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!
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.
Silence Is The Enemy
…To Be Loved
Getting Away With Murder
Between Angels And Insects
Where Did The Angels Go
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!
Hell & Consequences
Made Of Scars
A Rumour Of Skin
Say You’ll Haunt Me
The Travellers Pt. 2
Last Of The Real
Nutshell (partial Alice In Chains cover)
Digital (Did You Tell)
Review by Al Westlake