Jonathan Davis was larger than life on Saturday, as the frontman of Korn stood atop a Los Angeles parking-structure-turned-stage, surrounded by picturesque city lights for the band’s Monumental live stream. The nu-metal pioneers finally gave in to the art of the virtual concert without shying away from traditional concert theatrics, equipped with high-quality LED projection screens at the Stranger Things: Drive-Into Experience venue.
Korn kicked off right away, debuting the live performance of “Victimized,” pulled from The Paradigm Shift. Twin guitars broke the rising tension as the track began; Davis’ vocals were underscored by crashing instrumentals, though his low, beastial growl came out around the climactic bridge, as he bellowed, “Set free, set free, set free!”
“Cold” was impassioned with heavy bass and drums, though Davis got experimental on vocals, ranging from a bouncy, casual speak-sing to an animalistic, angry roar. He found mid-range in the chorus as he sang, “I’m on my way, this is the day/ This is the time to break it down.”
Deep, eccentric and slightly creepy, Davis’ vocals on “Falling Away from Me” fit the instrumental mood of the song. Reginald Arvizu—aka “Fieldy”—propelled the track with resonant bass, with drummer Ray Luzier providing a solid drumbeat. The band quickly circled back to 2019’s The Nothing with “You’ll Never Find Me,” an angsty, sleek force of nature. Guitarist Brian “Head” Welch and James “Munky” Shaffer kicked off with a dense riff, before Davis’ clean vocals entered. “I’m lost, you’ll never find me,” Davis cooed, his tone unusually burnished.
Drone cameras gave the audience a birds-eye view, making the whole experience feel like a top-notch concert film. The angles panned out as Korn swiftly transitioned from the fiery “Coming Undone” to “Throw Me Away,” with Davis singing, “Don’t let them throw me away/ Keep me and I’ll be okay.” The group covered an expanse of time and didn’t waste a single minute jumping from track to track, playing songs like “Throw Me Away,” which they haven’t performed in over a decade.
After the heartfelt “Justin,” the tempo switched up for “Black Is the Soul.” Davis’ vocals were disturbing yet catchy; the song started off dark and churning—courtesy of Welch’s growling guitar notes—before Davis began singing and the drumbeat transitioned into a funky, soulful rhythm. “Freak on a Leash” bordered on psychedelic, with distorted backing vocals and high, piercing guitar notes that seemed to slice straight through the night air. Davis dipped into an experimental scat as low, heaving guitars added to the performance’s appealing grime.
“Dirty” was dusted off from the live archives, full of vibrant bass, before the brooding “Can You Hear Me” and “Ball Tongue.” The latter was theatrically aggressive, with a classic, spooky Korn guitar effect and playful bassline underlying Davis’ twisted screams. The night faded out over Grammy-winning Untouchables track “Here to Stay,” a throbbing, heavy finisher. The bass was forthright, with enveloping backing vocals surrounding Davis’ diligent, barking tone. Worthy of its golden status, Korn’s finale was buzzing long after its final note.