Korn (Live at the Masquerade Atlanta – The Beginning)


The most intense and electric show I’ve ever been too is without a doubt when Korn played the Masquerade in Atlanta, GA. This was in the early days right after their first album had come out. At that time they were not the mega star band they are now. As a matter of fact before the show that day they even did an in store signing at a local Tower Records that a friend and I went too. In all maybe 15 – 20 people showed up for that. The band signed the covers of our CD’s and because it was a small amount of people there was even small talk.

Later that night at the show the energy began to rise. The Masquerade is 3 floors: The upper 3rd floor is Heaven (where shows are preformed, The mid floor which is a bar is Purgatory and the lower floor which is the dance club area is Hell. As we made our way up to Heaven we pushed our way into the sold out show and realized that this little band we had latched onto was now becoming bigger than we had thought. Heaven could hold 1000 people and it was packed in tight. The opening bands were forgettable. Even now I don’t recall who opened the show.

The lights went out and the body heat was making everyone sweat while we looked on in anticipation. The band made their way to the stage and then the opening “sounds” to Blind began. When Jonathan Davis roared, “ARE YOU READY” shit got real and the entire floor of Heaven erupted into a mosh pit. Bodies flying everywhere. The band on stage became a soundtrack to the onslaught  upon the floor. Moving was more akin to swimming through wreathing, sweating bodies. One guy grabbed the back of my shirt collar and pulled me back into the center of the floor and as I went I spun around and my fist connected right into his face. He went backwards and moments later was lost in the sea of bodies going crazy on the floor.

By the end of Blind I was able to make my way over to the side steps which became like a sand bar island in the violent sea. I looked back toward the bar and the mosh pit had even consumed that normally non-chaotic area. There were even people on the pool table rolling around and diving from on top of it. Never in all the shows I had seen or would see in the Masquerade did anything this intense take place. It was if the songs from that first album had tapped into some primal consciousness and flipped the switch on order to the side of chaos. It was simply amazing to be a part of. By the end of the show we were worn out and covered in sweat with our ears ringing. I remember sleeping deep that night because that show infused us with energy and then left us spent at the end.

 We saw them again the next time they came through Atlanta. This time they played a bigger theater and while there was still a very big mosh pit going on it wasn’t near as intense. By the time this next show had come around they had move from college radio to mainstream alternative rock stations and those general listeners where now in attendance. They weren’t moved in the same way as those of us who discovered Korn on those late night college radio shows before the album had even been released yet. That Masquerade show was for those of us fans who had discovered this band and who had been there since the beginning. Korn gave us a show that night at the Masquerade that would be forever stamped into our memory. Truly the most intense show ever.