Jonathan Davis dropped into the House of Blues Las Vegas, and brought Julien-K along with him for a stop on his new Black Labyrinth Tour, in support of his recent solo project, Black Labyrinth.
Julien-K is an electronic rock band out of CA, and Davis has a long standing relationship with members Ryan Shuck and Amir Derakh (both former founding members of Orgy). Besides Ryan Shuck (vocals, guitar, keyboard) and Amir Derakh (guitar, samples, Julien-K consists of Anthony "FU" Valcic (bass, keyboard, samples, programming), and Bidi Cobra (keyboards, bass, backing vocals), and Galen Waling is handling the drum duties for the tour. These members of Julien-K were also the backing members of Chester Bennington's side project, Dead By Sunrise.
Julien-K took the stage first and started off the show with "Flashpoint Riot", a heavily electronic song from their album We're Here With You. It was immediately obvious that this is not your typical rock/metal band as neither Derakh and Shuck had guitars with them to begin with. In fact, Derakh was carrying a megaphone and tapping away at an iPad on a stand! Shuck also had an iPad attached to his mic stand, which he uses for his setlist, notes, and Cobra had a laptop on a stand next to his synthesizer which he worked on, occasionally letting go of his bass guitar. The technology usage is a bit unusual, but is an integral part of the Julien-K sound. For their second song ("Strange Invisible") they return to their Orgy roots with Shuck and Derakh each picking up guitars for a more traditional look and sound. For their third song it's Cobra's turn to put down his bass guitar and work the keyboard, which was a little ironic considering the song title is "Kick The Bass"!
They continue their set, occasionally changing up instruments, rolling through their most popular songs including "Photo Voltaire". Shuck was energetic, dancing around on stage, clapping to the beat, interacting with fans on the rail, and sounded absolutely amazing. It was more of a musical production than what I would consider a concert, with an incredible sound, and the whole performance very polished. Before the final song, Shuck took a moment to thank his longtime friend, Jonathan Davis, for giving him his first big break in the music industry by signing Orgy to his label, as well as continuing to support him in his endeavors by taking Julien-K on this Black Labyrinth tour with him. With that out of the way, he then introduces the last song of the evening as the "one that made them famous!" as the unmistakable beat of "Blue Monday" begins.
While the set seemed a little short, Julien-K put on a stellar live performance and was worth the price of admission alone. Hard to believe I had the pleasure of seeing Jonathan Davis take the stage after that. What a bonus!
Julien-K set list:
Kick the Bass
Deep Beat Overground
Korn drummer Ray Luzier walked out and took a seat at the drum kit, and the main event began! Ray was joined by Chris Nix on guitar and Brian Allen on an upright bass, and soon after Jonathan Davis walked out to a cheering crowd. Without a word they launched into "Underneath My Skin", followed by "Everyone" and then "Forsaken". The first chords of "Forsaken" brought out even more cheering, as JD delved into his Queen of the Damned Soundtrack. Fans were singing along with every word, and it was obvious that they are all more than familiar with this portion of his solo work. He went on to perform two more tracks from the popular soundtrack (these tracks, originally sung by other artists, can also be found on his solo album Alone I Play).
Davis didn't say much between tracks and just rolled through the set like a man on a mission, and the crowd was thoroughly engaged and fully enjoyed every minute. Around 30 minutes into the set JD finally took a moment to introduce the band, and they launched into an almost five minute jam session while Davis exited the stage. He then returned to chastize the band (jokingly) for "showing off", and picked back up with the lyrics for "Davis, whether with Korn or doing his solo music, is always entertaining, and this night was no exception, and Black Labyrinth put on a epic performance that had people talking excitedly as they exited the building. It was an added bonus to see Ray Luzier come out to the merch table after the show, and took photos and talked with fans. Not only is he an amazing drummer but showed that he is a class act as well. Medicate". As I took a moment to look around the House of Blues, there were a lot of local artists in the audience supporting Davis for the night, from Christian Brady and Chad Gray of Hellyeah, to drummer Les Warner (formerly of The Cult), and even TV personality Zak Bagans of Ghost Adventures. Jonathan
Jonathan Davis is just getting started on his Black Labyrinth Tour and there are still dates at venues across the US where you can catch this amazing performance, and be sure not to miss Julien-K as well. Both sets were phenomenal!
Jonathan Davis set list:
Underneath My Skin
Forsaken (Queen of the Damned Soundtrack)
What You Believe
Slept So Long (QotD Soundtrack)
System (QotD Soundtrack)
Please Tell Me
Walk On By
Love On The Rocks (Neil Diamond)
What It Is
Black Labyrinth photos from Randy Udell / R U Rockin' Photos
Julien-K photos from Randy Udell / R U Rockin' Photos