KORN, SIXX A.M., OPERATOR, AIRBOURNE, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, E Center, West Valley City, Thursday
WEST VALLEY CITY — The "Halloween Havoc" concert shook the E Center rafters Thursday night.
The combination punches of Korn, Sixx A.M., Operator, Airbourne and Five Finger Death Punch jarred the bones of the rabid metal and hardcore fans who screamed their approval after every song.
Five Finger Death Punch started the show with a kinetic set that included the teeth-crunching "White Knuckled" and the dynamic, progressive tone of "The Bleeding." What was surprising about the audience during the latter tune was that instead of the staple cell-phone lights that usually come on during slow songs, the arena lit up with live-flames from pocket lighters.
Airbourne not only sounded like its Australian idols AC/DC but also used AC/DC lead guitarist Angus Young's same-model Gibson guitar. Airbourne also cranked out AC/DC-inspired blues-based rock, although its stage presence was more akin to speed-metal pioneers Overkill.
Operator got the audience cheering, but the band's set was a bit of a yawner, covering Guns N' Roses' "It's So Easy," as the guitarist tried his best to emulate Edward Van Halen on a sloppy cover of "Eruption." The band even threw in a few bars of Pantera's "Walk" during the set.
Sixx A.M., formed by Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx, seemed almost out of place in the evening's lineup. The band's brand of progressive, melodic metal clashed with the angry power growls of the other bands. What made the set a bit disappointing was that the sound engineer couldn't balance the mix. The drums were lost in the guitars until the last song of the set, "Life Is Beautiful."
Speaking of Guns N' Roses, some fans were talking about Sixx during the break and couldn't remember his original band.
"I think it was Guns N' Roses," said one of the fans.
"That sounds right," said the other.
Korn, on the other hand, had its set down to a science. With choreographed laser lights that shot out into the arena and well-timed strobes, lead singer Jonathan Davis and the boys cranked it out. And the sound was crisp.
"Starting Over" and "Coming Undone" were a couple of highlights the band — featuring core members Davis, bassist Reggie "Fieldy" Arvizu and guitarist James "Munky" Shaffer — pulled out of its catalog.
To the casual listener, Korn's songs have a tendency to sound alike because of the militant cadence foundation, but the fans at the show knew the differences and screamed along.