GIG REVIEW: KORN & Breaking Benjamin Live at Baxter Arena, Omaha
In the Midwest, not many metal bands bring the arena sized crowds. So it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up to go see Korn at the brand new Baxter Arena in Omaha, Nebraska. It was a perfect evening for a show, the weather was just right, and everyone seemed to be pretty stoked.
Up first was the Silver Snakes, a band out of LA. They were a tight knit group that got the crowd moving pretty well. It was a much darker set than I think a lot of the audience was expecting which left a lot of people either really blown away or really confused. I enjoyed the band and thought they sounded great, but I wasn’t overly impressed by anything.
Breaking Benjamin was up next and they played the exact list of songs you’d expect them to play. Honestly aside from the handful of breakout singles, it was difficult to tell songs apart after so long. They tried some crowd interaction and played short covers of tracks like the Imperial March (you might remember from Star Wars), “Schism” by Tool, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana, and Pantera’s tune “Walk”. The crowd ate it up as the band jumped back into the same practiced routine set. It all felt very mechanical and like it might have literally been choreographed, as all of the lights and effects were dramatically timed with the moves, which takes a lot of the edge and aggression off the whole vibe. In the end it felt very contrived and dragged on maybe a little too long in the end.
Korn came out in front of what looked like an array of solar panels that blasted light back at you. They opened up with a bunch of newer tunes to get the crowd up and moving, then dove right into the classics. That night, everyone in the crowd found out what having a seizure looked and sounded like; blinding strobes and Jonathan Davis doing skat over an arena PA system. I thought that joke was funny at the time until a few songs later and some chick is getting carried out on a stretcher. No idea what for, so don’t assume anything, but still. I will admit I got pretty excited when I heard my favorite Korn track, “Coming Undone”.
They played a wide range of material they had a great stage presence while doing it. There was a short cover of Metallica’s “One” mixed in as well which went over very well. So despite the questionable back lighting, the show was pretty good. The song variety seemed to please everyone and the bagpipe solo went as well as a bagpipe solo would go when you plug bagpipes into an arena PA. The encores went over like a charm and everyone went home pretty happy.