Review and Photos by John Hayhurst
Stone Sour tear the roof off the Leeds Arena tonight with a strong show involving sparking boxes, confetti guns and a bloke who still headbangs like a nutter, having just had neck surgery!
They start with ‘Taipei Person/Allah Tea’ from their latest album Hydrograd. The pyro boxes get a work out and Corey Taylor, wearing a Buzzcocks shirt stomps around the stage with a confetti gun and blows both barrels in the 2nd song ‘Knieval Has Landed’. He gets a “Yorkshire..Yorkshire..” chant and hasn’t a clue what it was, asking if it was “something about my ass looking great in these jeans”…errr??
We dip back into their 15 year history and tracks from previous albums Come What(ever) May, Audio Secrecy, House of Gold, Bones Part 1 and Part 2. Taylor seems keen to understand who has bought each album, not that it makes any difference they are going to play the same setlist as the other UK dates tonight.
There is a strong hint of a return next year too – Taylor shouts “Bounce like only a Download crowd can”, they aren’t named yet, but watch this space! He makes a big thing about feeling welcomed in the UK, it feels like a genuine statement, but I expect the next Arena tour to be with his other band Slipknot. The work ethic of this guy is quite insane when you realise this is really a non-stop process of albums and touring for him. He looks well though, and even after surgery he is testing his neck muscles and certainly not shirking in the headbanging stakes.
Johny Chow on bass, beard and headshaking. Josh Rand on skinhead and technicolor lead guitars, Ray Mayorga on drums and Christian Martucci on guitar, the whole band gelled together so well, and put on a really powerful rock show – other than the pyro sparklers and confetti, relatively gimmickless, no masks and boilersuits anyway.
They only slow it down a notch for ‘Hesitate’ telling the crowd this one is for the ladies and Corey Taylor then picks up a guitar. ‘Tired’ booms out and we are back to bouncing in a sweaty crowd. They follow that with a stunning ‘Rose Red Violent Blue (This song is dumb and so am I).
Closing the set with ‘Song #3’ and then ‘Through Glass’, anyone watching the recent setlists might think that was the end – but NO! As a special salute to the UK Metal scene they launch into a superb version of Black Sabbath’s ‘Children of the Grave’. I’d go as far as saying it was better than Sabbath’s last live version as Corey Taylor right now has much more superior vocals to the Ozman.
After the short break the band return to properly finish with Gone Sovereign/Absolute Zero and the big one from Hydrograd, ‘Fabuless’, which was indeed fabulous.
These Stone Sour shows are few and far between, so grab them while you can before he puts the mask and suit back on for another 2 years. Watch out Download they are coming for you!