Last Night: Disturbed And Avenged Sevenfold At The Woodlands
Say what you will about the genre - it's too radio-friendly, too mainstream, not hipster enough, if the Buzz plays it, you don't like it - but Stone Sour, Avenged Sevenfold and Disturbed all put on fantastic live performances.
Stone Sour was scheduled to play at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, so as Aftermath arrived a little before 7 p.m., we assumed that we had plenty of time to get in and get photos. But as we approached the venue, Corey Taylor's voice was already ringing through the air; coupled with Will Call's trouble finding our tickets, we didn't get there in time to get any photos.
But we did get to hear Stone Sour's entire set, which was comprised of a good mix of old and new material. "Buy it, steal it, download it; I don't care," Taylor said of the band's new CD, Audio Secrecy. "It's a good fucking album."
And it's true. Aftermath was genuinely bummed that we didn't make it inside the gates in time to snag photos, because Stone Sour is one of those bands whose music you may like, but whose live performances make you love them. Taylor's voice soared above the crowd's heads as the bass and drums reverberated through their chests. And the show wasn't devoid of impressive guitar riffs, either.
These guys are tried-and-true musicians, and we enjoyed the hell out of their set.
Avenged Sevenfold may not have headlined Rockstar Energy Drink's Uproar Tour - the official name of Sunday's package - but they might as well have; you wouldn't have known it by the crowd's reception, their setup onstage or the caliber of their performance.
As the curtains dropped from the ceiling, so did a man with a noose around his neck. He struggled for a bit then went limp, at which point members of the band emerged from backstage to roars of applause.
After their first song, "Nightmare," a stretcher was rolled out, and the man - a real guy, not a mannequin (stuntman, perhaps?), who dangled from the rafters, lifeless-like, for the entire song - was bagged up and wheeled offstage. It reminded us of My Chemical Romance's tour behind The Black Parade, which began with vocalist Gerard Way emerging from a gurney to perform the album.
Thirty minutes into the set, the mood became somber, and vocalist M. Shadows asked everyone in the crowd to put their lighters and cell phones in the air as they performed "So Far Away," which they dedicated to the memory of their former drummer, James "The Rev" Sullivan, who died of a drug overdose in 2009.
The group, as a whole, was far better than we expected them to be; their music, which is complicated, fast and oftentimes erratic, isn't cover-band friendly. Aftermath half-expected AS to be terrible compared to their albums, but we were wrong, and the performance was on par with the quality of their recordings.