Korn and Evanescence headed out on their first full tour together since 2007 and I had the pleasure of reliving my childhood at their Jones Beach date. Evanescence was one of the first bands to introduce me to alternative and rock music as a whole. I was fascinated with Amy Lee and, admittedly, a little scared of the “mermaid witch lady” on the radio who sang in such a hauntingly beautiful tone my 7 year old brain thought she was casting spells through the airwaves. I’d love to say I can remember an introduction to Korn, but truthfully, it feels to me like I woke up one day and knew “Freak On a Leash” and “Coming Undone” the way people suddenly know all the words to “Living on a Prayer;” a mystery I’m not questioning, but crediting (most likely) to MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball reruns.
Following the release of several Woodstock ‘99 documentaries, it definitely feels like nu metal is having a proper resurgence. Opener Jeris Johnson plays to the next generation of nu metal fans, having collaborated with nu metal and active rock icons like Papa Roach and Nickelback, as well as newer artists like Trippie Redd and Bring Me The Horizon. The crowd at the show had a wide range of faces and ages, with several generations of families in the stands, and this lineup had something for everyone. Glam-rock-meets-Brit-pop band Palaye Royale catered to a more eclectic fan, bringing a different but equally as hard hitting energy to the stage before Evanescence. They call their shows “an adrenaline-fueled, Rock n’ Roll circus” and I think that’s a perfect way to describe it.
When Evanescence took the stage, it was clear this was a true double headliner. Every fan was screaming along to every word, and you could feel how much this meant to them. When I went back to my seat after the first 3 songs, it was like walking back to a family. I didn’t know these people, but they stopped to ask me if I was having fun and sang along. Sometimes you go to a show and it’s obvious everyone is there for something different; we all love the music, but maybe this is background noise to something else going on or it just sounded like a good thing to do on a Sunday night. Every person was locked in on Amy Lee and the rest of the band. Every move they made was met with roaring applause and a million “WE LOVE YOU”’s and when they exited the crowd didn’t leave with them. They felt the same about Korn.
Korn’s production was out of this world. They entered the stage behind a massive digital wall, playing behind haunting and explosive visuals that compare to stadium level setups. When the wall did rise, it created a frame for the stage, encasing them in bright and eccentric clips. Not being in the GA pit didn’t stop anyone from thrashing around and head banging along, there was no way to sit quietly and watch them play; you have to move with them. There were no breaks, the band’s energy carried steady throughout the entire set, finishing off with an iconic duet of “Freak On a Leash” with Amy Lee. Check out the highlights from this heavy hitting double headliner below!