Stone Sour & Pop Evil
House of Blues
Orlando, FL
January 14, 2014
Review and Photos: Christopher Zambello

In front of a packed house at the House of Blues in Orlando, hard rockers Stone Sour and Pop Evil set a high standard for others to follow this year.  Taking the stage first was Los Angeles-based experimental rock band, Stolen Babies who warmed up the crowd with a very interesting set.  Lead singer, Dominique Persi wowed the crowd with her colorful gothic-rock antics mixed with a touch of blues. 

Up next was Pop Evil who wasted no time getting the crowd jumping with their fists in the air starting with their #1 single, “Deal with the Devil.”  Lead singer, Leigh Kakaty was in prime form with his commanding voice.  Bassist, Matt DiRito was on fire as he danced about the stage, spinning his bass in all directions. Then there’s Chachi Riot behind the drums: the man is a total animal with his kit!  He makes sure that he gets your attention standing up for a majority of the set, thrashing about, smashing his drums with all he’s got.  With two #1 singles off their third album, Onyx, the band is proving with good reason that they are a force to be reckoned with in 2014.

Pop Evil Credit: Christopher Zambello

Pop Evil
Credit: Christopher Zambello

Pop Evil Credit: Christopher Zambello

Pop Evil
Credit: Christopher Zambello

Stone Sour Credit: Christopher Zambello

Stone Sour
Credit: Christopher Zambello

Headlining the night was none other than Stone Sour who also had an incredible 2013 with their two-disc compilation The House of Gold and Bones.  Starting off with the title track, the sold-out crowd went insane!  There’s a question of who feeds off whom:  does front man Corey Taylor feed off the crowd, or does the crowd feed off of him?  We’ll just assume that it’s mutual.  One thing’s for sure, Corey’s not totally satisfied until every single person in the crowd is pumping their fists and jumping.  

Stone Sour Credit: Christopher Zambello

Stone Sour
Credit: Christopher Zambello

Stone Sour Credit: Christopher Zambello

Stone Sour
Credit: Christopher Zambello

Stone Sour Credit: Christopher Zambello

Stone Sour
Credit: Christopher Zambello

The band as a whole is a well-oiled machine that performs together perfectly.  But there’s no mistaking that Taylor is the mastermind behind the operation.  He is a pure entertainer, and arguably one of the best in hard rock today. He seems at ease standing alone with an acoustic guitar pulling off an amazing cover of “Nutshell” as he does thrashing about the stage covering Black Sabbath’s “Children of the Grave.”  Using “Gravesend” as an example, he can start the song off so soft and with the flick of the switch, kick it into high gear with an all-out roar much to the fan’s delight.  He gives one-hundred percent of himself to his performance and just seems so happy to be up on stage performing for the fans.  A majority of the roughly 90-minute set are tracks from their latest album.  “Gone Sovereign”, “Absolute Zero”, “The Travelers” and “Gravesend” are just a few worth mentioning. 

Stone Sour Credit: Christopher Zambello

Stone Sour
Credit: Christopher Zambello

Stone Sour Credit: Christopher Zambello

Stone Sour
Credit: Christopher Zambello

Stone Sour Credit: Christopher Zambello

Stone Sour
Credit: Christopher Zambello

Stone Sour Credit: Christopher Zambello

Stone Sour
Credit: Christopher Zambello

Speaking of the fans, it was clear that they had done their homework memorizing just about every song in the Stone Sour library. There were several moments where Taylor was so impressed by the crowd’s vocal ability that he stopped singing and let them take over with no difference in decibels. “Corey’s the best!” exclaimed one young woman.  “That was awesome!” was overheard more than once.  -Chris Zambello

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