December can be a bit miserable. You don’t want to go out in the cold and wet unless you have to, most bands won’t venture to your neck of the woods so close to Christmas, and the season might get you a little bogged down. But then, Stone Sour go and announce their tour, throw Papa Roach in as a London support, and suddenly braving the elements doesn’t seem so bad after all.
Ever since ‘The Connection’ dropped, we’ve been longing to see some of these tracks live. Taking to the stage to the record’s eerie ‘Intro’ and leaping straight into ‘Still Swinging’, Papa Roach proved their live quality within seconds. Each member throws themselves into the performance, and Jacoby is as charismatic a frontman as they come. Though the likes of electro-heavy newbie ‘Silence Is The Enemy’ proves fantastic live, the band rely on the classics from their repertoire to win over Stone Sour die hards.
‘Between Angels and Insects’ was the first big step back into the early 2000s, the heavy new hit ‘Where Did The Angels Go?’ then signalled the band tailoring their set to their heaviest material. Old school ‘Dead Cell’ offered a final throw back before the crescendo came in ‘Last Resort’, the unsurprising success story in winning over the doubters in attendance. Papa Roach found the right balance of promoting new songs, performing their hits and pandering to the fans they were opening for, and delivered each with their usual live tenacity. If anything, it makes us even more psyched for them to come back and headline again.
Though a fan of both Papa Roach and Stone Sour, the latter completely blew all before them out of the water. Following Papa Roach’s notion of coming onstage to their opener, they dove into the unruly ‘Gone Sovereign’ with a ferociousness that captured every ounce of attention. It’s that dominant presence that sells their set, they just command your attention without forcing anything. Difficult to give justice to, incredible to witness – there was no doubt that this would be one of 2012’s finest shows.
Debuting ‘The Travelers, Pt. 2’ and ‘Last of the Real’ and rattling through the likes of ‘Mission Statement’ and ‘Made of Scars’, Stone Sour held Brixton Academy firmly in the palm of their hands and refused to relinquish their grasp. Even the acoustic moments, including Corey’s emotionally charged ‘Bother’, proves simply captivating. And it’s that captivation that each member causes – from leaping around the stage to merely strolling it, you can’t take your eyes off of the performance.
Stone Sour are brilliant live, and after years this is the finest we’ve ever seen them. Funny, entertaining and commanding, there’s few words that can do their sheer presence justice, but few bands who can compete with it. We called it to be one of the shows of the year in advance, and we were right. Absolutely sensational. If only every gigging year ended so well…