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stonesour19Palladium, Cologne, Germany
10th December 2017
Stone Sour - “Hydrograd tour 2017” - Special guests: The Pretty Reckless

Once again in December, another killer line-up was scheduled for Cologne’s Palladium venue, and even the (by regional standards) heavy snowfall could not stop most metal heads from attending the sold-out event to have the chance to see Corey Taylor and his “second” band.

The Pretty Reckless

The quartet from New York was founded in 2009 around front woman Taylor Momsen, an actress and model. With their last album, ‘Who you selling for’, and the hit single ‘Take me down’, which was released in 2016, they enjoyed some commercial success. They also toured with bands like EVANESCENCE and SOUNDGARDEN, and played many festivals including “Download” and “Rock am Ring”. /


Music & Performance
Announced as “special guests” for the European part of the STONE SOUR tour, the band was high on everybody’s agenda that night. This was easy to tell due from the fact that the place was pretty packed when the band started their show at 8pm. And certainly the spectators had no reason to be disappointed. With a very familiar sound of a bell ringing (‘Hells Bells’, anyone?) accompanied by some sexy female sighs and moans, the crowd was introduced what was coming at them: A solid dose of hard rock accompanied by some remarkably good looks. Although it is fair to say that the latter mainly originated from singer Taylor Momsen, who in her knee-high black boots, her black leather coat, nice tank top, and her wild blond hair probably represented the adolescent (not to say “wet”) fever dream of the majority of people present. They opened their set with the song ‘Follow me Down’ from their 2014 album ‘Going to Hell’, and their Southern-style hard rock was easily embraced by the crowd.


Their “special guest” status was underscored by a lightshow worthy of a headline act, as well as the duration of their set, which lasted almost a full hour. The only downside was probably the sound level of Taylor’s voice, which at times was just overwhelmed by the band’s instruments. So I guess, several people made a mental note to check out the studio albums of THE PRETTY RECKLESS, as this has been a pretty (sic!) solid performance, and a worthy warm-up for the main act.

01. Follow Me Down
02. Since You're Gone
03. Oh My God
04. Hangman
05. Prisoner
06. Make Me Wanna Die
07. Sweet Things
08. Heaven Knows
09. Going to Hell
10. Take Me Down

Music: 7
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 6
Total: 7.3 / 10

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Stone Sour

Music aficionados will point out that the initial characterization of STONE SOUR as being Corey Taylor’s “second” band is quite incorrect. STONE SOUR actually was already a thing before the guys with the rubber masks (aka SLIPKNOT) started their meteor-like ascent, and took over the metal world from Iowa. And obviously, some people just have so much energy that they need a minimum of two outlets for their creativity, so Corey Taylor keeps oscillating between the two bands, even though they maintain their completely separate identities. Find out more about the band via or


Music & Performance
Finally, after a long stage break, it was time for main act. A few minutes before the scheduled 9:30pm start time, the lights went out, the band entered the stage to the sounds of the instrumental track ‘YSIF’, and with the first track ‘Taipei Person/Allah Tea’ from STONE SOUR‘s latest album ‘Hydrograd’ they unleashed the mosh pit. Few other band leaders have the stage-owning charisma of Corey Taylor. It is as he was absolutely born to do this. From the second he entered the stage, he engaged the crowd in his unique way, and never stood still for more than a moment. And if one day there is an Olympic competition for water bottle throwing and firing confetti cannons, he would be the prime contestant. Because that is exactly what he did throughout the show in the breaks between the songs to fire up the crowd. But also the rest of the band did their part besides demonstrating their excellent instrumental skills.


Guitarist Josh Rand kept handing out guitar plecs to the crowd, and often traded places on stage with the second guitarist Christian Martucci, who joined the band back in 2013, when the legendary Jim Root decided to focus on his duties at SLIPKNOT. Drummer Ray Mayorga definitely earned the title “One of the world’s best metal drummers”, and bass guitarist Johnny Chow laid the acoustic foundation for everyone else in the band. Together they delivered an extremely tight and engaging set, mainly consisting of songs from the new album ‘Hydrograd’, but also throwing in gems from the previous albums, such as ‘Made of Scars’, or the iconic ’30/30-150’, after which things took a quieter turn. Corey grabbed a guitar (and handed it back after realizing it was a bit out of tune) and played the first part of ‘Hesitate’ on his own, with his bandmates joining in after the chorus. From there, they amped up the energy levels once again, and especially the brutal ‘Get Inside’ gave the people in the mosh pit enough reason to (figuratively) beat the shit out of each other. The main part of the set list finished with the 2006 mainstream Rock hit ‘Through Glass’, which was presented in a very appealing raw and less polished version, and which kept the crowd chanting for more.


Their calls were heeded, as the band made a refreshingly quick return to the stage to perform ‘Gone Sovereign’ and ‘Absolute Zero’ (both from the 2012 album ‘House of Gold and Bones, Pt. 1), where Corey initiated fierce singing battles between the different parts of the audience. The band closed the set with the neck-breaking song ‘Fabuless’, for which six brightly coloured car dealership air dancers sprang to their inflated life, and brought the visual game of the concert to the next and final level. In this song, one of the refrain lines reads: “It's all downhill from here”. I suppose for STONE SOUR, this could not be further from the truth, as Corey keeps exuding this seemingly infinite amount of energy. This was absolutely a night to remember, and another reason to be jealous about the incredible tour packages in the United States, as STONE SOUR have announced a US tour for next summer with their brothers from KORN. But do not hang your head in sorrow for long, as STONE SOUR have also scheduled two tour dates for Summer in Germany, as well as festival appearances during Rock am Ring / Rock im Park.


01. Taipei Person / Allah Tea
02. Knievel Has Landed
03. Made of Scars
04. Reborn
05. Say You'll Haunt Me
06. 30/30-150
04. Hesitate
08. Tired
09. Rose Red Violent Blue (This Song Is Dumb & So Am I)
10. Do Me a Favor
11. Cold Reader
12. Get Inside
13. Song #3
14. Through Glass
15. Gone Sovereign
16. Absolute Zero
17. Fabuless

Music: 8
Performance: 10
Sound: 9
Light: 9
Total: 9 / 10

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All pictures by Maximilian K. Unuetzer

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