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Live Review: Alice In Chains and Korn at Ruoff Music Center

What happens when Alice In Chains and Korn – two multi-platinum mega metal groups join forces to melt faces on a 30-date Summer Tour dubbed as the “KORNAIC” Tour? Though an unlikely pairing and similar only under the broad musical classification of “metal,” the duo complemented each other much like a fine wine and cheese – only if the wine was arsenic-laced and the cheese riddled with razor blades. Tuesday night’s exhibition was killer.

The show, which took place at Ruoff Home Mortgage Center two days prior to the official declaration of “Layne Staley Day” on what would’ve been his 52nd birthday, launched into action with high octane performances by opening screamsters Fever 333 and Underoath. Before Alice In Chains and frontman William DuVall (who replaced Staley in 2006) took the stage, a short sound byte from deceased comedian Sam Kinison politely demanded that concertgoers “PLEASE TAKE YOUR F***ING SEATS!” Finally, as the sun started to wane and the last few dilettantes found their seats, the band, still touring to support their 2018 album Rainier Fog, launched into “Angry Chair” – a menacing favorite from the band’s sophomore album Dirt. Quickly, they moved into quite possibly their most notorious song, “Man in the Box,” which had fans talk-boxing their voices to mimic the “wah-wah” sound for which the song is known. Weaving new songs and old songs alike into the setlist, they didn’t stray too far from what put the band on the map. “Again,” “Them Bones,” “No Excuses,” and “Would?” all had fans shouting out their best Layne Staley impersonations before concluding with “Rooster” – a personal fave.

Departing from the melodic nature of the Alice In Chains sound, Korn raged into their set with “Here to Stay,” the lead track from 2002’s Untouchables– the album which lead singer Jonathan Davis cites as the most grueling to record of their existing twelve LPs. Quickly, the band slammed into “Blind,” the first song on their debut and self-titled album which unknowingly (at the time) prophesized the coming of nu-metal for which the band popularized with the question, “ARE YOU READY?!” The band incorporated a variety of songs from their increasing catalog including their latest single “You’ll Never Find Me” from their upcoming release, The Nothing, due out September 13th on Roadrunner Records. During “Shoots and Ladders,” a chaotic nursery rhyme hymn, the band thrashed into a cover of Metallica’s “One” as metalheads slam danced with raw energy. “Got the Life” and “Freak on a Leash” also had people falling over themselves as they jolted and jarred themselves into a frenzy of not-so-coordinated moshing. For the encore, Davis and company gnawed through “Twist” and “Coming Undone” with the latter breaking off for a short rendition of “We Will Rock You.” Finally, the spectacle ended with the MTV/TRL smash hit “Falling Away From Me.” And like arsenic-laced wine and razor blade cheese, fans went home dead from what turned out to be the perfect pairing of bands.

You can catch this spectacle across the United States through the beginning of November!

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