Friends’ positive discussions about Stone Sour’s shows, the fact that they’re quite promoted on mainstream radio stations and their strong and coherent sound made me very curious about them, so I decided to see them live even if their melodic accents dissolves a little bit of what I like about the metal sound.
I’ve seen them in Ancienne Belgique (how I love this venue!) on 14 June. The opening band was No Americana: four guys with a strong brit-pop look and a lovely British accent. They played for about half an hour, a pop-rock fusion with soft punk influences. They were cool as a presence but nothing special.
Stone Sour started at 9 pm. The concert was full of energy from beginning to end. The intro for coming on the stage was a piano track, covered completely by the public screams. No moments of calmness during the songs, not even during the slow ones like “Through the Glass” for example, despite the fact that it began in an almost acoustic manner. The setlist was balanced and carefully chosen. They promoted their new album with “Mission Statement” (the opening song), “Digital” and “The Bitter End”. Everything was correctly and professionally executed as they are very good musicians; it couldn’t be otherwise considering that two members are also in Slipknot, the drummer played for two years in Soulfly and they exist since 1992. The stage set was simple, without special effects, no special lights, no decorations besides the Stone Sour background banner, only the band playing; reminiscences of Slipknot may have come to mind on “Made of scars” due to the more vocal melody, and then again on “Your God”.
What I liked:
The sound. Very good, although it became a little bit fuzzy in the second half of the concert.
The Public. The concert was not sold-out and balconies were closed but downstairs was full. A lot of young people, most of them in their 20s, maybe early 30s. Many Slipknot t-shirts but even more of Stone Sour’s. A very dedicated public, big fans with good knowledge of the band’s music and ready to rock the house even on a Monday evening. When Corey Taylor asked how many of them were at the previous Stone Sour concert in Ancienne Belgique in 2007, half the room raised the hand. There was amazing enthusiasm to everything that was said and done on stage and the hall was simply exploding at the beginning of each song. They sang along with the band, sang instead of the band, they earned every “you’re guys are fucking amazing” said by Taylor and this didn’t happen just once.
Taylor’s frontman qualities. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a frontman who talks so much with the public. He has the same confidence while communicating as when singing. If I put together everything that was said on stage, I can come out with a nice speech about what live performance means, being in front of an audience who knows and loves you, about the connection between band and audience. There was no song without saying “Thank you” in the end. As a clue on what it was about, here it is how Taylor ended the concert, before the last song, “Get Inside”: “If I can be completely serious with you for one second, you have no idea how much that means, not only to me, but to us, it is always a privilege to come out here in front of fans who are so into the music just the same way we are, thank you so fucking much to be here! ” then he continued “this is where it all starts because we are all fans of music, we are all together; there is no one here who is any different from each other. We are all one fucking people here tonite.”
He didn’t forget the opening band either, he thanked and asked for applauses for them. Fair enough. Overall he was serious and energetic, but he had some silly moments and jokes as when he started dancing disco and complained of back pain afterwards.
What I didn’t like:
The concert lasted 60 minutes! On the clock. And they came back for about 10 more, with two encores. I cannot find any excuse to something like this. On the contrary, expensive and short shows always leave a bitter taste that should not be swallowed. Especially when public winding up includes stuff like: “are you having a good time? We’re not leaving until you have a good time, we stay here all night if necessary”. Maybe their nights are oddly short…
A scent of propaganda. No matter how “politically correct” Taylor’s interventions were, I can’t help but wonder if they are the same at each concert. It’s a personal opinion, they somehow appeared to have been rehearsed, although perfectly performed. I noticed similarities in other videos of this tour on Youtube, and considering that the one hour timing was perfect in spite of all the talking, I’m not quite sure of their spontaneity. But I’ll have more pros and cons to this feeling when I see them again at Sonisphere Romania on June 27. “
Setlist: 1. Mission Statement 2. Reborn 3. Made Of Scars 4. The Bitter End 5. Sillyworld 6. Blotter 7. Your God 8. Through Glass 9. Idle Hands 10. Digital 11. Come What(ever) May 12. Get Inside Encore: 13. Hell & Consequences 14. 30/30-150
The band’s name is an alcoholic drink that consists of one part whiskey or brandy, one part orange juice, mixing sweet and sour.
ywannish, 19 June 2010