- It’s On!
- Twist (preceded by short Freak on a Leash Intro)
- Wicked (Ice Cube cover) (with Chino Moreno)
- Shot Liver Medley (Shoots and Ladders / Justin / Predictable / Ball Tongue / Divine / Kill You) (preceded by Daddy Intro)
- Got the Life (preceded by snippet of I Ain’ t Goin’ Out Like That from Cypress Hill)
- Dead Bodies Everywhere
- All in the Family (with Limp Bizkit)
Neekrive from bootlegconfessions.com :
Like I had written about the swing movement recently with the previous Royal Crown Revue show at The Fillmore, the nu metal scene was also in its heyday back then, though with much bigger numbers. Korn had brought the genre to its highest level of commercial popularity when they launched this brief but successful tour, bringing it to the Cow Palace, a venue that can easily hold over 16,000 people . They would make even more money with the Family Values tour the following year at the same place, but for some reason, I missed it, even though Primus was also on the bill for that one. Most likely, I had to work. Sort of the antithesis of the Lilith Tour, this one didn’t have a single female performer on stage all night and let’s just say the men that did perform, with the exception of one or two of the Rammstein guys, were a little butch.
I have made no secret for my hatred of the Cow Palace, despite the talent I’ve seen perform there. The acoustics are atrocious, the atmosphere positively toxic, the neighborhood it’s in is a war zone, and getting in and out of there always would prove tedious at best. All that and the fact that I had to get there for the show to start at 6:30 PM during rush hour traffic all added up to an unpleasant experience on a logistical level. I went with my friend Drew and yes, we got stuck getting in and missed not only Orgy, but Limp Bizkit before we finally made it inside. I wasn’t as upset as Drew, who was a die hard Limp Bizkit fan and I didn’t know Orgy from Adam, but anybody who knows me knows that I never miss opening acts if at all possible, even if I don’t like them and/or have a comp ticket, which was the case on this occasion. I had at least seen Limp Bizkit before also opening for Korn at The Fillmore in 1996 and I’d get to record Orgy the following year at the Maritime. As a sort of consolation prize, I was able to find bootleg recordings of everybody’s set on YouTube including theirs.
Orgy were brand new back then, but already had a hit doing a nu metal cover of New Order’s “Blue Monday”, which they of course played that night. Their guitarist, Ryan Shuck, had previously been in a band with Jonathan Davis, the singer of Korn, called Sexart, when they lived in Bakersfield, before Davis left the band to form Korn in 1993. Orgy’s debut album, “Candyass” was released a couple months before this on the same day Korn put out their “Follow The Leader” album, though they were signed to different labels. Their singer, Jay Gordon, yelled, “Make some noise Oakland!” between songs. Maybe he was giving a shout out to the city across the bay or maybe he really thought he was there at the time. They had a DJ spinning records between acts called DeeJay Punk-Roc, though he mostly spun hip hop songs.
Next up was Limp Bizkit with their already infamous frontman, Fred Durst. His boorish behavior alienated them off Faith No More’s tour the previous October, causing them to be replaced by Lowercase when they came to The Warfield. They went on to tour with Soulfly on their first European tour, then joining the bill on Ozzfest. Lynn Straight, the singer from Snot who would tragically die in a car crash that December, was arrested for indecent exposure during Limp Bizkit’s set at one of those shows when he emerged naked from a prop toilet they had on stage with them. Let it not be said that Fred couldn’t get the crowd’s blood up though, something he had infinite talent for good or for worse. Borrowing the old hip hop trick, he had the crowd split down the middle competing for which side was louder. They did an interesting instrumental interlude called “Let The Attack Begin” which included samples from what sounded like an old science fiction movie before playing “Stuck”.
Fred asked the crowd, “How many people in San Francisco like Suicidal Tendencies? How many people in San Francisco like Primus? Primus is in the house! Do you guys know I used to live in Fremont?” The audience cheered but gave him a less than lukewarm response when he asked “How many people here like George Michaels?” They all knew their cover of “Faith” was coming next and he responded to them, “That’s fucked up. He’s still young man.” At the end of their set, Fred reminded everyone that it was a general admission show and that everybody could come down to the dance floor which he said earlier was “the biggest floor I’ve ever seen!” before finished with a truly cringeworthy cover of the House Of Pain’s “Jump Around”. Their cover of Ministry’s “Thieves” earlier in the set was at least slightly more tolerable. Now, as you might have gathered, I’m not the biggest fan of Fred or his band, but my friend Drew was and there are plenty of others who feel the same about them. However, I did appreciate their guitarist, Wes Borland, who had a unique style and always dressed up in absolutely bizarre costumes and face paint. Wes had just gotten married to his long time girlfriend Heather McMillan that April, though they would divorce three years later.
Thank God we arrived in time to see Ice Cube. It had been two years since I saw him at The Warfield and a full five years since he had released a new album, this one being, “War & Peace Vol.1 (The War Album)”, which wouldn’t even hit stores for over a month later. His DJ was set up on a giant riser shaped like a skull and Cube came out looking like a steampunk undertaker in a black top hat, dark goggles, and long coat and opened appropriately enough with “Natural Born Killaz”. Cube then pretended to be offended saying that that “the people in the back don’t wanna see Ice Cube. I’m outta this motherfucka’! Peace!”, and walked off stage. His DJ predictably worked up the crowd until he came back and used the frustration to egg them on to raise their middle fingers and chant, “Fuck You, Ice Cube!”, which continued as it always did when he played, “The Nigga You Love To Hate”. Afterwards, Cube admonished the crowd who chanted that, telling them that they had better “Check Yo Self”, then going into that song.
Korn and Cube had collaborated with each other recently, Cube contributing vocals to the song, “Children Of The Korn” on their new album, and Korn backing up Cube for “Fuck Dying” on his new one. So, it made sense that they would tour together, making it a perfect opportunity for one of Korn’s guitarists, I think it was Munky, to come out and play with him for the latter song. There was a strange interlude with a deep, English voice going off about Cube’s crew, the Westside Connection, before they went into their single, “Bow Down”. Cube then did the song, “We Be Clubbin”, a tune that was on the soundtrack for “The Player’s Club”, a movie Cube wrote and directed that came out that March. I never saw it actually, but was mightily impressed with his acting in “Three Kings”, that would come out the following year.
Yes, Cube would do a great deal of acting work in the future, but we were treated to a couple jams from his past when he dusted off N.W.A.’s “Straight Outta Compton” and “Fuck The Police”. Like Limp Bizkit, he divided up the crowd with the other guy rapping with him to see which side was the loudest, even betting $300 that he’d win. He taunted the audience saying, “You all don’t smoke Indo, you smoke Pretend-O”. Taunting aside, I appreciated that Korn had brought him on the bill, exposing the predominately white, suburban crowd to some real hip hop, some there probably for the first time live. Those kids may have not run home and started reading “The Autobiography Of Malcolm X” right away, but it was a start. Cube finished his set with “Wicked” opening it up with the theme song from the movie “Jaws” which I learned researching this was his favorite movie. He joked before walking off stage that he was going to collect his $300 because his side of the crowd was the loudest. We were lucky to see Cube, especially since he would leave to tour ultimately to continue working on his film, “Next Friday”, and be replaced two weeks later by Incubus to finish the tour’s last four dates. I’d see Cube one more time at the Warfield two years later, but sadly haven’t seen perform live since then.
Hip hop music might have been foreign to some of the kids at the show that day, but they would all soon be in for a particularly jarring experience when Rammstein came on. I had already experienced their unique brand of insanity at the Maritime six months before, so I wasn’t surprised to see their singer, Til Lindemann, emerge out on stage in his heavy silver jacket with arms outstretched and engulfed in flames. Like Incubus would be, they too were a replacement on the tour, taking over for Rob Zombie. There were conflicting reports to why Rob dropped out or was dropped, some saying he didn’t think hip hop acts should be on the bill, others citing the exorbitant amounts of money it took to get him and pay his production costs. Either way, he and Korn made amends and toured together later the following year and then again in 2016. Rammstein pretty much played the same stuff as when I saw them, setting off their pyrotechnics again and again, much to the delight of the mosh pit. Til didn’t say anything between songs, but politely thanked the crowd at the end, even saying, “Danke Schon”.
When the tour ended that Halloween in Worcester, Massachusetts, there was a bit of a dust up when Rammstein played on stage in various stages of nudity except for guitarist Richard Kruspe who was wearing a wedding dress. Near the end of their set that night, Til had grabbed keyboardist Christian “Flake” Lorenz by his leather leash, bent him over, produced a fake plastic dick from his pants, and pretended to sodomize him with it, finally ejaculating some unspecified fluid all over the stage, crowd, and both of them. They got dragged away by the cops and charged with “lewd and lascivious behavior”. Not the kind of stuff people are used to in Worcester I suppose, but a typical Saturday night for the folks on Folsom Street out here. To this day, Til has to explain this incident to customs officials each and every time he enters the country.
At long last, Korn came out to finish the bill. They had erected a giant steel cage next to the band called the “Korn Kage” which held several of their fans who were lucky enough to be selected through a radio contest. Like I said earlier, their new album, “Follow The Leader”, had just come out and Drew and I were hearing the new songs live for the first time, including their hit, “Freak On A Leash”, a song I’m sure Rammstein could identify with. The video for that song, directed by “Spawn” and “Spider-Man” comic book artist legend Todd McFarlane, would be so successful, it would win Korn a Grammy for Best Short Form Music Video as well as two MTV Video Music Awards for Best Editing and Best Rock Video. The album itself would eventually go platinum five times over. There had been no shortage of sex, alcohol, and drugs for the band leading up to this tour, but they were starting to clean up their act. Jonathan Davis got sober just before the tour and married Renee Perez, though they divorced two years later. Also, guitarist Brian Welch and bass player Fieldy would each become fathers to their second daughters, Brian’s daughter Jennea born that July, Fieldy’s daughter Olivia born later that December.
As always, Davis busted out his bagpipes to introduce the song “Blind”. I learned he was inspired to play them after seeing Scotty play them for the funeral for Spock at the end of “Star Trek II : The Wrath Of Khan”. Strangely enough, Korn also played Ice Cube’s song, “Wicked”, that night joined on stage by Chino Moreno from The Deftones. One more cover, or at least part of one, they sang a verse of Cypress Hill’s “We Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That” before going into “Got The Life”. For the encore, Fred Durst came out to do “All In The Family” with them, a song comprised of he and Jonathan ripping on each other playfully. Light hearted as it was to them, the song did piss people off who considered their banter homophobic and Davis later confessed that this song was “dumbest fuckin’ track Korn ever did”. At least Drew and I got some consolation being able to see Fred do one song that night.
Continuing their reputation of inspiring controversy, Korn, Limp Bizkit, and Ice Cube would all take part in the disastrous Woodstock ’99 festival the following year, Durst getting more than some of the blame for inciting that immense crowd to riot. But on the lighter side of the news, Korn did however take part in a hilarious episode of “South Park” aired later that October titled, “Korn’s Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery”, a clever parody of the old “Scooby Doo” mysteries with guest voices. I would see Limp Bizkit headlining Live 105’s B.F.D. festival at Shoreline two years later and then once again opening for Korn for my third time at The Warfield in 2003. Finally, in a strange coincidence, the comedy competition I would record at the Maritime the night after this show was hosted by veteran San Francisco comedian Will Durst. I wonder if he and Fred are related…