Sölvesborg, Sweden, June 10, 2010

Stone Sour

“Gooood morning!!!” Corey Taylor shouts to a particularly awakened “morning-audience” at what was Sweden Rock Festival’s first ordinary day. Stone Sour’s set this early Thursday was in fact an energy bomb. They’re releasing their new album in September, but the band is already in great shape. For Corey Taylor (of Slipknot fame) and the rest of Stone Sour they are hungry as wolves; it’s been four years since they last went on tour.

The Sweden Rock audience has done their homework, even though Stone Sour are one of the fresh names on this year’s bill (read: has debuted during the last 25 years). “Mission Statement,” “Reborn” and “Made Of Scars” are performed with impressive precision before they show that their songwriting skills in 2010 are impeccable with the new song “The Bitter End.” And the latter was about the unfortunate case of Paul Gray, Taylor’s bandmate from Slipknot. Gray’s passing was mentioned in other forms, e.g. the number “2” on Stone Sour bassist Shawn Economaki’s bass guitars, the number Gray carried in Slipknot.

Compared to Slipknot, Stone Sour is more melodic, but at the same time just as aggressive and brutal. The expression and sound suits Taylor better than Slipknot because here he’s actually allowed to sing, something he does impeccably throughout the 75 minutes of new Metal. After a bombastic end to the set with “Hell & Consequences” and “30/30-150” their performance at Sweden Rock Festival is proof that this might just well be Stone Sour’s “big year”.


Mission Statement/Reborn/Made Of Scars/The Bitter End/Blotter/Your God/Through Glass/Idle Hands/Digital/Get Inside/Hell & Consequences/30-30-150


For financial reasons no one expects Metallica at Sweden Rock Festival, but in light of earlier performances by Anthrax, Testament, Overkill, Kreator and Megadeth, there was a sensation of something complete in the air as Slayer entered the stage. And they were hungry for revenge. Slayer’s last two performances in Oslo Spektrum (Norway) had left the audience with a sense of routine and money collecting, but under a threatening sky in the south of Sweden there was a sensation of something else. Slayer wanted something this time around.

“You guys have a drinking problem. You buy a beer, and then you throw it”, Tom Araya said to the crowd who were divided into two equally threatening mosh-pits on each side of the “catwalk.” And the beer was hailing down, as if the crowd was in the middle of its own war.

There was a lot of new material (released after 2000) during the first 45 minutes. From the opener “World Painted Blood” to the previous album’s “Jihad” and “Cold” to a flashback to God Hates Us All’s “Disciple.” And with the exception of “War Ensemble” the first 45 minutes was spent in the 1990s and the 2000s.

Then something happened. During the intro to “Hell Awaits” Tom Araya smiled and entered the “catwalk” (which supposedly is a request written in Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler’s rider). “Mandatory Suicide,” “Chemical Warfare”, “Raining Blood” and the ending with “Angel Of Death” followed and Slayer collected not only their fee, but the crowd’s lust for more, something that hasn’t happened in quite a while.


World Painted Blood/Hate Worldwide/Cult/Disciple/War Ensemble/Expendable Youth/Jihad/Beauty Through Order/Seasons In The Abyss/Hell Awaits/Mandatory Suicide/Chemical Warfare/Raining Blood/Aggressive Perfector/Encore: South Of Heaven/Silent Scream/Angel Of Death


Steven Tyler didn’t fall off the stage. He stayed on it, and just like the good old days he owned every inch of it. The 2010 version of Aerosmith is a recovered version and they delivered an amazing show. One can only wonder how the drama in the Aerosmith camp has degenerated the last couple of months since Steven Tyler “zigged when he should have zagged”.

After that he’s been in the band, out of the band, and now he’s in the band again. However, if the joy and chemistry on stage wasn’t genuine then the band members must be real good actors as well. Sure, there were blemishes, like when Joey Kramer set the wrong tempo for “Cryin’” and the following verse became pretty unstable. And when Tom Hamilton played a noticeable wrong note on “Lord Of The Thighs” until Joey Kramer’s earpieces fell out and when he had to take a “break” on Joe Perry’s “Stop Messing Around.”

But from the first tone of “Love In An Elevator” Sweden Rock Festival was on fire. Steven Tyler spent more time on the “catwalk” than he did on the stage, and Joe Perry and Tom Hamilton followed his lead. Brad Whitford however, was hidden within a cap, scarf, jacket and huge sunglasses. But every now and then you could see him smiling, especially when Steven Tyler kissed him.

Whether they’ve decided that it’s supposed to look that way, or whether they’re actually having a lot of fun onstage is difficult to say. Most of all, they did their professional best to make sure the crowd was satisfied. And in the year 2010 it’s fitting to include a bit of Guitar Hero in the set. Joe Perry’s guitar solo consisted of him competing against his digital Guitar Hero self; great entertainment!

The band’s encore consisted of Tyler’s demonstration of power with “Dream On,” then the party song above all; “Walk This Way.” After two hours of pure goodness with Aerosmith’s back catalog 20.000 satisfied, members of the crowd were also treated to “Toys In The Attic”.

“Was it as good for me as it was for you!?!?” Steven Tyler shouted. You bet your ass it was!


Love In An Elevator/Back In The Saddle/Walkin’ The Dog/Falling In Love (Is Hard On The Knees)/Jaded/Kings & Queens/Cryin’/Lord Of The Thighs/Stop Messing Around/I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing/Sweet Emotion/Baby Please Don’t Go/Draw The Line/Encore: Dream On/Walk This Way/Toys In The Attic


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