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Thursday, 7 December 2017

A View From The Back Of The Room: Stone Stour (Live Review By Paul)

Stone Sour & The Pretty Reckless, Motorpoint Arena Cardiff

The first thing I noticed about this gig was how significantly the capacity had been cut. The three sides of the arena pushed forward to funnel the audience closer to the stage. Despite the huge advertising of 2 for 1 tickets Corey Taylor's Stone Sour (which is surely how they should be described) pulled about 4000 fans to the Welsh Capital. Contrary to Taylor’s diatribes on stage throughout the evening, this was Stone Sour’s first ever gig in Cardiff (unless I’ve missed something) [Ed- You are correct they have played Bristol but this was the Cardiff debut] and whilst Slipknot are regulars to the City, this was the first opportunity many had to see the band, something confirmed by the show of first timer hands later in the evening. The second thing to note was that try as it might, the sound at the Motorpoint was up to its usual standard, resulting in the entire gig sounding like it was being played underwater.

So, having got that out of the way, we settled down to the extended support set from Taylor Momsen’s insipid outfit The Pretty Reckless (3). Devoid of any stage presence, the band’s turgid and monotonous songs lasted for an age. A dire light show, minimal interaction with the crowd, which for an actress was surprising, all added to the wish that we’d stayed in the pub. Maybe I’m just getting old, as many of the admittedly younger audience were word perfect and thoroughly enjoyed them, but if they played in my garden I’d draw the curtains.

No change in the sound, which continued to have all the clarity of a 1981 black metal album, as Stone Sour (7) hit the stage. A rip-roaring set list was punctuated with motormouth Taylor unable to refrain from chatting shite between each song. 50 minutes in and the band had managed eight tracks. On record, Stone Sour are electric, clear, solid and heavy. Live, despite the twin guitar of Josh Rand and Christian Martucci, they were thin and flat. Occasionally the band hit their rhythm, such as the blistering 30/30-150 and Made Of Scars. When the band did hit top gear, it was for the older stuff, such as Cold Reader and Get Inside from the debut release.

Hesitate was ghastly, although Through Glass impressed. By the time Taylor had gushed about his love of Wales and the UK, and the band had totally butchered Sabbath’s Children Of The Grave it was time to leave. I had great expectations about this gig and having seen them a few years ago in Brixton I know that they can be a stunning live act. I apologise if you disagree with this review. It’s my opinion. However, the numbers streaming out before the encore suggested that it wasn’t just me.

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