Korn fans have always been among rock's most fervent. Fans designed the multiple album covers for 1999's Issues; fans made the band's mainstream breakthrough, 1998's Follow the Leader, debut at #1; and it was those same frenzied Korn kids who helped the following two records bow at #1 and #2.
The band expressed its gratitude Monday in New York with a free surprise show at the legendary punk club CBGB. The show was announced at 10:45 a.m. Monday morning on radio station WXRK-FM, and a line had formed outside the venue within 15 minutes. Fans in the Korn Kamp fan club were alerted via e-mail that afternoon.
"It's cool to be playing CBGB," singer Jonathan Davis said before the show. "It's a world-famous venue. There's been a lot of crazy gigs down there. It's so small; we haven't done such a small gig in so long. We're really excited about it. It's going to be different for us because the stage is as big as [a] couch."
Nearly 11 hours after the announcement, the band took the stage and tore through a 70-minute set that included "Right Now," "Did My Time," "Counting on Me" and "Let's Do This Now" from their new album, Take a Look in the Mirror, as well as "Blind," "Freak on a Leash," "Got the Life," "It's On" and "My Gift to You" from previous albums.
"I know that we have really, really dedicated fans, and I love every one of 'em," Davis said. "If there's something special that I can do, if I help them in their life to help them get through a bad time I'm down with it. ... I really appreciate them."
Take a Look in the Mirror was released Friday, four days earlier than planned, also as gesture to their fans, Davis said. While an online leak's potential impact on sales factored into the decision, another reason was quality assurance. Because some tracks available online are of lesser quality, Davis said, Korn wanted to ensure fans heard the new album — the first produced entirely by the band — the way it was intended to be heard (see "Korn Releasing Take A Look In The Mirror Early Due To Leak").
The move was not without its drawbacks, however. On the day the LP dropped, Korn issued an apology to fans who couldn't find it in stores. They partly blamed plant delays and wrong deliveries for the missing albums.
"Some retailers are unsure if their shipments have arrived and are searching their storerooms to accommodate the Korn fans who are heading into stores to get a copy of the CD," the statement read.
Korn have three more shows scheduled with Limp Bizkit on the Back 2 Basics tour before they take on the radio-sponsored festival circuit and then head to Asia in late January (see "Limp Bizkit And Korn Reunite, Get 'Back 2 Basics' With New Tour").