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That time Korn played a gig on a plane because nu metal was wild

Korn on a plane
(Image credit: Theo Wargo/WireImage)

Remember that time Korn played on a plane? Just to reiterate, we're talking about the time Korn took a crowd of contest winners and US soldiers 37,000 feet in the air to perform a live gig. On a plane

It was 2005 and the band had just released See You On The Other Side, the album peaking at no. 3 in the US charts and thumbing its nose at the notion that nu metal's decline was having any major impact on their stock. Naturally, they were looking for something interesting to do to promote the album when someone had the genius idea of sending Korn up in a plane to play to a live audience at 37,000 feet. 

It's just as bizarre as it sounds, Jonathan Davis and co. cramming into a space that looks tighter than the average brook cupboard before taking to the skies and performing a short set which included Here To Stay, Freak On A Leash and Falling Away From Me.


Admittedly, the sound isn't great, but then what do you expect of a band squeezed into a high-pressure canister and blasted into the heavens? Besides, enough liquid lubrication appears to have been floating around that we're doubtful anyone cared (plus, it's one hell of a brag to say you saw Korn play on a plane). 

Clips from the set were ultimately included on the DVD Korn: Live On The Other Side, which also had footage of the band's subsequent show at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York on November 29th 2005. The fans who watched the plane set were flown over from London for the show, which was their first headline performance in the US since the departure of guitarist Brian 'Head' Welch earlier that year. 

"We were just happy to be playing again and it was a really good show," Davis told MTV in 2006. "It's where we debuted [songs from See You on the Other Side] and it was shot in hi-def."

He also told MTV about the bizarre set-up the band had been forced to utilise to pull the show off. "We used battery-powered practice amps, David [Silveria] played this little drum set for a kid," Davis explained. "We could only set up in the bulkhead, so I had to hide behind some seats and I sang through the PA of the airplane."

While Korn are no strangers to breaking new ground, having effectively brought nu metal to the masses in 1994 with their self-titled debut, it's not hard to see this as being one of the stranger 'firsts' in the band's career. 

All in all, 2005 proved to be a critical year for the band as they reckoned with Head's departure. The week before the band's plane performance, Korn also appeared on Saturday Night Live, playing Twisted Transistor and Freak On A Leash in an episode hosted by actress Eva Longoria.

On its December 6 release, See You On The Other Side continued the band's stellar commercial run as the album debuted at no. 3 and stayed in the charts for 34 consecutive weeks. The album was the last to feature drummer David Silveria, who departed in December 2006.

Head reconnected with Korn in 2012, ultimately rejoining the band permanently in 2013 as they worked on their eleventh studio album The Paradigm Shift.

Korn's fourteenth studio album Reqiuem is out now via Loma Vista

Rich Hobson
Rich Hobson

Staff writer for Metal Hammer, Rich has never met a feature he didn't fancy, which is just as well when it comes to covering everything rock, punk and metal for both print and online, be it legendary events like Rock In Rio or Clash Of The Titans or seeking out exciting new bands like Nine Treasures, Jinjer and Sleep Token.