Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Stone Sour, Pop Evil rage on tour's opening night

     LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Hard rock titans Stone Sour and Pop Evil shattered the sound waves at the House of Blues Orlando on the opening night of their 2014 winter U.S. tour on Jan. 14.

     A haunting keyboard melody accompanied by lightly tapped tambourine played to a pitch-black stage in anticipation for Stone Sours’ entrance. The sold-out crowd cheered and shouted as the band’s members filed in, which climaxed with lead singer Corey Taylor’s triumphant arrival.

     Stone Sour went right into action, starting their set with the live debut of “The House of Gold & Bones,” from their latest studio album “House of Gold & Bones – Part 2.” This driving rock song showcased not only the bands tight-knit musicianship, but also featured the full range of Taylor’s vocal style that was in peak form throughout the night.

     Posed with one foot raised on a center stage platform was Taylor who was singing and screaming his heart out. Taylor is also the lead singer for the fanatically followed heavy metal group, Slipknot, and has perfected the difficult balance of melodic vocals and visceral screaming that has earned his groups strong fan support and international success.

     Taylor openly showed love and respect back to the audience between songs, as he looked genuinely excited to be back on tour after months off the road. “You guys are setting the bar high for the rest of the tour,” said Taylor on-stage as he praised the crowd.

     Never was this harmonious connection between band and audience more apparent than during the performance of the groups’ hit songs “Say You’ll Haunt Me,” “Through Glass,” “Bother,” and “Absolute Zero.” These well-crafted songs were supported by the crowd who sang along word for word and cheered on with deafening applause between each number.

     Not everything was perfect with the overall sound in the packed venue. The vocals and high treble were drowned out by the bass levels that were a little too high.

     “I wish who ever was running the soundboard had the vocals a little more pronounced and the group better balanced,” said audience member Mike Jenniges. “But overall, they were awesome and put on a great show.”

     Performing before Stone Sour was the rock group Pop Evil who also suffered slightly from poorly leveled audio, but still put on a phenomenal show.

     Pop Evil gave an animated blast to each song they performed from the squealing pinch harmonics that start off “Trenches” to the vicious shouting featured in “Deal With The Devil.” Every member of this group emphasized each note and beat they performed and didn't let up 'til the end.

     “Pop Evil was great,” said concertgoer Pathless Rusulis after the show. “ I dug ‘Trenches’ and I really dug their performance and energy on-stage.”

     Lead Singer for Pop Evil, Leigh Kakaty, ended their set by making the announcement that the group would be joining Five Finger Death Punch on their upcoming world tour once they finish this tour with Stone Sour.

     Tickets have been selling out well in advance for this tour, and anyone lucky enough to get to see these groups in person are sure to be impressed by what's to come in the future.

By James Tutten

(All photos by James Tutten)

Corey Taylor screams his heart out performing with Stone Sour in Orlando.
Stone Sour guitarist, Josh Rand, plays his pink polka-dotted Ibanez guitar.

Pop Evil's lead singer, Leigh Kakaty, on-stage at the House of Blues Orlando.


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