However, that is the situation they find themselves in. And when the houselights go down to herald “Gone Sovereign” and the beginning of the show there is near delirium amongst the gathered throng.
That track – and indeed five more that are played tonight – are from the new “House of Gold and Bones PT1” record. The second part is due next year. Part one is a stellar affair, and if it doesn’t quite hit the heights of album number two “Come What Ever May” it is a massive improvement on 2010’s patchy “Audio Secrecy.”
Sour enter the stage with the band dressed in black, and the other members (still including Slipknot’s James Root amongst their ranks) are content to let Taylor hog the limelight. It is a role he accomplishes with aplomb. Although, new bass man Johnny Chow has a beard that might just eclipse the vocalist on its own.
The setlist is a 90 minute long storm through their best moments. “Hell And Consequences” from “……May” is a showstopper, while the delve back to the debut album for “Blotter” is rapturously received. It is “Absolute Zero” that perhaps showcases their talents best. Sitting on the new album, it is a stone (sour) cold classic of a track. An effortless riff and chorus is driven on the back of Josh Rand’s guitar crunch and is casually tossed out early on.
A four song encore (also including a snippet of Alice In Chains “Nutshell”) sees Taylor play a solo “Bother”, which the crowd sings for him, before he is joined by the others for “Through Glass” and “Digital (Did You Tell)” which he dedicates to a generation that “needs to unplug and live their lives” before “3030150” draws us to a superb close.
When they toured with Avenged Sevenfold a couple of years ago in arenas, Stone Sour were largely upstaged by a band who had an arena show. Sour don’t and looked a little forlorn having to follow AX7s histrionics. Not here. They are the perfect band for these shows.
They have done this on the back of the quality of the songs they have. Taylor’s mega status as the singer in one of metal’s biggest bands might have got Stone Sour noticed in the first place, but it is the fact they are damn good that keeps the public coming back.
Stone Sour were quite brilliant tonight