Kim Dracula – Varsity Theater – Minneapolis MN – March 16th 2024

Kim Dracula – Varsity Theater – Minneapolis MN – March 16th 2024

Review and photos by Sophiea Owen

Nu-metal is apparently alive and well in the year 2024, as I was happily informed at the Varsity Theater for Kim Dracula’s America’s Gradual Decline In Morale Tour. This is their first headlining tour, sharing the name with their debut album that came out in 2023.

Opening for Kim Dracula were Tallah and Jeris Johnson. Dubbing themselves “nu-core,” Tallah brought sporadic rhythms and the mix of heavy metal riffs with feral-sounding scream/rap overtop of it. Every member of the six-piece band had intense energy that kept me very entertained. They all came on wearing what looked like torn-up lab coats, even though they didn’t last long, and the entire set gave a sort of mad-scientist nu-metal vibe to it.

If Tallah brought the sci-fi to sci-fi/fantasy, Jeris Johnson brought the fantasy. Entering the stage wearing a fur vest and wielding a sword, he toed the more classic rock side of nu-metal. Heavily sampling other songs incorporated into his own and with your classic lyrical fare, I felt like I was in the early 2000s again.

So I had never heard of Kim Dracula before this show, but I’m paying attention now. I’d seen what they looked like and that they had a song on their debut album featuring Jonathan Davis, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it became very clear why the singer of Korn might give them his seal of approval. They started their set by crawling out of a coffin so I knew it was going to be a fun night. Nu-metal seems to have progressed to incorporate more pop into it, resulting in danceable beats combined with heavy guitars and even heavier, guttural screaming. They had a very fun mix of genres with an intriguing stage aesthetic. I was incredibly entertained. They performed some very fun covers as well, “Whip It” and “Paparazzi,” which is blew them up on TikTok, but I’m happy it allowed them to make their own music as well as tour it.