When I first started shooting music two years ago, one of the first "big" bands I shot was Stone Sour. I remember being impressed with Corey Taylor. Not that the band isn't impressive, but I remember Corey coming to the front of the stage many times to make sure that I got incredible shots. Even then I knew how rare it was for a band to not just ignore you while you are in the photo pit. When I found out Stone Sour was coming around again, touring on their fantastic album, House of Gold and Bones, I knew I had to be there.
Hell or Highwater is led by the former drummer/vocalist of Atreyu; Brandon Saller. They were fun to watch live and you can tell he is loving not being stuck behind a drum kit. He even came out onto the floor and jumped around with the crowd towards the end of their set.
In This Moment was up next. I have shot them once before and I remember it felt like theater more than anything else. Singer Maria Brink too the stage, standing between to poles stacked with skulls. She wore handsfree microphone and rocked out between the skulls. There was so much smoke and dark lighting that it was hard to even see the band. Or hear what she was singing/screaming about to be honest. But the audience ate all of it up.
Even though I am not super familiar with their music, it was clear that she is a great front woman and everyone loved every second of it.
A lot of people know Stone Sour from their acoustic-ish hit "Bother" or for Corey Taylor being the frontman of Slipknot. Realistically though, Stone Sour is a band that lives somewhere between those two extremes. Just an incredible hard rock band. Taylor obviously loves being on stage and really is an incredible frontman.
Beyond Taylor though, the rest of the band sounds really tight and pretty great live. They sound heavy, without sounding like they are trying too hard. The 15 song set list bounced around all of their albums playing everything you hoped they would play.
And although Stone Sour are much more than their song Bother, that was a clear highlight of the night. Taylor came out alone, and launched into Nutshell by Alice and Chains. His range as a singer really cannot be ignored, and he more than did this song justice. He played the first verse and chorus while everyone sang along. But that was just the warm up. Once he started playing Bother 2000+ voices joined him for every single word. It was beautiful.
Seeing Stone Sour play live a couple times now has made me a fan of them. If you only know of them because of Bother or Slipknot, you are only selling yourself short. They are a great American rock band that you should absolutely see live.