Over the last four years, KoRn have been in the middle of a huge career resurgence. When Brian “Head” Welch returned to the band in early 2013, it breathed new life into KoRn and the missing piece was back in place.
Later that year, they released The Paradigm Shift, which saw them headlining almost every major US rock festival and earned them a spot on 2014’s Mayhem Festival. Things were right back where they were supposed to be for KoRn and they followed it all up in late 2016 with The Serenity of Suffering, which many have deemed the band’s best record in almost 20 years- since Follow the Leader.
Following up on the success of the record, KoRn hit the road for the Serenity of Summer tour with Stone Sour (who released a new record mid-tour) and support from Yelawolf, Ded, Skillet Islander and Babymetal on different legs of the trek.
The tour came through Noblesville’s Klipsch Music Center with Yelawolf and Ded as support for a night that saw a near-sold out crowd and a show that many would remember forever.
Ded started the night off early with a set that didn’t see them talking to the crowd very much because they wanted to fit as much material into the set as possible. Their debut record had just released the week before the show and the first two singles – “Anti Everything” and “FMFY” had already been dominating the charts. But with the lack of an active rock radio station in Indianapolis it was hard to tell whether or not the Indy fans would know any of the music.
And did they ever. It didn’t take long before the crowd was jumping, yelling and singing along with every word of each song. The band recognized their excitement and fed off it, making for one of the bests opening sets Indianapolis had seen in some time.
Yelawolf took the stage next for a set that was a complete turnaround from Ded.
The stage was set up with the front of a giant classic car, which was used as a DJ booth, as fog engulfed the stage before Yelawolf himself walked out to centerstage.
His set, which was loaded with a metal/rap hybrid, was one of pure energy and adrenaline. He rarely stood in one place for long and was even joined by KoRn’s Fieldy and Ray Luzier at one point for a collaboration met with roars of jubilation from the crowd.
Next up was Stone Sour, who were fresh off the heels of their latest record- Hydrograd, which had already spawned a no. 1 hit in “Song #3.”
Anytime you put Corey Taylor in front of a Midwest crowd, the outcome is pure magic. The band took the stage to the intro of “Ysif,” from the new record and, as they ripped into “Taipei Prison/Allah Tea,” the crowd absolutely lost their minds. Taylor came running onstage like a bat of hell, spraying the crowd with water bottles and confetti guns, and the party had begun.
The set was loaded with hits and fan favorites and even saw the addition of whacky inflatable arm-flailing tube men during “Fabuless.” Regardless of how many times you’ve seen Stone Sour or where, this tour is one of the best Stone Sour sets and performances yet.
“It’s so good to be back in an area where rock and roll is appreciated,” Taylor told the crowd.
Before too long, the lights went down again and it was time for KoRn to take things over, and the crowd went insane. Standing on the side of the stage was a huge number of fans, the only thing separating them from the band was a line of security barriers or bike racks. It was very reminiscent of the “people cage” KoRn implemented in the 90’s.
Their energy was infectious and the band’s excitement was easy to see. They sound better than they ever have- Head and Munky’s guitar work is stronger now than it was when the ruled the world 15 years ago, Fieldy’s bass work is finer than he’s ever played and Ray Luzier continues to become one of the most impressive and underrated drummers in all of metal; then there’s Jonathan Davis. No words can justly describe how amazing he is live these days. His screams resonate and stick with you long after the show is over and his singing is hauntingly beautiful.
When a lot of bands release a new album, no new material makes it to the stage- not with KoRn. “Rotting in Vain” (the set opener), “Insane” and “Black is the Soul” all found their way into the set- much to the crowd’s excitement. It didn’t take away any time from the classics, either, with almost every major KoRn hit being featured too.
23 years after they officially debuted, KoRn is stronger, hungrier and more aggressive than they ever have been. Things don’t look to be slowing down anytime soon and they proved it with The Serenity of Suffering and the summer tour that accompanied the record.