Korn and Breaking Benjamin, if ever there was a 90s/00s tour to be at, it’s this one! The angsty, JNCO jeans and hockey jersey-wearing white boy in me jumped at this one. This tour is a melting pot of old school fans and new school fans alike. People such as myself that grew up with Korn’s self-titled début, Follow The Leader, and Issues alongside people who grew up listening to Breaking Benjamin’s We Are Not Alone, Phobia, and Dear Agony coming together to join in a loud AF holy matrimony that sold out the SNHU Arena with 12,000 people. So let’s hop into this mufucka, shall we?
First up we have a band that I’d only heard the name of but never the music, Bones UK. Hailing from Camden Town, London this three-piece rock band for sure gained a new fan that night. Between Rosie’s sultry yet aggressive vocal chops, Carmen’s driving guitar licks and runs, and the enigmatic heavy driving the beat down this road of rock and roll… Bones UK for sure is a band you want to take notice of. Oh, and they also are now Grammy Award-nominated. They had to hop on a flight out of Manchester New Hamphire Airport right after their set so they could fly back to Los Angeles for the Grammy’s. Unfortunately, they didn’t win, but hey, cool nevertheless.
Next on this road down nostalgia highway, we have everyone’s favorite self-reflective alterna-metal band, Breaking Benjamin. Bear in mind here, this is a co-headlining tour, so Breaking Benjamin and Korn both got full-length sets. This was a long one but a great one.
Rushing out on to the stage with much anticipation from the audience the boys of Breaking Benjamin opened up with their biggest hit of all time, ‘The Diary of Jane’, which I was honestly not expecting. But nonetheless, it’s a sure-fire way to get the crowd moving. Touring in support of their newest albums or Aurora (2020) and Ember (2018) and also touring to celebrate 20 years of music together, this band definitely paid respects to where they came from. Playing a myriad of songs that spanned their catalog all the way from their début all the way up until music that just came out a week ago. Much of the delight to everyone in the audience that was there to see them, it truly was humbling to see that all the success of this band has had hasn’t gone to their heads and anyway. They were very open about how much they appreciate their fans through the last two decades of being a band together and how singer Benjamin Burnley wants to keep doing this with the band until he is, ‘put in my ground’ as he put it. Quite the passionate speaker Mr. Burnley is. Closing out their set with my two favorite songs of theirs, ‘Until The End’ and ‘I Will Not Bow’, the Pennsylvania boys put on one hell of a performance… the best from them I’ve ever seen.
And that brings us to everyone’s favorite dreadlocks adorned and Monster Energy drink clad bagpipe player, Jonathan Davis and the rest of the fine gentlemen in Korn!
Initially hidden behind a giant white backdrop hiding the stage as it was being set up, as soon as the curtain fell (literally) the boys in Korn erupted on to the stage with ‘Here To Stay’ and then their most famous song, ‘Blind’. Once again proving that this monster of a co-headlining tour is an homage to all the old school fans and an introduction to the bands for all the new school fans coming in for the first time. Touring in support of their newest album The Nothing, this set was a huge mix of everything the band has done over the course of 26 years. Issues, Follow The Leader, The Nothing quite literally everything is represented on this tour. They even managed to throw in some bits of Metallica with covering parts of ‘One’ during the end of ‘Shoots and Ladders’. Running through a total of 16 songs for the night including a four-song encore, with some Queen thrown in for good measure during ‘Coming Undone’. And during the last song of the night, ‘Falling Away From Me’, I noticed something that warmed my heart. As I was enjoying the tail end of the show I noticed something, out of the 12,000 people packed into the arena, there were maybe 10 cell phones out. Now granted, I’m only 29 years old and I can’t remember a time of going to concerts where cell phones were not prevalent, but it does get very annoying to see a sea of cell phones recording the stage when you should be enjoying the show that you paid good hard-earned money to go to. At that moment I realized that this was an arena full of people in their late 20’s all the way up the to late ’40s and early 50’s here enjoying the music they grew listening to and felt at home with. Not gonna lie, it brought a tear to my eye.
All in all this tour is probably one of the most solid concert packages going this year, and I’m so glad that it came to somewhere close by that I was able to not only experience but also cover. If you have the chance to go to this show before it ends, you are in for a trip down memory lane and a hell of a good time.
This is Smallz… signing off.
WORDS AND PHOTOS BY CHRIS SMALL