This Korn doesn’t Pop

He’s not quite so young anymore, and he needs an occasional puff from an oxygen tank to get through his set.

But eight years after the band’s first release, Korn front man Jonathan Davis is still arguably hard rock’s best lead singer.

The strength of Davis, however, is not just in his impressive singing range and powerful voice, but also in his writing. Having survived a troubling, abusive childhood and a stint as an assistant coroner, Davis’ raw emotional response to his past comes forward in his lyrics, conveying at the same time hatred, rage, sadness and a twisted sense of humor.

Anchored by technically-sound instrumentation that features two seven-string distorted lead guitars, each of Korn’s songs is unique; the sounds haunting and unforgettable.

Now on its fifth successful album, Korn comes to Tampa today on its Pop Sux 2002 tour with its legacy cemented. And the band has received admiration from its peers.

David Draiman, lead singer for opening act Disturbed, calls Korn “the godfathers of modern heavy metal.”

So, what can Tampa area Korn Kids expect from this latest visit by the band? Well, quite simply, Korn will give you a little bit of everything.

The band will play songs from all five albums. They will play some of their original hits, like “Blind” and “A.D.I.D.A.S.,” as well as newer hits like “Trash” and “Here to Stay.”

In addition, Korn will pound out its disturbing nursery rhyme classic “Shoots and Ladders,” and, yes, Davis will play his trademark bagpipes.

One of the highlights of the show comes when the band plays “Thoughtless” from its latest Untouchables album. This song showcases Davis’ vocal talents and the best of what Korn has to offer. Stalking around the stage in his gothic black robe embroidered with a black cross, Davis belts out a song that is moving, yet troubling.

But this current installation of Korn is not without its disappointments. The band has reached the point that a select few bands reach where they have too many hits to be able to play them all. So, some Korn staples like “Faget” and “Good God” will be left out of the show.

Also, the St. Pete Times Forum is really not the best venue for this kind of band. Korn is meant to be seen in intimate settings, where the power of the show can be experienced up close.

But, besides those drawbacks, tonight’s show will be one of the best hard rock shows that you can possibly see. Korn’s records do not do its music justice. Korn is a band that must be experienced live to truly understand its emotion.

Just ask those people who have gone into a Korn concert in the past as lukewarm fans.

They have come out bona fide “Children of the Korn.”

Contact Rob Brannon at