Review of Stone Sour and Papa Roach Gig at Brixton Academy

Review of Stone Sour and Papa Roach gig at Brixton Academy

Papa Roach: 8/10 – Not a fan of the music, but bloody hell they can get a crowd going!

Review of Papa Roach gig at Brixton Academy

Review of Papa Roach gig at Brixton Academy

Papa Roach has never been my thing, ‘Getting Away With Murder’ and ‘Kick In The Teeth’ are the only songs in their catalogue that I like. I also find it amusing that their two most famous hits; ‘Last Resort’ and ‘Between Angels And Insects’ both rip their signature riffs from Iron Maiden songs… but then again the main riff from ‘2 Minutes To Midnight’ is often regarded as the most copied metal riff of all time and there are plenty of examples of it that pre-date Maiden’s so I’ll shut up on that one.

I have now seen Roach live twice, both times they were supporting and both times they were so bloody good at gearing the crowd up that it might as well have been a co-headliner, in fact the first time I saw them they blew the headliner (Disturbed, should you care) off the stage!

Yes, in short, Papa Roach were really solid as an act. Sonically they were tight, and the quartet had a stage presence of a true band playing with a sense of camaraderie – so often these days I see groups playing with static musicians and the frontman carrying 90-100% of the team’s charisma by himself. Speaking of frontmen, Jacoby Shaddix had the crowd in his hand (quite literally in some cases, he spent nearly as much time down the front as he did on the stage) and he got the audience to do a lot of singing during the more popular numbers as well as generating some serious movement.

One criticism I had was the setlist, they only played 50% of the two songs I like. Roach’s material is significantly heavier live, more raw and vastly improved so I found myself enjoying songs I otherwise loath the studio counterparts of. Yet as I’m not a Roach fan I can only take them in small doses and the 50+ minute set did start to drag on towards the end with numbers sounding a bit samey. Some tracks off the new record sounded particularly decent though such as ‘Where Did The Angels Go’. Couldn’t handle a full headline set, but as a support Roach are the second best I’ve ever seen with Pendulum still holding 1st place and Dizzee Rascal taking 3rd.

Setlist:

Still Swingin’

Silence Is The Enemy

…To Be Loved

Getting Away With Murder

Burn

Forever

Scars

Hollywood Whore

Between Angels And Insects

Where Did The Angels Go

Dead Cell

Last Resort

Stone Sour: 8/10 – Love the band, great show… might’ve changed the setlist a bit.

Stone Sour took the stage around 9.30pm and had a curiously downplayed stage set-up, one small album banner on white backdrops saturated by smoke machines. The VERY psychedelic lighting displays proved to be the main visual experience of the show, which quickly explained the excessively white and stripped down stage and smoke.

Stone Sour were louder, heavier and faster than Roach and initially traded off sound quality for sheer volume on the first couple of songs although this was quickly re-balanced for the remainder of what became a very tight set. Stone Sour is a five-strong group but all eyes were fixed on Corey Taylor and indeed all the chanting from the crowd was exclusively for Corey too (what was I saying earlier about frontmen and team charisma?). Being fair to the guy, his voice was on top form from start to finish and Stone Sour forces him to utilise a much wider range of vocals than Slipknot. His ‘Iowa’-era gutteral roars are back and yet of course the soulful melodic side came to front at various points too.

The band played an extensive set spanning all four studio records with a heavy focus on new release ‘House Of Gold & Bones Part 1’ and 2nd record ‘Come What(ever) May’. The first half of the show was a thundering assault on the ears, heavy and furious (neither word I’d associate with the studio Stone Sour) and it was awesome! ‘Absolute Zero’ is a great track off the new record and went down a treat live, ‘Hell & Consequences’ and ‘Reborn’ were a couple of many that kept the intensity up.

It wasn’t until about 10 songs in that the band showed any real sign of pulling back a gear, starting with sing-along single ‘Say You’ll Haunt Me’ the band moved into more melodic territory. ‘The Travelers Pt. 2’ and ‘Bother’ were the two ballads for the evening; the latter of course being an acoustic number performed by Corey alone and generated the biggest audience response of the entire evening.

Disappointingly the self-titled debut album was rather neglected, Corey himself announced it was the album’s 10th anniversary so why only three songs!? ‘Get Inside’ and the aforementioned ‘Bother are both great older numbers but grossly overplayed thus leaving ‘Orchids’ as the only surprise classic of the set, but what a treat it was.

Another point to mention is the unnecessary chat. Corey is a decent public speaker and he had his moments in this show as well but fuck did he blather on! Giving full-blown speeches after each of the first six songs, and there were many more to come. Stone Sour confirmed for Download Festival 2013, the debut record’s 10th birthday, Corey wearing Superman underwear… this is all-important information. The other 75% of the time it was nothing more than various iterations of “I fucking love you Brixton” drawn out for 2-3 minutes a time and it got very monotonous very quickly, never seen him

faff around so much before. I appreciate the enthusiasm but a balance needs to be found. It’s a minor criticism and despite the inordinate amount of banter the band still delivered a long set of strong songs (although a more even balance between the 1st and 2nd record wouldn’t have gone a miss) so I can’t complain too much. All things considered, great show!

Setlist:

Gone Sovereign

Absolute Zero

Mission Statement

Hell & Consequences

Orchids

Made Of Scars

A Rumour Of Skin

Reborn

RU486

Say You’ll Haunt Me

Get Inside

The Travellers Pt. 2

Last Of The Real

Nutshell (partial Alice In Chains cover)

Bother

Through Glass

Digital (Did You Tell)

Review by Al Westlake

30/30-150

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5 thoughts on “Review of Stone Sour and Papa Roach Gig at Brixton Academy

  1. Agree with most of this. I thought the setlist was extremely varied considering it was a tour for the new album. Can’t wait for HoGaB part 2! I don’t know if this was a review of the first or second night but on the first night when I was there, the crowd were so loud singing along during Bother that Corey had a little cry. Which was nice. Emotional night.

    • Fraser, thanks for the comment :). Just to clarify I saw them on the second night and whilst there was no crying from Corey, Bother still got the biggest audience response of the evening. Glad you enjoyed it.

      Regarding the setlist, I appreciate they are touring for the new album and that should rightfully dominate the set. My issue is the balance between SS and CWM always being in favour of the latter. I saw them on the last tour and they only had 3 albums, yet still only played 2 songs from SS and its ALWAYS Bother and Get Inside. While CWM and AS got a 50/50 split for the rest of the set. They played the exact same two songs this time and just threw Orchids in as a service to the album’s 10th birthday. I feel an even split between SS and CWM would’ve been more appropriate or perhaps lean a bit more towards the debut simply because A) they neglected the album on the last tour when there was no reason to (3 albums are easy to accommodate in a setlist) and B) it was SS’s 10th anniversary.

      I fully admit it is a petty gripe and it only applies to people who prefer the debut over CWM, but would it have killed them to replace Made of Scars for example with one more oldie like Inhale or something? Nevertheless, I love all the albums in some capacity and still had a great time. Can’t wait to see them at Download 2013.

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