Korn 20th Anniversary of "Follow The Leader" at the Palladium Concert Review

The Korn gig at the Palladium in Hollywood, California last night was one for the books. It WAS a special occasion, after all. The leaders in nu-metal are celebrating 20 years since the release of their epochal, third studio album Follow The Leader, which was released August 18, 1998. The celebration spans over the course of three special nights, which kicked off on September 12 in San Francisco and wraps up tonight in Las Vegas.
I was only one of the lucky Korn Krazed fans that got to experience a nu-metal cleanse by way of Korn performing a one-and-a-half hour set that showed off all the best moments from their career. The night was nostalgic but it in a “the '90s-metal-scene-has-been-reborn” kind of way. After securing my choker as tight as I could, I entered the sold out Palladium and was greeted with a gorgeous Korn curtain that gracefully fell over the stage. The DJ was spinning every great hit from the era that stayed in the realm of nu-metal and rap, including “Chop Suey” by System Of A Down, which had a sea of people moshing before the show even got started.
After the DJ got our blood pumping, Korn geared up to take the stage. One of the best things about Korn is that they LOVE their fans, just as much as their fans love them. How do I know this? Because they didn’t keep us waiting in anticipation with any opening acts, or waste our time by performing 30 minutes after showtime. That’s some ideal band-to-fan RESPECT.
I had a very nice center-to-side balcony view of the stage, so I got a sneak peek of the band lining up on stage behind their curtain as a catchy interlude blasted over the speakers to hype up the crowd. Frontman Jonathan Davis was already dancing his way to the center, and as the curtain finally dissipated, there was a calm-before-the-storm moment before the band aggressively head-banged into the opening track off Follow The Leader, “It’s On!”
The stage was a spectacle within itself. The backdrop was the album’s cover art, and the stage was sectioned off by platforms which allowed the band to perform on all sorts of elevated levels, with the drummer being at the very top. This allowed fans to get the best view of their iconic cornrows from all different angles and perspectives. Check the photos above to see what I mean.
There could have been an earthquake during that first track, and I wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference due to the unanimous jumping, stomping and head-banging. They wasted no time fluidly going into staple industrial-rock club banger “Freak On a Leash” where we got to truly witness Davis flex on us with his incredible dance moves. It’s the kind of moves that makes you immediately want to copy anything the said-dancer is busting out, and that’s exactly what I did. Oh and yes, Davis successfully beatboxed out that crazy, gibberish part in the track. You know which part I’m talking about. Watch a video of this below:
Korn "Freak on a Leash" Live at the Palladium FTL 20
By the time the third song ensued, a circle-pit was already brewing in the middle of the crowd and shirts were nowhere to be found; some real freaks on a leash if you know what I mean. “Got the Life” and “Dead Bodies Everywhere” gave all of us freaks the opportunity to scream-sing along with Davis as the Bakersfield heavyweights flailed their korn-rows around in whirlwind formations.
After that track, the setlist ceased to follow in consecutive Follow The Leader order (no pun intended.) Rather than playing “Children of the Korn,” (which originally features Ice Cube), they skipped over to “B.B.K.” These anniversary shows marks the first time the band has brought this track back onto the setlist since 1999.
Davis stopped only once to address the crowd, only to tell us how much he loves us. This validation was enough to make my ego fly high for at least the next month or so.
“Los Angeles! It’s been a minute hasn’t it? It’s because you listened to us in high school that we’re still here. We f*cking LOVE YOU!”
Following “B.B.K.” was “Reclaim My Place,” another track they hadn’t included on a setlist since 1999. Then there was “Justin,” making the very first time Korn has performed this cut in full. After this, the band momentarily took a break from the stage as a tape faintly played the first groovy snippets of their track “Cameltosis.” Spoiler alert here – Korn did not go on to play FTL in full.
When they came back to the stage, they went right into the hits that made them the nu-metal heroes they are today. “Blind,” “Clown,” and “Somebody Someone” were all included in this second half of the set. Korn, Issues, Untouchables, Take a Look in the Mirror, and See You on the Other Side all got some love in the set, and fans embraced this with open arms, and enthusiastic moshing.
The encore cued a cool costume change from Davis. During the main part of the set he was dressed in a stylish metallic track suit, a VERY good look in my book. But for the encore, he switched to a Celtic, gothic looking number. I can’t really explain it but it involved a kilt thingy and Celtic crosses. Just trust that it was very metal.
The encore was four-songs long and personally, my favorite part of the set, due in-part that it was dominated by cuts off of my favorite Korn album Issues. They performed “4 U,” “Make Me Bad,” and “Falling Away From Me.” The last song they landed on was the closing track on FTL, “My Gift to You,” reminding us what we were there to celebrate and that Korn truly is a gift to all of us.
Korn FTL 20
The night closed on a very endearing note, Davis brought out his kid who was perched on his shoulder, a rock star in the making. All in the Family. Winky face.
I walked away with a Korn BUCKET hat to match the check mark I added to my BUCKET list of bands to see live. And on that note, I’ll sign off now.
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Last updated: 17 Dec 2018, 01:20 Etc/UTC