KoRn @ Uptown Theater; Kansas City, MO

Following a night of hanging out with Burton C. Bell and Byron from Fear Factory as well as Tommy from Prong in this new punk club “Silver Ballroom” where there were like 12 pinball machines, Burton played the Jurassic Park one and Tommy played some Sci-fi movie one. But I mean its not too often you get to answer the question of what did you do last night with “watched Burton from Fear Factory play Pinball at this hole in the was punk club in South City” so I figured that would be pretty hard to top.

Scott and I headed out to Kansas City around 11am and arrived around 230-3pm. . took a lil longer because the one set of directions I didn’t print out was the directions from my buddies house to the venues itself. Once parked in the lot across from the venue the line wasn’t all that long so we went and got some food at the most delicious Chubby’s. While eating I had sent KoRn’s photographer Sebastien Paquet a facebook message letting him know I was in town and was good to meet up for a lil bit whenever he was. He messaged back his cell number and that he would be free from 6-730 which the doors were at 6 so that seemed good enough for me. While waiting in line we talked to this guy from KC, huge metal head, he was tellin us how he brought his pregnant wife whom could go into labor at any minute according to him. . just days away. He also told us about all the shows he had been to including one of his first ones Iron Maiden in ’84, I just laughed and said I was one at that time and smiled. Anyway so we are all talking when these random street performers start walking around the crowd blowing fire. . we just wanted him to get hit by a car or there were a couple good looking girls in the group so if they would have started making out or something they might have gotten a couple bucks. Anyway 6pm doors open but only to presell and early entry people so we wait a few min and finally are able to go inside. I text Sebastien to let him know we are inside and ready to meet up whenever.

After a few minutes he texts back that he is by the Box Office so we head up there, he’s not quite there so we talk to the Jager girls, one was kind of ditzy but hot enough to be like ok whatever. After a minute or two Seb walks up we introduce ourselves formally. I really wanted to know how he got started working with KoRn because I wanted to be doing the same business, he explained it briefly saying he started out in france doing basically what I do, take pictures at all shows and just network like crazy. After a while he wanted to move somewhere that it was always sunny so he moved to LA and started doing the same thing and well now here he is working with KoRn. We talked a little about french bands, and a little while later he was needing to head off. But, before he could leave I had one last question as to if the guys in KoRn were gonna be signing things after the show. He looked at his phone and said well we do have a meet n greet during the show let me see if we have a couple passes left. Sure enough he came back with two passes for us and told us to be back by the merch table at 730. So we go back and claim our spots in the crowd for a little while, the comedian Big Jay Oakerson came out to pass time before the first band took stage. He was pretty hilarious and then he called out the first band, which made Scott and I about die laughing, the opener was Conquest from St. Louis. For those of you that don’t know Conquest they are like an 80’s hair metal band but from today. . they are good at what they do but we really didn’t feel like watching them after two songs we went to the merch table.

There was a pretty decent crowd (20-30 including a few Kornspacers as well as korn.com folk) waiting for the meet n greet, seemed they were running a lil late but around 740 or so Sebastien and a few others came up to take us to the backstage area. We get there and are lined up along the back wall. . they were gonna walk to us instead. Jagermeister handed us all posters, which was awesome because I didn’t really have anything for KoRn to sign since I didn’t expect to do a meet n greet. But Fieldy was walked out first signing away, looking a lil upset, I think still from whatever is going on back home for him. Next came Ray, he was soo stoked to see us all signing things talking about the new album and how you can hear Ross Robinson yelling during one of the tracks if you listen close enough, mainly because of how they recorded in a teeny tiny room. A few minutes later Jonathan walked out I had to ask him about Sin-Jin Smyth the movie where he plays the devil, unfortunately he doesn’t seem to think it will ever see the light of day. But he was sportin’ a Cannibal Corpse shirt which was pretty epic. Finally Munky came out, the crowd cheered (felt a lil bad for the others since there wasn’t a cheer for them. . but we weren’t sure if Munk was gonna come out) so naturally when we saw him we were excited. He too was extremely excited to see us all, not to say that JD and Fieldy weren’t, but I mean for a meet n greet Munk and Ray were pumped to see us all, it was like a pregame warmup. Well once Munky finished signing things we headed back to the floor to snag our spots for KoRn. Luckily we missed 2cents the last opening act for the show.

Scott decided he was gonna hold both our posters since they were signed and we didn’t really want them getting ruined, I on the other hand worked my way up front. Before the show even started at least two fights broke out. DJ Kid Knuckles came out while KoRn’s set was being soundchecked and everything. He was bad ass!! Started out jammin some Pantera ‘Walk’ into Rammstein ‘Du Hast’ followed up with Tool, Slipknot, & S.O.A.D. which created an uproar and massive pit. Once he finished everything went silent aside from a few “KoRn” chants and the soundcheck for the drums.

Finally, lights out and up starts the sound clip of ‘4u’ from the bands 4th effort ‘Issues’ the crowd started goin crazy as the band slowly walked out for what ended up being an hour and a half of pure energy and emotion. KoRn walked out and dominated their set of 15 songs including newcomer ‘Oildale (leave me alone)’ every song sounding heavier than they do on the albums themselves. Some of my highlights were ‘Dead Bodies Everywhere’, ‘Need To’, ‘Throw Me Away’ (which sounds amazing live), their whole set was a highlight who am I kidding!! There were a few surprises like 2 amazing Drum Solos by Ray, a partial guitar solo from Munky, and what sounded like a lil bit of a jam of a new songs between Ray and Fieldy. The energy these guys bring forth in their live show is like no other from any of the countless numbers of bands I have seen live (which believe me is in the upper triple digits). Ray was the perfect addition to the band he definitely brings something special to the band and he syncs with Fieldy almost better than David did.

I was lucky enough to get a guitar pick from Munky and I stuck around for a lil bit and was able to get the Set List from Munky’s side so here is the general set for the Ballroom Blitz Tour:

4U
Dead Bodies Everywhere
Need To
Coming Undone/We Will Rock You
Here To Stay
Falling Away From Me (Ray Solo)*
Oildale (Leave Me Alone)
Somebody Someone
Did My Time
Throw Me Away (Ray Solo)*
Helmut In The Bush
Ray & Fieldy Jam into Freak On A Leash
Blind

Encore:
Shoots and Ladders
Clown
Got The Life

*don’t know if these were exactly where the solos were but it was around these songs.

I haven’t even talked about the venue yet, I will get a review of that up shortly. But do not miss this tour whether you are a new fan or an old skool fan this is a must see show. Scott hadn’t seen them in years and was blown away at how amazing they had gotten since the last time he saw them. Needless to say this concert was worth the drive and although we didn’t get to party with KoRn or watch them play pinball like we did the previous night with fear factory and prong members. . it still goes down as one of the best nights in history!

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