December 6, 2013 Korn, Devour The Day, & New Theory light up Starland Ballroom Sayerville, NJ 11-27-13
A night after the conclusion of the co-headlining 17 date tour with Rob Zombie on “The Night Of The Living Dreads Tour” Korn were ready to rock a packed house Thanksgiving Eve, Wednesday November 27th, at Starland Ballroom in Sayverville, NJ. Eleven of the band’s studio albums have been on the billboard top ten, eight of which being in the top five. They have been certified platinum eight times, released thirty-nine music videos, forty-one singles, have had seven Grammy award nominations (taking home two), and have had eleven MTV Video Music Award nominations (also taking home two). These are just a brief list of the achievements this Bakersfield, California band has accomplished over the past 2 decades. After a 7 year absence from the band original guitarist Brian “Head” Welch reunited with Korn energizing their fan base. On the height of the excitement, Korn released the much anticipated new album The Paradigm Shift back in October. Now a record crowd at Starland Ballroom was ready to see Korn live with support from Devour The Day and New Theory.
What a fitting way to start a show than with a home state band in Port Monmouth band New Theory. Originally formed in 2004 with the goal of creating music that had a melodic but still heavy sound, New Theory took a little time off in recent years but are back with a bang announcing that they are working on new material and found themselves opening for Korn. The band has always had a relentless attitude, and through that has received relative success in the New Jersey area, winning battle of the bands and be featured on local rock radio stations. Stretching out their rock n roll muscles after a long layoff, the band put on a good performance. New Jersey faithfully enjoyed their performance and many words of comparison to hard rock titans Staind and heavier Nickelback moved about the room.
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Next up were Memphis, TN band Devour The Day. Having just formed in 2012, Devour the Day has already done so much in their short career on stage as a band. This is accredited to Blake Allison and Joey Chicago’s previous project Egypt Central, which gave them the insight and the ideals to write music without compromise. Their debut album Time & Pressure is perhaps one of the best hard rock albums of 2013. Showing no signs of slowing down they recently released their new EP Crossroads containing their rock radio hit “Good Man” among other tracks from their album, an acoustic version of “Good Man”, and a new track. These guys have been promoting and touring non-stop looking to spread the word. Now in 2014 they have announced Devour The Day will be a part of the 2nd leg of the Hellpop Tour along with acts such as In This Moment, Butcher Babies, and All Hail The Yeti.
As the band hit the stage, the opening track showed Starland Ballroom instantly why Devour The Day has gained such a following in such a short period of time. Alison sang his soul out while Chicago played the bass intensely while jumping around the stage. At one point Chicago even climbed on top of his own speaker. The crowd enjoyed the fun and energy Devour The Day brought to the stage along with the catchy, melodic, and heavy songs. Alison kept his vocal performance consistent throughout with the perfect blend of urgency and high energy. Songs like “Get Out
Of My Way”, “Respect”, and “Move On” are just some of the impressive live outputs given to the audience. There is no doubt that Devour The Day is picking up momentum and all the hard work is paying off. The year 2014 should be even bigger for these guys. Don’t miss them on the Hellpop tour!
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Now it was time for the main attraction. The lights were low; one could only catch a glimpse of the metal vine entangled drum set every so often as it shimmered in the darkness. The room was quickly filling with fog and fans grew anxious and started occult like chants of “Korn, Korn, Korn”.As the chants rose, a stage hand brought out the symbolic mic stand. While pulling away the wrapping, showing off the chrome alien like figure, an uproar of cheers ensued as fans knew what was coming. One by one Korn took the stage, each bringing a higher roar then the last. Once all members took their spots the song “Blind” kicked in and Starland Ballroom went crazy. Lights were flashing, fans singing, and there was enough head banging to make any metal head happy. Jonathan Davis still brings the same emotional power packed energy to stage as he did all those years ago. Belting out ear tingling vocals, Davis was on point and fans were feeding off the energy. The set was well put together with a good assortment of new tracks along with classics such as “Falling Away From Me”, “Coming Undone”, “Shoots And Ladders”, and “Here To Stay”. With James “Munky” Shaffer and Brian “Head” Welch providing the dueling guitar sound on stage again it felt like old times. The floor moved continuously throughout the entire set and the combination of the bass sound and Ray Luzier beating the drums made you feel as if Starland Ballroom was going to crumble. Michael Valentine from “Head’s Love And Death filled in for Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu nicely as “Fieldy” was called home on a family emergency. Cryptic Rock wishes him and his family well.
“Head” seems to be at peace with himself and on stage with his band mates in Korn. The lay-off to recollect himself as a human being and explore other artistic endeavors has really payed off for him and the fans. There was a strong chemistry on stage and that could only make one smile to see Davis, “Munky”, and “Head” performing together again. The performance seemed to fly by because of the excitement, and as the set closed with “Y’All Want a Single”, the screams could be heard from a mile away. Of course this was not the end as Korn gave the fans an encore consisting of “Get Up” and classics “Got The Life” and “Freak on a Leash”.
Watching Korn, it’s easy to see why they have had such success in their long career. These guys know how to get the blood flowing and keep it up throughout their entire live performance. Every die hard Korn fan that night left with a smile. With only a few North American tour dates left this year Children of the Korn can only hope to see them back around in 2014.
Written by Jesse Murch