When we heard Papa Roach and Stone Sour would be on tour together- a show combining two of the most hard-rocking bands around- we knew we had to be there! Press Pass LA’s Chicago correspondent Greg Dorn caught the show at the iconic Congress Theater and delivers a review that ensures our LA natives won’t want to miss their stop at Club Nokia in downtown Los Angeles on February 13th.
In 1926, the Congress Theater opened in Chicago, IL as a high-end “movie palace,” equipped with Italian Renaissance styles and stunning interior designs. Popularized throughout the 1920s and ‘30s, “movie palaces” referred to large, extravagantly decorative movie theaters. The wealthy and affluent would deck themselves out in tuxedoes and top hats to take in motion pictures of the early 20th century. However, on this night, only the remnants of the once elegant ceilings, the opera-esque luxury boxes and the striking architecture remained. On this night, the joint looked like it had survived an atomic bomb. On this night, rock and roll chaos had ceased the compounds. As if it were a post-apocalyptic world, the place belonged only to the rock ‘n roll roaches. The venue reeked of weed and stale beer. The seats were worn and old; the chair to my left lacked a cushion, exposing the steel rods. No one, including myself, could care less. On this night, the place transformed into a hard-rock haven.
And so began a glorious night of thrashing guitars, screeching vocals, clashing drums and about 3,500 fist-pumping fans. The doors opened at 6PM sharp. I arrived at 5:15, and the lines already stretched around the block. Eager concertgoers immediately stormed the arena, most filling the seat-less floor area while the stragglers wound upstairs in the seated balcony. The house lights went down promptly at 7PM, and out came opening band, Otherwise. The crowd went wild as the metal quartet ripped through a delirious, 30-minute set. It only took about five minutes before I realized the balcony was a smart decision; the sea of die-hard fans turned the floor into one big mosh pit. From afar, I watched this fantastic display of pure rock fandom that wonderfully enhanced my own experience. Before long, Otherwise lead singer asked the crowd the perfect question: “Chicago, are you ready for Papa Roach? Are you ready for Stone Sour? Are you ready for some rock and roll?.” Given the fact that I couldn’t hear a damn thing, they were indeed ready.
The lights went up, and the crowd took their bathroom breaks and beer runs as the crew readied the stage for the first co-headliner. Down went the lights, the audience screams reached a fevering pitch, and out came Papa Roach. Cellphones instantly lit up the floor as the band delve into “Still Swingin”, the lead single off their new album The Connection. For a group that has been around for 20 years (lead singer Jacoby Shaddix announces this milestone later in the show), the new album is harder, tighter and better than anything the band has released. The innovative mix of heavy-metal, rap and alternative-rock that catapulted Papa Roach to stardom in 2000 shined brightly during their 16-song set. Many songs in the set, including the former #1 most added Active Rock track “Where Did the Angels Go” came off their newest release. This came as no surprise, as the album received rave reviews for getting back to the band’s early roots, debuting top 20 on the Billboard Top 200. The acoustics were fantastic for this hard-rocking brand of music. Even from the balcony, I could hear every scream, every beat and every earth-shattering riff.
The light show that accompanied the music was crazy ridiculous and sent the crowd into a frenzy. Halfway through the set, the mosh pits turned into what can only be described as organized chaos. No one seemed to be in harm’s way, but the frantic crowd began crowd surfing and carrying one another on their shoulders. Even Shaddix joined in, entering the crowd while proclaiming, “For all those people in the pit, if I wasn’t on that stage, that’s where I’d be.” The crowd loved it. After delivering other hit songs from Papa Roach’s vast catalogue such as “Scars,” “Forever” and “Lifeline,” the band closed with their biggest hit, “Last Resort.” Shaddix turned the mic over to the crowd as they sang every lyric. “I got nothing but F***ing love for you people” shouts Shaddix. The feelings were reciprocated.
As the band left the stage, the house lights once again came up for one last set change. At roughly 9:26, Stone Sour appeared, and the crowd completely lost it. It was evident, from the ear-shattering screams to the countless Stone Sour t-shirts, THIS was the band people came to see. Stone Sour stands as a heavy-metal band known for surpassing the range of their peers by crafting metal-alternative songs. The 3-time Grammy nominated band is touring behind their latest album, 2012’s House of Gold & Bones Part 1, which debuted top 10 in Billboards Top 200. (Part 2 drops this April). The album has been praised as the band’s crowning masterpiece, a 1-2 punch of hard rockers and melodic song writing. Half of the set list contained tracks from the new disc, and front man Corey Taylor commanded the stage with his overwhelming presence and soaring vocals. The band nearly blew the roof off the joint as they ripped through their latest single climbing the charts, “Absolute Zero”. The blending of two guitarists completely shred through all 15 songs, while the bassist and drummer kept a furious beat. Taylor clearly knew how to work the crowd into a passionate state of enthusiasm. “I have one question, and one question only: Are you set to have a good f***ing time?” asks Taylor before going into “Mission Statement”, a cut off of 2010’s Audio Secrecy.
To the delight of Sour’s die-hard fans, the rest of set came from their biggest selling album to date, 2006’s Come What(ever) May. The Grammy-nominated song from this disc “30/30-150” closed the show in epic fashion. “We’re gonna leave this place as one big f***ing family,” shouts Taylor. The crowd rejoices in cheers.
Just when people began heading for the doors, the audience erupted in chaotic applause as Stone Sour invited Papa Roach back on stage to close out the show with one last marathon of a jam. By the time the last guitar riff echoed through the Congress Theater, the audience was dripping in their own glorious filth. Everyone had been hit by a ton of bricks. There was no encore. There was no curtain call. Everyone had been knocked on their asses by two of the most talented, hard-rocking bands around. It was a match made in rock and roll heaven.
See the band in Los Angeles at Club Nokia- tickets here.
CHECK OUT THE FULL SET LIST:
“Die For You”
“I Don’t Apologize (1000 Pictures)”
“Give Me Back My Life”
“Between Angels and Insects”
“Where Did the Angels Go”
“Before I Die”
“…To Be Loved”
“Getting Away with Murder”
“Alive (N’ Out of Control)”
“Silence is the Enemy”
“Hell & Consequences”
“Digital (Did You Tell)”
“Made of Scars”
“A Rumor of Skin”
“Say You’ll Haunt Me”
“The Travelers, Pt. 2”
“The Last of the Real”