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Music DVD Review: Korn – Live at Montreux 2004

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I cannot remember if it was Fall 1994 or Spring 1995, but I had been recently enrolled in the Communications program at the local Community College. One day I was in the Comm building going to one of the editing bays when I heard it. It was a sound like nothing I had ever heard before.

It was aggressive, heavy, and just flat out rocked. As I searched for the source, I eventually found a classmate sitting in one of the other bays listening to this band called "Korn." I was floored; the music was incredible. Now, fourteen years later, they are still a big name on the scene: still making waves and spreading their influence. Yes, I may be overstating it a bit, but Korn has had a strong career and created some excellent music that just begs to be cranked. This 2004 appearance at the Montreux Jazz festival captures an electrifying performance containing all of their biggest hits.

This performance is notable as being possibly the last recorded performance of the band's original line-up. This is not a fact, but considering that Brian "Head" Welch would leave the band mere months later, it is not that far outside the realm of possibility. The five piece is down to three members following the departure of Head and drummer David Silveria going on hiatus (since 2006). Now, I am not quite sure what hiatus means, but I have read that the remaining band members have vowed never to permanently replace their departed comrades.

Band members aside, this 75 minute set captures the band at the top of their game. They attack the stage with reckless abandon. Lights flashing and pulsating, the packed house jumping in time to the beat, I can only imagine what it must have been like to witness the show. Actually, no, I don't have to imagine it. I have seen the band twice, the first time during the Life is Peachy tour and then again just a few years back, 2003. I can attest to the energy delivered when in person, and it clearly shines through on this DVD.

Korn will never be known as a particularly technical or progressive band, and they are most definitely not metal, but there is no denying the infectious energy they bring, or the life the helped inject into the music scene of the mid 1990s, along with Rage Against the Machine, providing something of an antidote to the grunge scene.

Now, this is not meant as a retrospective on Korn's career. We all know I haven't the knowledge to successfully attempt anything like that. I do find it difficult to ignore as I watch this concert and reflect on how much enjoyment I have gotten from Korn's music over the years.

The concert is well shot and expertly put together, never lingering too long on any one member, while giving the full stage it's due. I have seen many concert DVD's where they are edited to the edge of insanity, fortunately, this disk avoids those problems. I felt as if I was part of the audience, an intimate experience that puts you right there. Watching from an angle near the rear of the auditorium, watching the sea of people jumping in unison put me right back at the shows I witnessed.

The technical aspects of the disk are very good. The video is anamorphic widescreen in a ratio of 1.78:1. The colors are sharp, and there are no digital issues that caught my eye. Audio is presented in Dolby stereo and 5.1, as well as DTS 5.1.

Bottomline. If you are a fan of Korn, you will definitely want to add this to your collection. It may not have any extras, but none are needed as the performance here is strong enough to carry it.


Set List:
01. Right Now
02. Break Some Off

03. Got the Life
04. Here to Stay
05. Falling Away From Me
06. Blind
07. Shoots and Ladders
08. One
09. Freak On a Leash
10. A.D.I.D.A.S.
11. Dead Bodies Everywhere
12. Did My Time
13. Another Brick in the Wall
14. F***t
15. Somebody Somewhere
16. Y'all Want a Single

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