Korn, from the Rainier Fog covered jet city of Seattle, Washington, the one and only Alice In Chains. A crucial part of Grunge’s big four (alongside Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and Nirvana), Alice In Chains handed Grunge Rock fans a mysterious and well-written array of melodic and irresistible grooves that take over the senses. Following the tragic death of Lead Singer Layne Staley in 2002, Alice In Chains recruited Vocalist William DuVall in 2006 who has done a fine job carrying the flag for the late Layne Staley. In 2018, Alice In Chains released their latest LP, Rainier Fog, which debuted at No. 1 on three different Billboard Charts – showing how much Alice In Chains matters today.
With thirty shows scheduled, Korn and Alice In Chains kicked off this monster tour on July 18th in Austin, Texas. Heading into New York, this appetizing experience in Rock saw Korn and Alice In Chains pulling into Long Island’s Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater on Tuesday, August 6th, 2019. Year in, year out, Long Island Rock fans prove that whether their favorite bands come to town on a week-end or a school night, they will pack the Jones Beach parking lot early and stay up late in order to enjoy one of summer’s best pleasures, a great Rock show.
At 6:00 PM on the hour, Ho99o9 (pronounced Horror) would take the stage to a gathering crowd. Hailing from one state over, Ho99o9 are a three-piece Hip Hop act based out of New Jersey. More than Hip Hop, H09909 is very similar to Korn by way of merging Rap Rock, Alternative Metal with Hip Hop. Buzz worthy, Ho99o9 was named one of Rolling Stone Magazine’s “10 New Artists You Need to Know” in 2014. Showing a lot of potential at the Jones Beach Theater, Ho9909 rocked the growing crowd and certainly gave everyone something to remember.
Playing direct support, Christian Metalcore band Underoath – Spencer Chamberlain (Vocals), Timothy McTague (Guitar), James Smith (Guitar), Grant Brandell (Bass), Aaron Gillespie (Drums, Clean Vocals), and Christopher Dudley (Keyboard) – took the stage to a packed and enthusiastic pit. Releasing their last album, Erase Me, in 2018, Underoath whipped their fans into a frenzy with a dynamic set. Warming everyone up, Underoath brought their best on songs like “On My Teeth,” Loneliness,” “Rapture,” and “Ihateit.” Boasting lots of energy, Underoath delivered a solid set to the Jones Beach crowd.
As sunset drew near, scores of fans moved into the theater and offered cheers of adulation when the illustrious Alice In Chains took the stage. One of few acts held tight by a classic line-up, Alice In Chains wasted no time opening with “Angry Chair” led by one guitar hero who may not always get all the notoriety he deserves, the incredible Mr. Jerry Cantrell. One of the best in the game, Cantrell is renowned for his masterful take on slow and sludgy guitar licks. As co-vocalist, Cantrell is joined by Mike Inez on bass, Sean Kinney on drums, and talented Lead Singer/Guitarist William DuVall whose voice and raw emotion come nearly identical to the late Layne Staley.
Rocking the crowd, Alice In Chains unwrapped “Man in the Box” early and would really show what they are made of with killer tunes like “Again,” “Them Bones,” “Dam That River,” “No Excuses,” and “We Die Young.” As night fell, the crowd lit up the Jones Beach Theater with cell phones flashlights when Alice In Chains broke out an emotional performance of “Nutshell.” In tribute, Cantrell dedicated this number to the memories of Layne Staley and original Bassist Mike Starr who passed in 2011. Offering post reunion material, Alice In Chains included tracks like “Check My Brain,” “Rainier Fog,” and a rattling performance of “The One You Know” to the set.
Two songs left, Jones Beach went wild as Inez kicked into the notorious opening bass line of “Would?” which categorically shook things up. One more to go, Alice In Chains elated those in attendance with a mighty performance of “Rooster” where even the slightest drum licks by Kinney felt like an earthquake under the sea. Without question, Alice In Chains gave the Long Island crowd a nostalgic trip to the past while showing exactly why they are still relevant in today’s music scene. One of the best, Alice In Chains shined on this night as an intimidating Rock stable.
As night set on the beach, a nearly sold out crowd grew restless for the ultimate attraction, Korn. One side note, Korn Guitarist “Munky” announced via Twitter he would be missing five shows, beginning with Jones Beach, as his wife was expected to give birth to a baby girl any day. In Munky’s place, Guitarist J.R. Bareis would join Vocalist Jonathan Davis, Guitarist Brian “Head” Welch, Bassist “Fieldy,” and Drummer Ray Luzier for the five shows. Seasoned in Metal, Bareis is no stranger having previously played in Welch’s solo project, Love and Death.
A curtain draping the stage, house lights out, the grinding of guitar strings set the crowd on fire. To an ear-piercing roar, that same curtain took a nose dive as Korn erupted onto the beach. At high voltage, Korn handed the pit mass hysteria by opening with “Here to Stay” from the 2002 album whose title epitomizes Korn as the Untouchables. Now all worked up, the beach was on fire as Korn’s visually awesome stage set and light design added extra spice to the opening of “Blind.” This was the moment when every single rocker in the place jumped up and down like crazy as Davis screamed: “Are you ready?!” Now it was on! Rocking the stage like madmen, dreads were flying as Korn crushed numbers like “Divine” and “Rotting in Vain.”
From the upcoming new album, Davis anointed the crowd with the album’s contorted single “You’ll Never Find Me” followed up by “Twisted Transistor.” Then, in merely one note, Korn satisfied everyones thirst for bagpipe action on “Shoots and Ladders” featuring a rumbling portion of Metallica’s “One.” Rising to the occasion, Korn turned it up way past eleven on “Got the Life,” “Make Me Bad,” “Somebody Someone,” and former MTV Total Request Live heavyweight champion “Freak on a Leash.”
Earlier in the evening, Davis shared Korn’s appreciation to the fan base for an incredible twenty-five years of success. A wicked thank you, Korn’s encore began with the fitting interludes “4 U” and “Twist” before injecting Queen’s “We Will Rock You” into a mental “Coming Undone.” Sadly, all good things must come to an end and Korn pulled out all the stops for an overwhelming final performance on “Falling Away From Me.”
On a perfect summer outing, Korn proved they have not lost a step and sent the Long Island crowd home in a great mood after one incredible night showcasing a diverse family of Rock. All this said, Korn and Alice In Chains are a hot ticket taking over the country city by city through September 4th, do not let it pass you by!
Photo credit: Andrew Fiero Photography