Jonathan Davis - Club Academy, Manchester 06.06.2018
The situation tonight in Manchesters Club Academy was a bit of an odd one. Jonathan Davis lead singer of KoRn is playing here tonight yet the room isn't even at half capacity yet. But before I go into that, the question that echoed around my head first was, why am I only just discovering Death Blooms?
And probably more importantly why does it feel like I am only one of a few that cares?
Fandom is an odd beast, there is no denying that those here tonight are looking forward to an intimate gig with a man that has fronted one of Metals greatest acts for over 20 years. Being the support act was always going to be a thankless task. But when you're as good as Death Blooms are, a band that could be defined as straddling a variety of genres you'd think people would step up and take note. But apart from a few barrier huggers singing along it doesn't feel like Death Blooms are hitting the mark and that honestly sucks. These guys are tight, with a melodic brutality. Harsh and clear vocals, tasty riffs and great drumming signatures, they are the real deal and have a captivating presence. Why does nobody seem to care?
They do themselves justice even if the room doesn't and knowing they're going onto Download from here is exciting because Download won't know what hit them.
So back to the state of the room, a few conversations with those near me suggests few even knew this show was happening tonight. Poor promotion or intentional from Jonathan's side I don't know. But the room never reaches more than about half capacity. Now I have been at low capacity shows before and a minimal attendance can still go off thanks to the energy of those there. Yet I feel no building electricity, no feeling of any real anticipation. Myself on the other hand is shaking as I am about to be in the photo pit and with in arms reach of an icon of my youth. Why is nobody else as excited? Are they and they're just not showing it?
Standing in the pit, I feel like I am going throw up as Jonathan takes to the stage. In the blink of an eye I am back out into the crowd and ready to just enjoy the show.
One thing that continues to cross my mind throughout the night was how shy Jonathan came across whilst on the smaller stage. It feels like he may feel more at home on larger stages, maybe because there is more to take in so it doesn't feel like all eyes are on him. Or maybe it's because KoRn have owned the arena stages for so long now that anything else just feels alien. Focusing on songs from his recent solo effort 'Black Labyrinth' Jonathan memorises the crowd with his incredibly unique vocals. Everything from the strength of the lyrics to his undeniable presence shines and works as a great showcase for his solo release. There is even a great throw back to his Queen Of The Damned track 'Forsaken'.
The energy never really reaches the heights I envisioned when prepping for tonights show. Maybe it was never meant to. With a more intimate setting, maybe those here just wanted to take it all in. To just listen to this guy who has no doubt graced their bedroom walls and t-shirts. Who has sung to them via live shows, music videos and their headphones. An icon whois here right now, in a tiny room (comparable to the arenas) in Manchester just singing his heart out. But if that isn't the case, then tonight really was an odd one indeed.
Jonathan Davis - https://www.facebook.com/TheRealJonathanDavis/
Death Blooms - https://www.facebook.com/dthblms/
Photos & Review - Friswell Photography