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Friday, February 10, 2006

From the archives: When Korn fans attack

In 2002, I reviewed a Korn concert at Brown County Arena in Green Bay. In a word, it was terrible. I review a lot of concerts by bands I don't personally like, and I can usually be objective. (I gave a positive notice to Toby Keith, for crissakes!) But this show actually made me angry. These guys were playing in front of 4,000 people (more than a lot of bands I like will ever see), and I couldn't think of one thing that made them artistically, emotionally or culturally redeemable. It was an ugly, "Show us your tits!" experience that I actively H-A-T-E-D. It's the one time where I wrote a review to exact revenge on a band.

Nu-metal band Korn offers its listeners an earful of pain

GREEN BAY -- A concert broke out Friday night during a brawl hosted by Korn at the Brown County Arena.

The nu-metal band "treated" about 4,000 fans to 90 minutes of anti-anthems like "Freak on a Leash," "Got the Life," "Faget," and "Dead Bodies Everywhere," but the music was beside the point. Korn's bludgeoning brand of rock is an all-out assault on an audience assaulting itself.
It's entertainment as pain, where you pay someone to make you feel crummy so you can take it out on your fellow audience members.


How do you describe a Korn concert experience? Imagine a fleet of 747s doing a fly-by a dozen feet over your head while a chainsaw buzzes slowly through your skull, and you have a decent approximation.

If success here is judged by the severity of your headache as you finally, mercifully, walk out alive, then this show is one for the ages.

In fact, Korn could go down as one of the worst sounding shows in the history of the soon-to-be-semi-retired Brown County Arena. Congratulations, boys! And please, pass the Extra Strength Tylenol!

Korn has undeniably connected with a segment of today's youth culture. Front man Jonathan Davis and his dreadlocked band mates held the audience in the palms of their hands as soon as they walked on stage.

If only the band could use that power for something other than encouraging a violent mob mentality (which contradicts the nonconformist rhetoric of Davis' lyrics). Watching hordes of beefy young men insanely pound the testosterone out of each other on the arena floor (some to the point of physical collapse) was a disturbing sight, like a battle scene out of "Braveheart" re-imagined by Roger Waters.

Also disconcerting was the overwhelming level of stupid maleness that rippled through the crowd between Korn and opener Puddle of Mudd, when hundreds of overheated mooks aggressively implored their female counterparts to expose themselves. It's hard to say what was more pathetic: That no guys stepped in to stop it, or that so many gals obliged.

There was a silver lining to Friday's show: The turnout was about half of what Korn drew at the arena in 2000. Nu-metal is played out. People are starting to look elsewhere. When its day is done, and that day is hopefully coming soon, Korn will really have something to be angry about.

In retrospect, I was a tad harsh. And I come off more old-mannish than I would like. But I stand by the review. Anyway, Korn fans took issue with my "critique." I recieved about 60 e-mails, 12 phone calls and one death threat. I was also called "gay" about 1,432 times. Here's some of what they had to say.

I think u (freaking) suck!!! not KoRn, they are they best band ever. and u should respect them cause if it wasn't for korn bands like cold orgy disturbed POM limp bizkit deadsy etc. and for you to talk about the best nu-metal band like that you should be (freaking) shot... if i see u somewhere am gonna slit ur (freaking) (gosh darn) face to peaces!!!!!!! In KoRn Kamp 2day they said this was there funnest time on tour this yr... i have seen them already this yr and it was great !! i just don't think you sould express urself so much like this....

OI U (freaker)!!!!u think koRn are so bad and crap rite. they caouse us so called troubled kids to hurt and kill well u know u r just another victim of society if u ever acctually listend to the lrycs u will understand. us koRn fans have trouble dealing with bullies and family (stuff) and koRn are like an anti deprecent just when u think no one is listening to u u put on some koRn and u realise ur not alone. we dont kick the (stuff) outa each other at gigs if u were acctually a person who listend there are un written ruls to a mosh so (freak) ur judgement u r just as bad as the bullies that break my nose an (stuff) u (freaking) preppy posh (ape hole) (freak) you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You must be gay. You're threatened by women taking there tops off. I bet if they were guys, you would've applauded and drooled.(Freakin') idiot

Steve I want to say you suck! Your review of the Korn concert was pathetic. If you didnt like Korn to begin with why the hell did you go the concert in the first place? If you have nothing good to say about it why did you write anything at all???? I think your columns suck! You never have anything good to write. You were a complete loser at appleton east and it's showing that you carried that out into your writing career. I guess you dont need much of an education to write for the Post Crescent since you got in there right after high school. You had no friends then since you were just an UNPOPULAR loser computer geek and you probably have no friends now. So my point is if you didnt like the show keep your mouth shut and your feelings to yourself. Just because you didnt like the show it doesnt mean the other korn fans didnt. And if you didnt like the flashing between the bands that just goes to show your GAY!! Keep your thoughts to yourself next time. (Named withheld), Class of 95.

You are nothing. And I don't usually say this to people, but you should go in a dark hole and rot and die. You don't belong where humans are because you are just going to rip the (stuff) out of some other band so that you can get more hate mail and get this (stuff) all over again.

Maybe you should stick with Christian music, you bleeding heart idiot.

personally i consider hip hop to be one of the biggest menaces for the society. it represents decadence. nu-metal will never die as long as there are people like you in this (gosh darn) world !!! stupid, horny little bastards like you make this youth angry, canĀ“t you understand that?

What I'm trying to say is that you shouldn't be bringing down bands the way you did in your review. You see it's (freaks) like you that make bands not want to come back to this area to do shows. I think you suck as an editor and (I hope) that you get fired for your (stuffy) poor review. Have a nice day, Steve.

At least it ends on a positive note.

13 Comments:

Anonymous m said...

i remember reading this the first time... didn't you get slack from the fans? .. dumb question..

in other news it's sunny and 70's here today. i think march 11th is a perfect weekend to visit

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Sarah...the stepniece said...

hahahahaha

this gave the 14 year old alot of entertainment

and that was a great review of korn

i dont like them

they are ugly
and they arent good artists

go steve!!!

8:04 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

You make my hate mail sound boring.

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did not raise you to be a bully. Now you apoligize to those fellows right now young man.

11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are nothing. And I don't usually say this to people, but you should go in a dark hole and rot and die.

i would have though he said that all the time. and wow, i love the guy who graduated from east.. computer geek? that's not really accurate. oh well. go patriots. got to love that

11:17 PM  
Blogger paul said...

I actually got a little anxious and a bit of an upset stomach from reading the comments. Honest.

11:34 PM  
Blogger RRRose said...

this blog post made me think of something.

i haven't read my student evaluations from last quarter because I am really scared to ready all the negative comments.

how do you do it? how do you read the negative mail from people and not get discouraged? I'm sure you must think about and know that there are tons of people that read your columns and love it and that is maybe why you do it, but how do you deal with the haters? just curious.

10:48 AM  
Anonymous kbl said...

i totally luv KoRn and was their two and KoRns music is awesome. There more cool than U. i dont no what a homophone is but im pretty sure you must be one.


Seriously, my favorite part of the hate mail is that people can remember to randomly capitalize the "r" in Korn, but beyond that, all rules of grammar and syntax are eschewed in anarchic abandonment. Maybe that's what happens when one's favorite genre of music is spelled "nu" metal? Or maybe it's another way to throw off society's shackles and stick it to the man? Because nothing says "Long live the revolution!" like the mob mentality of the semi-literate.

Hate mail is the best. As are hate phone calls. Did you know that 9/11 is my fault? Personally. I didn't either, until someone left me a voice mail explaining that. I love people. They're (their, there) smart!

11:00 AM  
Blogger road apples said...

You shouldn't be so harsh on those fine young gentlemen, Steven. Even if they are uneducated drug sucking miscreants with the moral propensity of barn yard animals, they are still god's creatures. Now you play nice or I am going to speak to your pastor about this.

11:36 AM  
Anonymous lunarkat23 said...

Have we all lost our minds? The purpose of being a writer is to express your opinion! It takes an open mind and talent to extrapolate the negativity from others and make it entertaining for the rest of us!

Awesome insight~

3:04 PM  
Blogger mightyturtle said...

I've got two words for KoRn: Motor. Head.

7:56 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

I went to a KoRn concert in Madison's Alliant Energy Center and it was a great show. Yes, I'm one of those girls that will mosh with the best of them, but there are surfers that will drop and just about crush us little people. I take that chance on the trade of the full 'concert experiance'. That being said, while I was offered the shoulders of countless guys to flash the cameras (and denied them all), when the actual concert began the crowd was the nicest group I've ever moshed with. Maybe I was just lucky that night, but even at much tamer concerts, I've been hurt a lot more than at that KoRn show. I will always remember the nice people around me that night. Random guys I didn't know where looking out for me. They weren't haters, even if I didn't take my top off for them.

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