Near the end of its sold-out concert at the Fillmore Detroit Thursday, Korn — those purveyors of ’90s alienation and angst — cued up its version of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall.” The band couldn’t have known it, but just 48 hours earlier on the same stage, Guns N’ Roses played its version of the song; maybe Jane’s Addiction will go for the hat trick on Friday at the Fillmore.
There aren’t many parallels to be drawn between GNR and Korn, but Korn is closer to its heyday than Axl and the boys, and the band maintains a more active profile. Perhaps that’s why Korn’s show was better-attended than GNR’s, and why it felt more current. (It’s also worth noting that Korn’s show was over and the venue was cleared out earlier than GNR’s show even started.)
Korn’s most recent effort, last year’s “The Path of Totality,” finds the band trafficking in the waters of dubstep. But those songs didn’t sound all that much different than the rest of the band’s material, full of sludgy bottom end and rumbling bass, and Thursday those songs fit in squarely with the rest of the band’s material. An electronic makeover of the band’s entire catalog would have been more interesting, but it might not have given the band much to do besides stand there and bob their heads.
Instead, Korn played the hits, and songs like “Falling Away From Me,” “Freak on a Leash” and “Got the Life” gave the crowd what it was looking for. Frontman Jonathan Davis brought out the bagpipes late in the show — no dubstep remix needed — and the band closed with its standby, “Blind.” It was a safe show from a band that seems interested in pushing things forward but finds itself weighed down by its past. All in all, it’s just another brick in the wall.