In a resounding crescendo of power chords and roaring enthusiasm, the Las Vegas Festival Grounds bore witness to the historic inauguration of the Sick New World Festival Las Vegas on May 13, 2023. This monumental event served as a resounding celebration of the nu-metal genre and more, capturing the hearts of fans worldwide and instantly selling out.
At the core of the Sick New World lineup stood an illustrious array of nu-metal titans. Headlining the festival were the iconic forces of System of a Down, Korn, Deftones, and Incubus. Complementing these stalwarts, the festival showcased the talents of other beloved nu-metal luminaries, including Evanescence, Papa Roach, and Flyleaf, along with boundary-pushing artists from adjacent genres such as Ministry, She Wants Revenge, and 100 Gecs.
The festival grounds vibrated with fervent anticipation as fans of all ages gathered, united by their shared passion for these genre-defining acts. The atmosphere crackled with electricity, with devotees harmonizing to every lyric and enthusiastically partaking in the mosh pit mayhem.
System of a Down’s triumphant closing performance was nothing short of awe-inspiring. The band skillfully blended old and new anthems, igniting a feverish frenzy among the crowd. Serj Tankian’s vocals resonated with their timeless potency, and the band’s unwavering energy was contagious.
Korn, too, delivered a masterful set, with Jonathan Davis’ distinctive vocals resounding as powerfully as ever. They navigated a setlist spanning deep cuts and crowd-pleasers alike, including unforgettable renditions of “Freak on a Leash,” “Got the Life,” and “Blind.”
Deftones contributed another dazzling highlight to the festival, traversing their entire discography with precision. Their performance encompassed early classics like “My Own Summer (Shove It)” and “Change (In the House of Flies)” alongside newer gems like “Ohms” and “Ceremony.”
Incubus electrified the night with a high-octane set, brimming with vitality and anticipation. Brandon Boyd’s charismatic presence was magnetic, and the band crafted an exhilarating blend of new and classic hits, including “Drive,” “Wish You Were Here,” and “Megalomaniac.”
Beyond these marquee acts, the festival saw additional unforgettable performances:
Evanescence: Amy Lee led Evanescence in an emotionally charged set, with her vocals reaching sublime heights. The band’s performance included a repertoire of their most beloved tracks, including “Bring Me to Life,” “My Immortal,” and “Call Me When You’re Sober.”
Papa Roach: Jacoby Shaddix and Papa Roach delivered a high-octane spectacle, marked by raucous mosh pits and sing-alongs galore. Their setlist encompassed chart-toppers like “Last Resort,” “Scars,” and “She Loves Me Not.”
Flyleaf: Lacey Sturm and Flyleaf returned to the stage after over a decade, leaving fans awe-inspired. Sturm’s vocals resonated with unwavering power as the band played an array of their biggest hits, including “Fully Alive,” “I’m Sorry,” and “All Around Me.”
In addition to the musical extravaganza, the Sick New World Festival Las Vegas offered an array of attractions, including delectable food vendors, captivating art installations, and a whimsical photo booth. Of particular note was the “Sick New World Museum,” a treasure trove of nu-metal history and insights into the bands gracing the festival stage.
What set the Sick New World Festival Las Vegas apart was the profound sense of community that permeated the event. Nu-metal has always been a refuge for outsiders and non-conformists, and this festival stood as a testament to unity, acceptance, and a shared love for music within the genre. The atmosphere was devoid of judgment, replaced instead by an enduring camaraderie that reverberated throughout.
Moreover, the festival’s eclectic lineup celebrated the rich diversity within nu-metal. With bands representing various subgenres and even venturing into industrial rock, goth rock, and electronic music, the event appealed to a broad spectrum of fans. This diversity underscored the genre’s adaptability and innovative spirit.
In sum, the Sick New World Festival Las Vegas was an unqualified triumph. Seamlessly organized, featuring a diverse lineup, and pulsating with a palpable energy, it provided fans with a remarkable opportunity to witness nu-metal’s luminaries in their prime while honoring the genre as a whole. This monumental gathering embodied the very essence of nu-metal—a genre that thrives on the unconventional and the unapologetic.