Live Review: Stone Sour — Club Nokia, Los Angeles
Thu, 14 Feb 2013 07:43:24
"I can tell this is going to be the best show we've played in Los Angeles ever," announced a smiling Corey Taylor, halfway through Stone Sour's rapturous set at Club Nokia last night.
Not only was it the group's best L.A. performance, but it was a wake-up call for the city as a whole. Either a hipster or pop mecca, Los Angeles never seems to give hard rock a fair shake. Regardless, Stone Sour pulled the capacity crowd into the House of Gold & Bones for a trip unlike anything else in modern music right now, and AXS TV broadcast it all live.
Creeping to the center of the stage in the dark, the journey commenced with "Gone Sovereign". Overpowering distortion poured from Jim Root and Josh Rand's amps as Taylor approached the mic clad in a Scarface-style white suit and red button-up. Like Tony Montana, he went out guns blazing the entire show. Crushing riffs segued into a frenetic, fretboard-burning solo from Root as the frontman delivered the immense hook.
Without a word, they launched right into another House of Gold & Bones: Part I gem "Absolute Zero". Roy Mayorga's precise percussive pummeling drove "Mission Statement" flawlessly, while Rand's lead on "Hell & Consequences" seared with intense technical prowess and Johnny Chow's bass throbbed.
One of many standouts, "A Rumor of Skin" illuminated not only how tight the live unit is, but just how majestic Taylor's voice is. It's one of the best cuts from House of Gold & Bones and smoldering proof of the singer's ability to tell a vivid story lyrically and carry it on stage. Come What(ever) May classic "Reborn" pummeled with more shredding from Root and Rand. Together, they make for one of the best guitar duos in rock period. They brandished mind-blowing chops as well as anchoring the grooves, an all too rare combination.
The group's brand new single from House of Gold & Bones: Part I I [Out April 9], "Do Me A Favor", sent a seismic shockwave throughout the venue, pushing the audience to bounce in tandem with Mayorga's swaggering beat. The latest cut evinced a Faith No More-style unpredictability befitting of Stone Sour's epic presentation.
Taylor's intimate delivery of Alice In Chains' "Nutshell" did Layne Staley proud, while "Through Glass" and "Bother" expanded his own legacy. The best example of the group's downright brilliance came on "Last of the Real". Taylor stalked the stage with uncontainable ferocity as he segued from schizophrenic screaming to soaring melody, clearly conveying the song's visuals.
One thing was clear as the lights went up, the world could use more rock bands like Stone Sour. They made a fearless two-part concept album that thrives on stage. It's an important record from the most important band in hard rock. Did we mention they're the best live act too? Well, they are…
Were you there?