As a member of Korn, Brian “Head” Welch is used playing massive stadium and festival gigs.
For Awaken 2020, Welch will take the stage alone and address the Sun Devil Stadium crowd on Saturday, January 18, about his healing from mental illness and drug abuse.
“These events attract people who were just like I was when I was suicidal, when I was depressed, when I was mentally ill and addicted to everything,” Welch says.
“There are so many people who need an awakening to happen to make them want to fight to live again. That is an addiction to me. To see people change like me and to see their faces before and after—just like I was—you feel like you’re doing good in the world.”
David Herzog Ministries of Scottsdale is presenting the event that features 12 speakers, including Herzog. Awaken 2020 promises to heal the sick and preach the gospel to the 50,000 people expected to attend.
“It’s going to be awesome,” Herzog says “It’s going to be televised around the whole Phoenix area. It’s a good way to start off the New Year.”
Herzog says he and the other speakers will work to contradict the negativity portrayed nightly on the news and present positive, happy, good music and good values.
“It’s a good shift for this community and for the city,” Herzog says. “It’s good for everyone—Millennials, parents and ASU.
Herzog has hosted smaller events in Helsinki and Budapest, but this is the first one of this magnitude in his home state. He says believers and those who are hurting are looking for an event like Awaken 2020.
“By having people like Brian being real, that speaks volumes,” Herzog says.
“Everyone has an emptiness—rich, famous people; government officials; everyone. The common denominator is there’s an emptiness in most people that they’re trying to fill. They’re trying to fill it with money, politicians, the latest car. It doesn’t fill the void, though. The emptiness is still there.
“I was at a Kanye West concert two weeks ago. Brad Pitt was there without a bodyguard. We were just talking. Machine Gun Kelly was there. Everyone’s searching. They’re looking at Kanye, who had a new experience with God. Happiness is not coming from the mature world. That’s where we’re at in this culture. There’s more to it than me, myself and I.”
Welch has told his story repeatedly, but each time he puts a new spin on it. Most importantly, though, he wants to inspire and let people know God is real and everywhere.
“He accepts you no matter how damaged or a mess you think you are,” Welch says.
The former Phoenician adds he wasn’t nervous until it was brought to his attention that he’ll be in a stadium without his bandmates in Korn, who will hit the road with Breaking Benjamin on January 23 in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
“Now I have sweat on my forehead,” he says with a laugh. “No, it’s an honor. My voice will be bouncing off and echoing in this huge stadium.”
Sun Devil Stadium, 500 E. Veterans Way, Tempe, awaken2020.com, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, January 18, free admission but tickets required from website.