A Stone Sour Sold Out Start

By on January 17, 2014

Corey Taylor, Stone Sour (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

What a way to kick off the 2014 New Year for Hard Rock fans. Stolen Babies, Pop Evil & Stone Sour started their state-wide tour at the House of Blues in Orlando this past Tuesday and if this is an example of what’s in store for the rest of the year, we will continue to witness not only a comeback but continued growth in the hard rock/heavy metal genre that we love.

 Walking into the venue at the beginning of Stolen Babies set, I noticed two things immediately,

The venue was absolutely wall to wall packed, and what I was witnessing on stage was very interesting.

I haven’t seen Stolen Babies before but the imagery and the stage props were mesmerizing and the crowd couldn’t take their eyes off the stage. This was also helped by Dominique Lenore Persi, the lead vocalist, playing an accordion.

Dominique Lenore Persi , Stolen Babies (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

We’ve seen the bagpipes in metal but I can’t remember anyone ever busting out an accordion at a metal show. Call it a gimmick if you will, but it works well with their goth-like theatrics, without going over the top. Along with Persi, the band consists of twin brothers Gil and Rani Sharone on drums and bass and the trio showed the quality of musicianship that you would expect from a band that has been playing together since 1997 in high school. You never know what to expect from Persi vocally. She can combine the cleanest vocals with sounds that are unrecognizable and come from the depths of somewhere sinful, and she blends it all perfectly.

 Stolen Babies kept the crowd moving and wondering what was coming next audibly and visually as they played songs off their debut release, Squabbles and their most recent, Naught.

There are a few bands that I have discovered over the last year or two that I will go check out every time they come on tour. One of those is the band Nothing More from San Antonio and the other being this band, Stolen Babies. If you like bands that are a little off center, not cookie cutter, and put on a theatrical performance while playing, Stolen Babies is a band for you.

 The most active touring band in 2013 was up next. Pop Evil took the stage and destroyed it once again.

 

Leigh Kakaty, Pop Evil (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

It’s amazing to me to watch this band grow and continue their rise over the last few years. Their latest cd, Onyx, and the singles that have been released from it, have catapulted them to the top of the charts and the plays on terrestrial and satellite radio have increased with each single.  Charts don’t always tell the story, but what truly does is the crowd that is attendance and the reaction from them when Pop Evil takes the stage. Rarely do you see a venue packed for openers, but from the word go, The House of Blues was at capacity with everyone engaged.

 Opening with their recent single “Deal With The Devil,” charismatic frontman and founder of the band, Leigh Kakaty stormed the stage with his bandmates and captivated the crowd throughout their performance. Female fan favorite and bassist Matt DiRito was keeping true to his reputation as a non-stop, all action performer and drummer Chachi Riot put on another stellar performance behind the drums. This guy is worth the price of admission alone. He puts on a show that most drummers can’t compete with, all the while keeping in the pocket with DiRito and the other two guitarists in the band Nick Fuelling and Dave Grah.

Leigh Kakaty (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

ChaChi Riot (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Highlights from their set included radio favorites and anthems in “Hero,” “Last Man Standing” and their chart topper “Trenches.”  Singing with the band throughout their set it was obvious that the fans got everything that they wanted from Pop Evil tonight, and some of them even got the mosh pit that they were looking for.

 With this performance, Pop Evil answered a question that I had posted in a previous review from the recent show in Tampa, and that was: “Can Pop Evil expand on the traction that they have gained in their career thus far?” The answer is a resounding, “Yes.” They are opening for one of the best bands in the world right now in Stone Sour and they are soon to be touring with Five Finger Death Punch in Europe this summer. I have to believe with this experience and another big release following up Onyx, Pop Evil will be headlining their own big tours in the upcoming years.

On the guitar Stone Sour’s Christian Martucci (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

During the intermission between bands, you could feel the anticipation for Stone Sour throughout the crowd. This lineup was already proving that this show was starting off the New Year right and other tours would be hard pressed to live up to the standard that was being set.  Getting the crowd primed with the theme song from the cult classic “Escape from New York,” Corey Taylor and his bandmates in Stone Sour proved once again why most consider them amongst the top three bands in the genre. Opening with and playing live for the first time, “House Of Gold & Bones” and then “RU486,” the fans knew we would hear a lot from the most recent releases in the multi-part House of Gold & Bones. Some of these in the early part on the set included “Black John” “The “Travelers Part 1”and their most recent monster single “Tired.”

One of the top front-men in rock, COREY TAYLOR (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Corey Taylor can command a crowd like the greats of the past and he was feeding back off the crowd at the sold out House of Blues.  Stopping throughout the set and letting the crowd take over the vocals, Taylor proved once again that his songwriting and the topics he covers, are infectious and memorable.

Mixing in rocking tracks like “30-30-150”, “Say You”ll Haunt Me” and “Made of Scars” with mellower crowd singing favorites in “Through Glass,” “Bother” and the Alice in Chains cover “Nutshell,” Stone Sour kept the fans wondering what was next.

Josh Rand on the guitar (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Guitarist, Josh Rand, drummer, Roy Mayorga, with touring members, Christian Martucci (guitarist filling in for Jim Root) and Johny Chow (bassist of Fireball Ministry) performed flawlessly.

Being able to witness Mayorga and Chachi Riot on the skins on the same tour is something special. Two of the best “performance based” players on the same night. Enough said.

 After the 15 song set was finished with “Do Me a Favor,” Stone Sour encored with “Gone Sovereign” and “Absolute Zero.” These two songs were the first singles that were released from House of Gold and Bones Part 1. Almost a combined 8 minutes is unheard for a single in the terrestrial music industry and Stone Sour pulled it off with great success.

 

Fans jam packed the show (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

This was the first time that I can remember having two singles edited and released together since Zeppelins “Heartbreaker” & “Living Loving Maid.”   (Interesting note is that Zeppelin never played these two songs together live.)

 17 songs wouldn’t be enough tonight as Corey Taylor and Stone Sour played to the old-schoolers heart strings and finished with the classic head-banger from forefathers of Heavy Metal, Black Sabbath’s “Children of the Grave.” Guttural yells, combined with the balcony shaking and all bodies in attendance bouncing, this song was a perfect encore to an unbelievable show. Hearing Taylor compliment the crowd over and over and catching the reaction after the show, It was obvious that all of us shared a show to remember not only throughout this year, but for many years to come.

Josh Rand (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Leigh Kakaty, Pop Evil (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

More fans (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Josh Rand (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

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