Story & Photos by Andy Lyons, Editor-in-Chief
Metal legends Korn hit the Uptown Theater in Kansas City Friday night with support from up-and-coming rockers Ded and King’s Bounty. The show comes at the backend of a yearlong campaign in support of the band’s 2016 release “The Serenity of Suffering.” Korn were scheduled to perform at the Uptown in mid-May but had to cancel the show due to “unforeseen circumstances.” Lead singer Jonathan Davis posted a video apologizing to fans who purchased tickets to PointFest in St. Louis, which was scheduled for the same week as the KC show.
Fans were in for a treat Friday night, as Korn has headlined festivals worldwide all summer and played for a packed house at the Uptown.
Ded kicked the night off with a high energy, in-your-face set. The heavy sound and big stage presence got the crowd well-oiled for what was to come. The band consists of Joe Cotela on lead vocals, David Ludlow on guitar, Kyle Koelsch on bass, and Matt Reinhard on drums.
The crowd responded well to the group, which has played the festival circuit this summer as well as released their first album. Hit single “Anti-Everything” had the crowd moving and singing along and got fans into the show right away.
New York City rockers King’s Bounty continued the vibe, despite a somewhat slow start to their set. Lead singer Anthony Quiles brought the pipes, supported by the heavy work of the group behind him. The group straddles the fence between a heavy alternative and metal sound. The crowd again responded; as the Uptown’s bar ran through beer the crowd got loose and rocked out.
Celebrating more than 24 years as a band, Korn put their stamp on Kansas City. As the lights dimmed and the first chords of the set hit, the crowd virtually exploded. As crowd surfers came over the barrier, the band kicked things off with “Rotting in Vain” off of last year’s record. They continued to play songs from across the years, including quite a few songs from 1999’s “Issues.”
Davis is a master at working a crowd, and did so from thanking the fans in attendance for being the hardcore few who were able to secure tickets to the small venue, which has a capacity of 1,700. The crowd erupted again as he wielded his signature bagpipes for fan-favorite “Shoots and Ladders.”
The band includes Munky and Head on guitars, Fieldy on bass, and Ray Luzier on drums, and each plays a role in the group’s stage show. The dueling guitars make for an awesome back-and-forth between the band’s axemen. The growling slap bass and skull-crushing drumwork round out the band’s signature sound.
In a treat for fans, the group played emotional track “4 U” to kick off their encore. Davis dedicated the song to fans and the dichotomy of giving up his personal life to be a performer and at the same time credits fans for saving his life in the tribute. They rounded out their set with hits “Blind” and “Freak on a Leash” to a crowd that never stopped moving and singing along, showing why Kansas City needs more metal to come to town.