Huntington, WV is a town that doesn’t get a lot of recognition, nor a ton of big name concerts. On this night though, Huntington hosted one of the biggest tours of the Fall. Night Of The Living Dreads is a tour that features co-headliners Rob Zombie and Korn with special guests Scar The Martyr. The tour rotates headliners every night and on this stop, we had the honor of having Rob Zombie take the main spot.
First up was Scar The Martyr. The band is a side project for Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison. I’m not afraid to admit that this band knows how to bring the heavy. In all honesty, they were the heaviest, most true metal band on the night. Their energy was great and their intensity was unleashed upon the Huntington patrons. If the crowd didn’t know who this band was coming in, they damn sure left knowing their name.
View the Scar The Martyr photo gallery here.
Next up was co-headliner Korn. I was really excited to see the band after they recently reunited with original guitarist Brian “Head” Welch. I had heard that sobriety had really brought the band back to the top of their game and I was eager to see it for myself.
Wasting no time, the band kicked it off with the song that started it all, Blind. The first song on the first record and forever a favorite. As the momentum in the song built up, so did the energy in the crowd. As the adrenaline explosion consumed the crowd, three words set them off like no others could….ARE YOU READY?!?? Boom. Game on. What a fantastic way to get hearts pumping and hair flying!!
As a photographer, seeing Twist next was a bit disappointing. We’re only allowed three songs to get what photos we can, so such a short song can be frustrating. On the flip side of that, as a long time fan, seeing Jonathan Davis perform his seemingly aimless scat up close and personal was simply awesome.
Korn brought a trifecta of hits next. Playing Falling Away, Dead Bodies Everywhere and ending with a phenomenal performance of Coming Undone. I thought that Coming Undone was going to be the highlight of the show. That is until Jonathan Davis broke out the bagpipes and the band tore down the arena with a massively heavy rendition of Shoots and Ladders. The energy in the building was at a fever pitch and the West Virginia crowd became a bevy of backup singers.
View the Korn photo gallery here.
Somebody Someone and Here To Stay continued the onslaught, which led them into their current single Never Never. I was really curious to see how this song would go over live. Especially since the song just spent three weeks atop the Active Rock charts. What I saw was what I expected. The true fans knew it immediately, but the old school fans were a little hesitant to get rowdy. Fortunately, Jonathan Davis realized this and immediately brought the crowd back with Ya’ll Want A Single. The heavy laden chorus with chants of “Fuck That” are the easiest lyrics a drunk fan can ever sing, so all was good again in the world.
Ending the set with Got The Life and Freak On A Leash, was an interesting choice for me. With several newer hits still in their arsenal, I was surprised to see these two close the show. Perhaps though, it was simply a nod to having Brian “Head” Welch back in the band. After all, Follow The Leader was one of their biggest albums with the original, now reunited lineup (Less David Silveria).
I can’t help but take a moment here and say, what a difference ten years makes. That’s the last time I saw Korn live and to be honest, I was pretty let down then. From then to now though, Korn is a completely different band and has once again re-established themselves as strong players in the metal genre. Jonathan Davis sounds great. Drummer Ray Luzier, coupled with the thunderous slaps Fieldy provided were deafening. Add in the immediate chemistry of Head and Munky and I’m now more impressed than ever.
Rob Zombie is an artistic, creative genius who’s music, films, comics, antics and even cartoons have captivated millions. So it was no surprise there were so many Rob Zombie shirts in the arena. What was a surprise though, and quite a comical one at that, was his use of John Denver’s classic song Take Me Home, Country Roads. As the lights dimmed, the song was blasted throughout the arena and the crowd ate it up. With lighters and cell phones drawn, the crowd united in their love for West Virginia and sang along at the top of their lungs. This provided a huge emotional lift and when the band hit the stage, the crowd was easy pickings. That is how it’s done Ladies and Gentlemen.
Kicking things off were Dead Radio, Superbeast and Scum Of The Earth. By the time the band tore into Living Dead Girl, Rob Zombie was in full-on badass mode. Vocals warm, blood pumping, Rob Zombie ran back and forth across the stage like a stalking lion. Only stopping a few times to do his signature war/rain dance/spin move he incorporates. The stage was continually flooded with solid colors, red being an obvious favorite, and the scene was set to make this a real party.
John 5 then attacked the Star-Spangled Banner with a style that will always be his own. That led directly into their current single, the cover of the Grand Funk Railroad classic We’re an American Band. While I can’t say I expected to see beach balls flying around the venue at a Rob Zombie concert, it did help add a festive spirit and a unique flavor to a metal show.
View the Rob Zombie photo gallery here.
After a sweet drum solo from Ginger Fish, the band broke into one of my favorite Zombie songs, More Human Than The Human. An obvious fan favorite, Rob took his energy to the front row. Leaning on the rail, there were high fives, crowd surfers and again those beach balls. It was at this point though that I noticed something a bit odd at a metal show, I had not seen a pit yet. I can’t say that I’m opposed to not having a pit, as I have seen a lot of bad things happen, but I was surprised.
Keeping the crowd participation going, Rob split the house and had each side scream to see who could be the loudest. One side yelled Rock! The other…well, ummmm…Motherfucker. Lol After the music started, it was obvious as to why, as the band tore through a spirited version of Sick Bubblegum.
Creepy and cool are words that can only be used to describe the performance of House of 1000 Corpses. They followed that up with Never Gonna Stop and the classic White Zombie tune Thunder Kiss ’65. What’s not to love about those three songs? Nothing. Exactly. As Thunder Kiss stopped, John 5 broke into an extended guitar solo, which is always awesome, but this one was different. The one, the only Rob Zombie took to the floor and made his way around the venue. Carrying a large flashlight, Rob was mobbed for a good 6-8 minutes as he gave high fives, hugs, handshakes and made memories for several thousand of his newest, closest friends. John 5’s guitar solo then became the soundtrack for that unique moment. As the fans settled down a bit from the experience that Mr. Zombie had just given them, Rob invited Fieldy, Head and Munky from Korn back on stage. They then covered the classic Diamond Head tune Am I Evil, which most fans will remember was covered on Metallica’s Kill ‘Em All. After this jaw-dropping collaboration, my question then became, how the hell do you top that?! Well, in my opinion, you don’t. BUT, Dragula was a damn good consolation prize to end the night with.
This tour, from my point of view, was a fantastic bill with tons of energy, lots of hits and a plethora of memorable moments. If you missed this tour, I strongly suggest that you immediately kick yourself in the ass.