Papa Roach are my gateway band. There, I've said it. I got into metal properly because of Papa Roach. And then there is a whole load of bullshit attached to my love of their first three albums that I don't really like to think about, and consequently I haven't really listened to them much in the last few years. I've seen Papa Roach live a few times now, mainly at festivals and I caught the end of their set when they opened for Disturbed a couple of years ago.
So, I wasn't desperate to get to the gig in time for their show, but we did, and I enjoyed it. No matter what you think about Papa Roach, I think they were one of the better of the late crop of nu-metal bands that hit the scene in the early 2000s. And they have certainly managed to endure the demise of nu-metal, seemingly constantly reinventing themselves to please audiences whilst still retaining an element of why we loved them in the first place (typing that did make me feel old though).
During their set they ripped through a load of new stuff, which I didn't know, but nodded along to nonetheless. For me the highlights were obviously tracks like "Getting Away With Murder", "Scars", "Deadcell", "Between Angels and Insects" and of course, perennial set finale "Last Resort". Mainly because I could sing along to them! As ever I was impressed at their stamina, and the showmanship of Jacoby Shaddix, who had throat surgery earlier this year. The audience sang every note in unison with the band, particularly on the more well known tracks. It wasn't quite the same as being among thousands of people at Download singing along to "Last Resort" (particularly the lad with a strong Yorkshire accent stood behind me - go on, imagine that!), but it was pretty impressive.
After a quick set change and a second beer, it was time for the main event, the one that everyone had been waiting for. Let me tell you this - Vienna LOVES Stone Sour. At every pause, where the singer usually has a bit of banter with the crowd, the crowd just cheered. Obviously I don't know Corey Taylor personally, but through his books and his twitter he comes across as a nice bloke, and he looked genuinely overwhelmed at the audience reaction to his mere presence on stage.
This was another set full of audience participation. The new album has only been out for little over a month now, but everyone knew every fucking word of every song they played off House of Gold and Bones Part 1 and they sang them loud (me included - speaking is a little difficult today)!
The show opened with the first segment of HOGaB, the intro, "Gone Sovereign" and "Absolute Zero" and it is perfectly understandable why. The two tracks were streaming on their website in advance of the album release and have generated a lot of love across the world. I always say it, there is something utterly special about being in a crowd of thousands singing along to the songs of your favourite artists - it gives me chills.
As it is the 10th anniversary of Stone Sour, the band played a few tracks of that album, which all happened to be my favourites... "Orchids", "Get Inside" and "Blotter" all made an appearance, as well as "Bother". Although Corey reminding us that it is 10 years since the first album was released didn't help me with the feeling old part...
I think one of the best moments was Corey singing "Bother". It is such a gorgeous song, everyone sang along and in all the pauses he was cheered so much he had to stop playing! Right at the end of the song where there is a vocal split, he sang the main line and the crowd sang the split bit (you know the bit I mean right?) and he stopped and looked like he might burst with pride at any moment! Just beautiful.
Corey did say he was fighting off a throat infection, but apart from the odd moment you really couldn't tell, and his voice is just phenomenal (and when he talks he sounds like what I think my favourite chocolate would sound like if it could talk).
The energy in the crowd was phenomenal, and you couldn't help but be infected by it. We were stood quite far back (which wasn't that far, the Gasometer is quite shallow but wide) in front of the sound booth (always one of my fave spots at a gig) and the energy go us all that way back. Even The Beard was displaying a level of outward enthusiasm not usually seen from him at gigs! There was even some jumping, and I am pretty sure I jumped on someones foot - if I did, and it was you, I hope your foot is ok, and please accept my sincere apologies!
Full set list (via setlist.fm)
1. Gone Sovereign
2. Absolute Zero
3. Mission Statement
4. Hell and Consequences
6. Made of Scars
7. Rumor of Skin
10. Say You'll Haunt Me
12. Get Inside
13. Bother (preceded by Alice in Chains 'Nutshell' first verse and chorus)
14. Through Glass
I have noticed that bands seems to be doing less in the way of traditional encores these days - maybe that is just a thing here on the Continent. I'm used to bands delaying their return to stage while the crowd hypes up. Mind you, the crowd really didn't need much in the way of hyping up!!
It was a fantastic night, and Corey did say that Stone Sour would be coming back with this tour as it is a long one spanning both album releases (HOGaB Part 2 is due out in late Spring 2013 I believe), so you can bet your ass I'll be there for part 2!!