Powerful, Heartfelt and Masterful is how I can best describe the evening of Sunday May 6th, 2018 at the legendary Chicago House of Blues. Jonathan Davis a.k.a. JDevil, vocals of KoRn invaded the fair city of the Dark Knight “Gotham City” aka Chicago in support of his upcoming 1st ever solo album Black Labyrinth (drops May 25). JD with KoRn since 1997 actually embarked on this solo album endeavor all the way back in 2007 where he formed a group and released a few live albums, but the solo record seemed to elude him. Until now! Well until May 25th that is! Take note: What my ears have heard so far….. Hmmmm… This is going to be one epic release!!!
On to the show! What did I say before? Are you keeping up? Powerful, Heartfelt and Masterful!!! Chicago House of Blues settled against the Chicago River downtown gives you a nice sweet home Chicago blues feel; in a small vintage 1800 style theater with high ceilings and John Wilkes Booth approved opera booths (J W Booth and Booth(s) Ironic… Sorry I digress). The crowd filled the venue as the anticipation was mounting. Then without a hitch the evening was off and running with a young hardcore band out of Iselin, New Jersey called Palisades. They came with it and the crowd really responded. Palisades’ current lineup is Louis Miceli (vocals), Matt Marshall (guitar), Xavier Adames (guitar), Brandon Elgar (bass, vocals) and Aaron Rosa (drums). Overall solid, tight and well delivered performance. Hope they can keep the momentum going. Check them out and catch a show. Dates can be found on the bands website:
OK – Powerful, Heartfelt and Masterful!!! Yeah! Back to that again. Me personally I didn’t know what to expect. I mean I’m only used to seeing JD with KoRn. I’ve heard some of the new stuff and was thoroughly impressed which is why I had to see him perform live. I caught a glimpse of stuff online, but really wanted to see this performance with my own eyes, so I shut myself off from the spoilers. Jonathan Davis is teamed up with KoRn bandmate Ray Luzier (drums KoRn, KXM, Army of Anyone, I might be missing some); Chris Nix (guitar); Brian Allen (upright bass which definitely added a deep, rich sound); Sven Martin (keyboards); Emilio “Zef” China (violin, rhythm guitar, backing vocals). The crowd was a bit Sunday Somber as the silhouettes of band members started taking their positions, but once Jonathan Davis emerged the crowd went crazy! Fans were all getting into it right from the start. Bouncing, banging their heads, raising their fists into the air with the beat of the music.
Keeping myself sheltered from online spoilers I was pleasantly surprised with the opening song choice of “Underneath My Skin” which is a very POWERFUL track off his upcoming release Black Labyrinth. Songs continued on with a very balanced mix of beat and tempo. One in particular standout “Final Days” the violin introduced the crowd to the creativity of combining the sounds of string instruments with metal. The stand-up bass added deep dimensional tones combined with the dueling keyboards the music was whirling in my head. The perfection and rhythm of the drums were drawing me further into the sound of the HEARTFELT message JD was delivering. At this point, I was like…. “Please Tell Me” What the FUCK is going on? Man, this song was so solid. I was completely mesmerized found myself singing along and never heard it before. I think I just like to say WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON? Very impressed with how MASTERFUL this song is. The transition(s) from the guitars to the violin parts were so very surreal.
The evening played on and the crowd was dancing, throwing fists, and packing in tight to give Jonathan Davis and his band some true sweet home Chicago love. Now I’m stoked for the release of his new album Black Labyrinth coming out on May 25th. Run don’t walk to get it folks. I’m so diggin this decade in the works album. Congrats Jonathan and all the best on the success of this release. Catch Jonathan Davis on his current Black Labyrinth tour: https://www.jonathandavis.com/#tour-dates
- Underneath My Skin
- Final Days
- What You Believe
- Basic Needs
- Slept So Long
- Walk on By
- Please Tell Me
- Your God
- Love on the Rocks (Neil Diamond Cover)
- What It Is
WORDS AND PHOTOS BY RICK TRIANA