Stone Sour/Sydonia

Brisbane, AUS, 17 May 2007

By Jamie Cook

05 June 2007

Words by Jamie Cook and images by Simon Milburn

Forming in Des Moines, Iowa back in 1992, Stone Sour built up a following on their local circuit, but called it quits in 1997. Two members, Corey Taylor and James Root went on to join another band from the same city known as Slipknot. Reforming Stone Sour once again in the year 2000, at the time when Slipknot were taking the metal world by storm, it was unclear to fans on whether this was the end of their masked idols, or whether a side project was about to be born. Unknown to many though, Stone Sour were never a side project and were around long before Slipknot, but this time they were about to burst out of the underground and into the mainstream reaching a new range of Metal and Hard Rock fans. Tonight in Bris Vegas a sold out venue was about to witness first hand what all the fuss was about, as Stone Sour were here to play to Australian crowds for the first time showcasing their new album Come What(ever) May.

STONE SOUR/SYDONIA - The Arena, Brisbane, Australia, 17 May 2007

Stone Sour live in Brisbane, AustraliaHaving only graced the same stage three weeks earlier supporting Lamb of God, the Victorian lads Sydonia once again got lucky scoring another big National support slot, however I missed their full set, but from asking a number of punters how they went down with the crowd, I received differing reports. Some say they played well, but most said they were boring, and apparently a fair percentage of the room showed this in their response to the band between songs. One reliable source even informed me when Sydonia advised everyone of their last song, a thunderous roar of approval was heard from the packed Arena. Whatever one's opinion is on Sydonia, someone out there in Music Land must think they are doing and playing the right thing. You be the judge of that.

After a brief set changeover, the lights go down, and five black figures could be seen walking onto the stage. The moment the first notes of 30-30-150 were struck, the capacity crowd's fuse was lit and within a milli-second detonated into overdrive. With much shorter locks than last time in Australia with Slipknot, vocalist Corey Taylor's voice was in fine form, but sadly towards the end of the set, the full effect of touring would start to take its toll on his pipes. For the first five or so songs, Stone Sour was smokin' and had my full attention, but after that their radio friendly rock started to sound the same, and got a tad lackluster for my liking. The band was tight musically and was giving the performance all their energy in the sweltering venue, and from his first steps onto the stage, Corey had the crowd in the palm of his hand, and I'd bet top dollar whatever he demanded of them, the loyal followers would do.

Stone Sour live in Brisbane, AustraliaStone Sour live in Brisbane, Australia

Luckily for me, the night was saved by a short acoustic spectacle halfway through the show with only Corey and a guitar, and this also proved that Taylor does not only have diverse talent, but the vocal range to go way beyond the metal genre. The admirable acoustic set consisted of covers of Chris Issak's Wicked Game, Lynyrd Skynyrd's Sweet Home Alabama, and the great Johnny Cash's (God bless his soul) Ring of Fire. Stone Sour's biggest hits, the ballads Bother as well as Through Glass had the Brisbane crowd almost drown out the band with their singalongs.

The thing I couldn't help but notice this evening was drummer Roy Mayorga's (ex-Soulfly) similarity in drumming and appearance to Motley Crue's Tommy Lee (and I'd only seen Tommy some weeks earlier). Mayorga had the same hair colour and hair style, the same drumming technique and even the same style of threads that Mr Lee dresses in. With all that aside, Mr Mayorga certainly knows how to play the pigskins and is definitely an asset to this band after leaving his former tribal pals.

Stone Sour live in Brisbane, AustraliaStone Sour live in Brisbane, Australia

Some were wondering tonight if Stone Sour would possibly do a Slipknot tune or two in their set, this was not to be, in fact apart from the cover versions mentioned earlier, all other material was an even distribution from both their releases, Inhale, Reborn, Scars, Come What(ever) May, Blotter, and Your God were just some tunes played. Ending the evening was Get Inside, but for me now knowing what it must be like to be shoved in an oven, getting outside to a crisp night air was the only thing on my mind.

I'm fully aware I'm in a minority, but I'm unsure if I can pinpoint the exact main reason tonight's gig let me down, was it the soundalike songs? The heat levels inside the venue? Or the copious amount of Bogan dickheads who come out of the woodwork, act like total fucking dropkicks and think this IS the metal gig of the year to be at? Perhaps it's all of the above. Either way, Stone Sour was praiseworthy for most of the show, but as something was missing for me, it was kind of like eating KFC without the Colonel's secret herbs and spices.

Stone Sour live in Brisbane, Australia

More from Stone Sour and Sydonia