Review / photos: Korn debut new dubstep sound at Hawaiian Village at the Stadium Green Iguana in Tampa
It’s getting cooler, and there is something about an outdoor concert in Florida when it’s cold that just works well. Maybe it’s because your beer stays cold and you don’t get that pool of sweat running down your back.
The Hawaiian Village at the Stadium Green Iguana hosted Korn on Nov. 11. The show was to promote the release of Path Of Totality, to hit stores Dec. 6.
As I was walking through the parking lot, I heard tailgating fans in discussion: “What is this place?” and “how did they book Korn?” Admittedly, I was asking myself those same questions.
I soon learned the answer is simple: This is an awesome and unique venue for concerts. Think, large stage, palm trees, tiki decks, VIP balcony areas (soon to be VIP suites), a swimming pool (yes, I said it), and it’s so close to I-275 that both St. Pete and Tampa residents will find it an easy drive. Those who are familiar with Green Iguana and their reputation in Tampa, can look forward to a nice change to the Tampa concert vibe. You can eat, drink, and bang your head in a tropical music emporium.
The last time I saw Korn was at Mayhem Fest in 2010. It was a great show, and as expected, they played many of their fan favorites. This time around I was curious of their “new” sound. Rumblings of a change was in the air, and the rumor was it wasn’t as heavy. DJs and a hip-hop artist were the opening acts. Was Korn going to make a major change with their unique, slow, bass-influenced metal sound?
When Korn took the stage, the more than 2,400 in attendance went into a frenzy. Lead vocalist Jonathan Davis sported his usual jogging garb, black with red stripes. He took to his custom microphone and the concert was officially in “bleed your eardrums” mode. The first few songs were old favorites, starting with Predictable.
The sound was great. I was a bit concerned about the acoustics at Green Iguana Stadium, but it sounded perfect, and the light show was awesome. If I had to knock Davis for anything, it appeared he was using a teleprompter to read lyrics of the older songs. It just seemed odd, like I was watching a karaoke performance, with his frequent glances to the two small monitors below him.
After warming up the crowd with old tunes, the “new Korn” was revealed. A total of five songs were played, starting with Narcissistic Cannibal. The sound was different, and the first change I noticed was drummer Ray Luzier seemed bored. He kept it as interesting as possible, but the new beats were a little more tame for a live drummer. It worked well with the sound, but as a talented drummer, it has to hurt Luzier to not play within your abilities. If Korn were a corporation trying to save money, they could have easily completed this sound with a basic drum machine. Luckily, the stage show Lazier provides adds to the band’s chemistry.
The crowd seemed to like the new “dubstep” Korn, with a more electronic-metal sound. The presence of a touring keyboardist to stage right was obvious, as well as a second touring guitarist to stage left. The songs were not has heavy and were geared towards a rhythm that would make a trance party proud. The crowd took to it well, however, with no apparent snarls.
After a few samples from Path of Totality, they continued with fan favorites from the old-school days. They played an awesome rendition of Pink Floyd's Another Brick In The Wall, and left the stage briefly, returning with Here to Stay, and Freaks on a Leash, and the crowd verbalized their approval. The fans were in party mode, and thanks to the five outside bars (if I counted correctly), beverages were not in short supply. Korn played a total of 16 songs; and were on stage much longer then I expected. They ended the night with Shoots and Ladders, Got The Life and Blind.
The openers were an example of Korn’s recent influences on their music. Dope D.O.D. got the crowd started, and this foursome had an old-school-style street rap. Next up were two DJs, Datsik and Downlink, playing from the same Mac laptop. The crowd took it all in, but like the Occupy Wall Street movement, 99 percent of the crowd just wanted to see Korn. The openers were the 1 percent.
This concert was a really good time. No fights. No issues. No pushy security guards barking orders. It reminded me of a high school keg party. You remember those parties where everyone was watching the local band jam in the backyard? It was great to see Korn in a close and personal venue. Give this venue a try. Grab some food (the Mambo King Burger is my favorite) and then stroll on back and take in the ambiance. Bring a towel if you decide to jump in the pool!
— Review/photos by Andrew Carlton, tbt*