February 13, 2014
House of Blues - Dallas
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Andy Upton
Photos by Paul Wilkins
Say You'll Rock Me
The Dallas House of Blues was extremely crowded on a crazy Thursday night for the Stone Sour concert. I was astonished at the capacity crowd on hand for a weeknight show. The fans were strong and ready to go early on for all four bands that were on the bill.
Opening act, Dallas own Drayter, was a very pleasant surprise. All of the members are still in high school but played straight forward rock and roll way beyond their years. Lead singer Nyssa Garcia has a powerful voice and commanded the stage very well. Stolen Babies was up next. Their blend of American experimental rock was refreshing, yet downright weird at times. Lead singer Dominique Persi was quirky and fun, bassist/guitarist Rani Sharone took turns playing both instruments expertly and drummer Gil Sharone kept it all together nicely. The final opening act, Pop Evil, has had some radio success and opened with maybe their most well-known song "Deal With the Devil." A good hard rock band that seemed to be well rehearsed with all types of songs from ballads to nu-metal to post-grunge. Hard to believe that they have been together for over ten years but just have never really found great commercial success. One highlight of their set was having Drowning Pool guitarist C.J. Pierce come out and sing some background vocals.
While waiting for headliner Stone Sour to come on, I reflected back to seeing them in concert a few years back at the Gexa Energy Pavilion. Their sound that night was mesmerizing. Wondering how that would translate into the smaller enclosed concert hall kept me on edge. They came out onto the stage opening with the title track to their new double-cd House of Gold & Bones. They followed that epic entry with "Ru486" and "Say You'll Haunt Me," my favorite song from their 2010 effort Audio Secrecy. "Inhale," from their debut cd was very slow but was wonderfully done.
Since Stone Sour was formed in 1992, they have had to deal with a few band member changes and long stretches of inactivity while some members perform with their other band, Slipknot. Five albums later and with two Grammy nominations in hand, they set out to put on a great rock and roll show. All five band members on this tour did a wonderful job throughout the concert. Lead singer Corey Taylor was spot on with everything he attempted, whether it was a slow power ballad or a screaming high intensity rock song - he hit every note squarely on the head. Drummer Roy Mayorga was exceptional pounding on his kit and touring bassist Johnny Chow kept a steady rhythm all night. Guitarist extraordinaire Josh Rand was phenomenal on every song and guitarist Christian Martucci did a capable job filling in for original member Jim Root while he takes some time off to start writing for the next Slipknot cd.
Continuing on with a slew of songs, Stone Sour kept the fans rocking at a break neck pace. "The Travelers, Part 1," from House of Gold & Bones, was performed acoustically and solo by Corey. That lead straight into the radio hit "Tired" from the same cd and "Through Glass" from 2006's Come What(ever) May. The latter was a great sing along performance that seemed to get the whole crowd involved. "The Travelers, Part 2," "Gravesend" and a hard rocking "30-30/150" finished out that small set. Then Corey took to the stage by himself and sang the first few verses of "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel that blended seamlessly into "Bother," my all-time favorite Stone Sour song. I've been attending rock concerts for over thirty years and yet during this song, I witnessed a first, the audience singing backing vocals. This little foray into the unknown was amazing and something that I'll never forget. After the song was finished, Corey even stepped back and gave the crowd a little clap.
Stone Sour finished the night with an amazing trio of songs: a spot on cover of Metallica's "Creeping Death" and two of their own hits "Absolute Zero" and "Gone Sovereign." The crowd loved every minute of this concert.