Last Friday, Canadian rockers Thousand Foot Krutch played with Brian “Head” of Korn's new band Love and Death, along with other Christian bands - The Wedding, Committed and The Letter Black – at The Rocket Bar in Toledo. If you missed TFK with Love and Death in Toledo, catch them this summer at the Rock on the Range. They will share the stage, May 17 – 19, with Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins, Alice In Chains, Stone Sour, Three Days Grace, Sevendust, Clutch, Pop Evil, Buckcherry, Bush, Asking Alexandria, Sick Puppies, Papa Roach and more at Rock on the Range in Columbus, OH.
I liked their music. TFK has a catchy beat. It found its way into my head.
I hadn't realized I knew the words to the song, until I found myself singing along to it on the radio. At first, I didn't notice what band it was exactly; I just knew the song. When I saw Thousand Foot Krutch at the Uproar Festival last year, I knew more of their songs than I thought I did, and their upbeat energy exploded on stage, resounding with the audience, who, in turn, went wild beyond belief, bodies flying.
The show was a good show. The energy was awesome. It hadn't dawned on me it was Christian music.
It was a big festival. Sure, there were other Christian bands, but not all of them were “Jesus music.” The festival featured rock and metal, stuff to mosh to, a place for a pit to open up into a tornado of knees and elbows, a bloody collision of bodies; sun beats down, baking sweaty bodies, slime.
Fast forward to Toledo, Ohio. TFK plays with Brian “Head” of Korn's new band. I knew it'd be good.
At the Rocket Bar, my first impression was that they needed a bigger venue. The parking lot was full. We literally stole the last spot only after circling a dozen times, trying to bribe a security guard, circling some more, and finally convincing a guy to move who was hogging up what was really a two spaces.
The club was packed. My assistant clung to me. A security guard had to guide us through the crowd.
I couldn't even get into position to take pictures of the first band, The Letter Black, as there were too many people rocking out. Though I was able to shoot the second band, The Wedding, I was not in my official position until the third band, Committed. There were simply too many people to maneuver through to get to anywhere in a timely manner, as everyone was having a good time enjoying music.
As we're traversing the crowd, my assistant remarks how short a girl is, only to discover it's a child. There's more younger people; guess it's all ages, no big deal. It's not until the end of the show that my assistant figures out the show was completely Christian bands, pointing out that band members had tattoos, dreds, wore makeup, played hardcore music, and saying she thought the crowd went a little nuts when somebody mentioned God, but she wasn't sure if they were just being nice and responsive.
This is not your typical gospel music. It's not soulful blues, funk or choir music. It's hardcore metal.
There's rock. There's metal. There's hardcore.
Somewhere in there is Jesus. Brian “Head” of Korn, and frontman of Love and Death, asked if there were any freaks in the room and started playing a riff of “Freak on a Leash;” he inquires, “are there any Jesus Freaks?” The room erupts in response; a mosh pit opens up, and bodies collide into each other.
There's glimpses of Korn: if you close your eyes, you could swear you were at a Korn concert. The sound is similar, the crowd is pretty much the same, but there's a very subtle undertone to the show. If you're not paying attention, you probably won't notice a difference; it's not religion shoved down throats, it's not some crazed televangelist in the wee hours of the morning on a static filled TV station.
It's music. Same as ever. If you liked Korn, you will like Love and Death.
It's that simple. When it's all said and done, music is about the rhythm, the beat and the release of energy in a shared experience. If you like hardcore, you'll want to check out Love and Death.
The 17-year-old is impressive. He has all the makings of a seasoned pro with the energy of a teenager. Actually, all the guys in the band are impressive, from the drummer constantly twirling his sticks and finding time to do little tricks to the bass player with the contacts and Freddy striped sweater that makes him look like he stepped out of a scary movie, Head found quite the right combination.
Thinking back to the first time I saw Korn, on tour with Ozzy and Deftones; they played at the Toledo Sports Arena in the mid-nineties. Bagpipes differed from his stage show now, but the style is the same. Beats are familiar, as he teases with Korn riffs, leading into newer songs that have the satisfying vibes.
As a teenager, I would've never imagined myself getting to tour with Ozzy, like I did on Ozzfest in 2002, but I knew back then that Korn and Deftones had staying power. Korn's frontman may have put a new name on a project, specifically Love and Death, but it's just as catchy as ever. Ironically, Deftones will also be coming through the area on the Orion Music Festival at Belle Isle with Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rise Against, BASSNECTAR, Dropkick Murphys, Gogol Bordello, The Dillinger Escape Plan, DEATH, Fu Manchu, BATTLECROSS and a slew of other bands in June.
Each of the bands playing at the Rocket Bar have a harder rock style. Hair is dyed, and there are leather accents. TFK's microphone stand is a metal version of a human spine and pelvis.
Thousand Foot Krutch is played on the radio everyday, and many people have no idea that they're a Christian band. Musically speaking, they're a great band. They put on an awesome energetic show.
Expect a mosh pit. Beware of crowd surfers. You never know when a body might fly overhead.
This breaks the mold of what you might expect, but then again, they say to expect the unexpected. In the midst of a whirl of bodies pouncing around to the music, the lead singer calls for a serious moment. He discusses the seriousness of a spinal injury, bringing a mellow moment to the crowd, before launching into an acoustic ballad that perfectly fit the tone of the moment; it was a beautiful sensation.
Of course, the energy erupts once again. The message is to have hope and not despair. Have fun while you can, live in the moment, and cherish the experience of getting lost in a world of musical beats; life throws unexpected curve balls, and music can serve as a catalyst of change for lifting moods.
For more information on Rock on the Range, visit www.rockontherange.com . For information on the Orion Music Festival, visit www.orionmusicandmore.com . For Thousand Foot Krutch, visit www.thousandfootkrutch.com and www.facebook.com/thousandfootkrutch .
The author of 100 books, Marisa Williams earned her Master's in Writing from the Johns Hopkins University; for more on Marisa, visit www.lulu.com/spotlight/thorisaz and www.wix.com/thorisaz/photography .