Jonathan Davis of Korn – Charlotte Fillmore – October 12, 2015
The bill this past Monday at the Charlotte Fillmore featured three bands, two of which hail from the same genre of nu-metal (Islander and Korn) with one of the other kids doing their own deathcore thing (Suicide Silencer).
Victory Records artist Islander, hailing from South Carolina, brought intensity and bravado to the stage to open up the night’s festivities.
The band has jumped from relative obscurity to regularly receiving praise such as being repeatedly one of the highlights on 2014’s Mayhem tour within what would be considered in the music industry an extremely short amount of time.
Although musical comparisons to nu-metal stalwarts such as the Deftones are well deserved to some extent, in a live setting Islander brings a more distinctive and heavier sound to the table than one might expect.
Still touring on their debut record, 2014’s Violence & Destruction, Islander literally forced the crowd to engage with them from the the minute they took to the stage. At one point early in their set lead singer Mikey Carvajal actually jumped over the photography pit and into the crowd to personally start the show’s first but not last round of crowd surfing.
Stand out songs from their set included the recently released new track, “Wake Up” and probably their most recognizable tune, set closer, “Coconut Dracula.”
As far as show openers go Islander set a fairly high bar however Nuclear Blast recording artist Suicide Silence was more than up for the challenge.
For a band that has somewhat of a shallow studio recording history Suicide Silence seem to have quite a storied history.
From receiving the Revolver Golden God Award for “Best New Talent” in 2009, to multiple successful stints on the now apparently defunct Mayhem tour themselves, to the the tragig death of original vocalist Mitch Lucker and on to the introduction of new lead singer Hernan “Eddie” Hermida in the band, Suicide Silence remain as relevant as any deathcore band on the scene today.
Suicide Silence has received positive praise throughout metal critic circles for all of their studio releases including last year’s You Can’t Stop Me, featuring Hermida fronting the outfit for the first time, however, this is a band whose sonic blast must be witnessed and more importantly felt live to be truly appreciated.
Picking tracks from all four of their studio LPs Suicide Silence electrified the Fillmore crowd with bone crunching riffs, high velocity tempo and guttural screams and pitches from Hermida.
Not surprisingly the band chose to end their somewhat short set with the classic, “Pity for a Coward” off of their 2007 debut The Cleansing. To say that this track sent the crowd into a set closing fit of moshing and mashing would be minimalizing the carnage that actually occurred on the show’s floor.
Suicide Silence set the table for show headliner Korn more than adequately and it’s apparent that the band has a bright future ahead of them as they move forward.
Let’s face it, although Islander and Suicide Silence both brought their fair share of hard core fans with them, the night clearly belonged to tour headliner Korn.
Literally the inventors of nu-metal, sorry Fred Durst, Korn have had their fair share of ups and downs but one thing that has remained consistent from the dawn of their careers is their connection with their fan base and the sheer gravity of their live performance.
Korn this time around is celebrating the 20th anniversary of their debut release Korn by playing the record in it’s entirety.
This format gives long time fans an opportunity to here songs live they haven’t heard in years or never at all themselves, while also given newer fans the chance to experience the record that started it all for the band.
That being said tracks such as “Blind”, “Faget” and “Shoots and Ladders” were very well received, whereas deeper cut songs like “Fake” and “Helmet in the Bush” came off as a bit unfamiliar to most but the true die hards.
The band chose to do an encore of classics offering up such hits as “Falling Away From Me”, “Coming Undone” and show closer “Freak on a Leash”, all of which sent the crowd into a fever pitch of sing-a-longs and crashing into one another.
All in all, any fan of metal of would have been hard pressed to leave the Charlotte Fillmore on Monday evening without feeling anything but a sense of head banging pride and a shot of adrenaline as all three bands proved to the crowd in spades that metal still has its place in the world of music today and that’s music to at least my ears.