Stone Sour, Nothing More @ Roundhouse

By Adam Rosario

Corey Taylor has always been an enigma, keeping himself busy. Whether writing books, guest starring in TV and movies or being on stage with either of his two bands, he’s certainly someone who works very hard. Taking a break from his day job, Taylor has brought back Stone Sour for a run through tour, supporting their latest album, Hydrograd, which is due a special edition release in the very near future.

Grammy-nominated Nothing More open proceedings tonight, bringing a high octane, energetic set to the crowd as they file into the cavernous Roundhouse. They sound like an amalgamation of Don Broco’s party side with beefier hard rock-influenced riffs, as they breeze through their ten song set. Notably, ‘Jenny’ & ‘Go To War’ really captures the crowd, until a bizarre cover of ‘First of the Year (Equinox) – originally by Skrillex -confuses everyone. Singer Jonny Hawkins goes back to his drumming roots, by clambering up on top of a contraption that allows him to play the bass dubstep parts. Confusing, mental but interesting, Nothing More have done what they needed to do, and intrigued the crowd into a party atmosphere.

Stone Sour take to the stage and receive a rapturous reaction, being welcomed like hometown heroes. It becomes quite clear that the fans here are all diehard and not just here to see the main man. Corey Taylor, as it happens, is on scintillating form, prowling the stage, geeing the crowd up and smashing through an incredible hour and a half of the best hard rock music out there. ‘Whiplash Pants’ segues into ‘Absolute Zero’ with ease and elicits a huge reaction. Every word is sung back at the band throughout this opening salvo.

The biggest cheers come for the older material and there is a lot on show for the crowd tonight. ‘Say You’ll Haunt Me’ and ’30/30-150’ sound as good now as they did when they were released. The band sound tight and well oiled, Josh Rand and Christian Martucci’s guitars screech and meld together over the top of Johny Chow’s bass licks and Roy Mayorga’s thunderous drumming. It’s clear the years have been kind to Stone Sour, and they’ve become a phenomenal sounding band.

‘Bother’ sees Taylor take to the stage solo and really show off his vocal talents in a whole different way. Crooning his way through the signature song, the emotion is felt throughout the room, and there’s many a person losing their emotions. ‘Tired’ and ‘Cold Reader’ bring the big riffs back into play, before a sensational ‘Get Inside’, which is very primal and roars out of the speakers at breakneck pace, showing Taylor at his best. The transition from ‘Bother’, building through the next two songs, into ‘Get Inside’ shows Taylor’s talents at both ends of the spectrum. Able to both out-sing and out-scream anybody, there’s a reason he’s known as one of the world’s best singers.

‘Rose Red Violent Blue’ opens the final stretch, culminating in ‘Song #3’ and ‘Through Glass’ both of which take the roof off the venue. The band leave and return for a run through of ‘RU486’ and ‘Fabuless’ closes. ‘Fabuless’ even features the wacky inflatable arm flailing tube men from the video and really brings the show to a tremendous climax.

Stone Sour have proven time and again that Corey Taylor can bring them back to life between his Slipknot duty. Both the band and the crowd are having tons of fun, and Taylor is able to show off a different side to himself: the fun loving party man who has such natural charisma that it needs an outlet. Slipknot doesn’t give him that outlet – being the brooding, violent person can only be done for so long – and when he needs a break, Stone Sour put on a party unlike any other.