Korn and Rob Zombie bring Nu-Metal Nostalgia to Riverbend

Jacob Crews Photography

Korn and Rob Zombie. I already hear the collected sighs of disgust from the more progressive metal heads. I’m sure they’ll be happy to know, that despite the age of these 90s nu-metal juggernauts, they are very much alive and well. 

Korn took the stage first and delivered what could only be described as a vintage set. As someone who has seen Korn way more times than I would like to admit, the vulgarity filled opener “Right Now” gave me a strong indication of how the rest of their set was going to go. There wasn’t a trace of their weird relationship with dubstep that’s been going on the last few years. No theatrics or ill-advised attempts at being artsy either.

Check out pics from the show HERE!


Aside from their new single “Rotting in Vain” in the early set, not a song played came from the past decade of their discography. I’m not one to hate on their later works, I rather enjoy a lot of it. Although, to see the band rip through a set of old favorites such as “Blind” and “Shoots and Ladders” was something special to see. The snippet of Metallica’s classic anthem “One” was a nice touch as well. Even though the band’s core members average an age in their mid-forties, you might mistaken them for 20 somethings. Jonathan Davis is energetic and charismatic. A commanding leader, grabbing the crowd’s attention and leading unified cheers and screams throughout the show. The rest of the Korn Krew bounced and headbanged through every song effortlessly. I’ve been lucky enough to see the drummer Ray Luzier, the only non-original member, several times with other acts such as Stone Temple Pilots. He is a machine on the drums and Korn is very fortunate to have him.


The show closed appropriately with Korn’s flagship anthem “Freak on a Leash’ bringing the 14 song onslaught to rousing conclusion. It was a welcomed back to basics Korn show that outshined previous performances. It really made me question who should have closed out the night.

Rob Zombie 

Rob Zombie reciprocated the only way he knew how. While Korn brought more of an aggressive tone to their show, Zombie brought the party atmosphere even though his stage show was a little strange. People dressed in giant demon costumes would roam the stage while classic horror film scenes flashed on the screen. Despite the oddities, Rob Zombie kept assuring the audience that this wasn’t no longer a concert, but a party. At 52, seeing him leap around the stage, doing high kicks and full sprints while singing and yelling makes me question my health. All the Zombie staples were present with an early set ripper in the form of “Superbeast.” The women in the audience got wild standing on chairs and sitting on shoulders during undead inspired dance metal tune “Living Dead Girl.” Zombie kept going strong later with the White Zombie classic “More Human Than Human.” Unfortunately, the set was the energy came in spurts between his hits and filler tunes. Zombie did produce the best moment of the night with a heavy metal reimagining of Grand Funk Railroad’s “We’re an American Band.” After a driving off into the night in his “Dracula,” Zombie left the crowd with a good time.

Rob Zombie 

Both had their moments, Rob Zombie had the crowd going with his retro horror party plan and proved he’s still a heavyweight in popular industrial and metal. Korn really won the night for me though with their non-stop assault on the ears. Korn’s set was stacked with hit after hit and didn’t slow down for the full time they played. With a new album on the way in October, maybe we’ll see a return to form with Korn. Regardless, Korn are the kings of their genre, no matter what you might think of nu-metal.