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Live in Rockford, Illinois, January, 2011

Review by Gary Hill

Korn was the third band on a four band bill in Rockford, Illinois. Since I had the highest hopes for Korn, it meant that if anyone was going to disappoint, it would be them. The expectations were the most elevated. Well, they certainly did not let me down.

Their sound is so interesting and unusual that they are a metal band, but also not. Certainly comparisons to Tool are appropriate, but Korn doesn’t really sound like Tool. They have their own particular flavor. Since they weren’t headlining their set was shorter than I would have preferred, but it was longer than the earlier bands on the bill.

Gary Hill
Gary Hill
Gary Hill

I had a greater familiarity with Korn’s catalogue, so I knew most of the songs they played. They have such a great grasp of contrasting mellower sounds with more ferocious riffs. Yet, there is a certain dark tone that permeates all of the music. Some bands lose some of the subtlety of a sound like that in the live setting. That’s not the case with Korn. While their performance isn’t like sitting down and listening to the CD, they don’t lose the more unique sides of their sound when playing live.

Gary Hill
Gary Hill

For my money, I’d have to say that Korn’s set was my favorite of the night. Sure, part of that’s because I like them better, but there is more variety to their sound than either Sevendust or Disturbed (the other two major bands on the bill) have. That made their performance stronger. Once again, more stage time would have been preferred, but with a show that good, you just can’t really complain.

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Gary Hill
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 1 at
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