Monday, November 26, 2007

Not so acoustic, but great

Jonathan Davis wore a black suit and sat in a red velvet-cushioned wooden chair that looked like a throne. If that wasn’t strange enough, his band members wore suit jackets or vests and button-down shirts. There were candelabras on stage as well at Davis’ performance at Tremont on Wednesday.

It wasn’t what I'd expected from the frontman for Korn, which gave us slit-your-wrist hits such as “Blind” and “Freak on a Leash.”

The setup for his solo show reminded me of an Alfred Hitchcock movie, but man did he rock. Advertised as an acoustic set, it was anything but a typical guitar-strumming-love-songs gig. His backing band used a drum kit, electric violin, keyboards, upright bass and a guitar. And Davis didn’t lull fans with yearning vocals. He screamed until my throat was raw.

Several hundred people filed into Tremont for the show. I’m not a Korn fan, so I didn’t recognize any of the songs. But fans told me one was the Korn hit “Falling Away From Me,” and that many of others were tracks Davis co-wrote for the “Queen of the Damned” soundtrack. The performance made me want to go watch the movie again.

The tunes often began with Caribbean- or Middle Eastern-style drumming or instrumentation, then climaxed with Korn’s nu-metal energy. It’s a combination that I'd never heard before, but I dug it.

Turkey Bash not so hot

For the longest time, I didn’t attend gala fundraisers because they seemed uptight. But the Great Gatsby and Black & White galas changed my perception.

At these events, Charlotte’s young professionals shed their bank uniforms to party like they do at any uptown club. I expected the same vibe at the Red Hot Turkey Bash in the Wachovia Atrium on Nov. 20, but it didn’t happen.

This party, a Greater Carolinas Red Cross fundraiser, needs revamping. I’ll start with the libations and grub. They had plenty of beer stands serving Bud products (I don’t drink Bud). They didn’t have enough wine bars, so the line for a glass of wine (about as much in a Dixie cup) was ridiculous.

There weren’t a lot of food stands. BTW: Cold pizza in cardboard boxes or sandwich wrap snacks that I could buy at Sam’s are not suitable for this type of event. I did have some tasty chicken wings from sponsor The Fig Tree. Other food included pasta, shrimp in some kind of broth, and crab dip with tortillas. The line for the pasta and crab dip was too long, and no one seemed to want the shrimp (not a good sign).

All this would have been OK if the music had been better, but I wasn’t feeling Liquid Pleasure. Most of this cover band's repertoire was too dated for the crowd. The group’s orange suits and black shirts added to my feeling that my parents would have enjoyed them more than I did.

While I was there (7:30-9ish), only a handful of people danced. Everyone else chatted in small groups. I had a nice time, but it’s not something that I will plan to attend each year.
The Great Gatsby and Black & White raised my expectations. I expect these types of events to be as fun as a night at Cans. The Red Hot Turkey Bash was not.