Korn / Dimmu Borgir in Mannheim

KORN and DIMMU BORGIR does not quite seem to fit at first glance, on one hand US Mainstream-New Metal, on the other hand Norwegian Black Metal. Still those 2 were touring together, with the US act headlining. And let´s be honest, no need to be narrow minded about it as any Metal fan should be familiar with both acts, as they had their major hits when most of the present audience was still in their early teens. Therefore this gig at Mozartsaal, Mannheimer Rosengarten, was a must for every headbanger but also for younger people who wanted to find out why those 2 became major acts. And naturally there was curiosity, too: does the flame still burn?

As it is the case with more mature bands, they started absolutely punctually at 21 h with DIMMU BORGIR entering the stage. The setlist contained even 2 surprises, as those songs were not to be expected at all, and you could notice that by the rather reserved audience reaction. The band seemed a bit reserved as well, however brilliantly they played their instruments. DIMMU BORGIR had received excellent media feedback for their new album “Abrahadabra”, therefore I was curious how those five pull it off live on stage.

And the bloody gods were in good mood, taking off with „Xibir” from the new album. Their solid Black´n´Roll activated – slowly but surely- the audience where more and more head could be seen banging. „Gateway” and „Serpentine” were more highlights by the Norwegian Groove Machine, it was a sheer pleasure to watch those guys at work. I have hardly ever seen a tour package that displayed so much fun on stage, being so charming and close to the audience. Absolutely great!!!

Well, and then it was time for the pioneers of much loved, much hated Nu Metal, KORN After their intro they took off immediately, also the audience was there in an instant with excited cheers in the pit. Jonathan Davis inspired his band mates and his voice was in top condition – well, naturally with the help of some oxygen in between tracks.

James Shaffer and Reginald Arvizu joined him in the front row, pumped bass and guitar riffs through the PA system, complemented by the musicians in the background. Sometimes drummer Ray´s posing got a bit out of hand, even after the first track we all knew already how well he can juggle his drumsticks – typical US stage show! The powerful performance convinced the audience right away, and naturally the new album was featured in the brilliant setlist that contained hit after hit, no wonder there was a lot going on in front of the stage.

„Pop A Pill”, „Somebody Someone“ or „Falling Away From Me” were some of those great songs blasting through Mozartsaal. KORN delivered a solid gig with equivalent light show. Yet the bass and the bass drum were a bit too dominant, besides the fact that the volume level was already painfully high. The audience cheered enthusiastically to classics and new songs as well, a convincing show that ended with the grand finale “Shoots and Ladders / One”, „Clown“ and „Got the Life“.

Indeed a great evening at Mannheimer Mozartsaal. None of the bands was disappointing, and a great package that blew the dust out of your ears. Let´s hope that in the future more tour packages like this stop by in Mannheim and at Mozartsaal. I am simply blown away, great stuff, thumbs up!!!

Markus Seibel

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