Live Review: Stone Sour & The Pretty Reckless Conquer London Over 2 Night Residency


Stone Sour/The Pretty Reckless
London, Brixton Academy, December 6th.

All Photos: David Bronstein

Stone Sour played two sold out nights at London’s Brixton Academy at the beginning of the month and the band simply blew the capital of England away. Corey Taylor who has been around since the early 1990’s was a ball of energy in a frantic but well polished set that left the 5,000 capacity crowd begging for more in a pile of sweat.

First up though was none other than Taylor Momsen’s The Pretty Reckless. And put quite simply that is one hell of a choice for an opening act, who are so good they feel like headliners themselves. There’s no doubt that just a few songs in you feel that next time the band hit London they will be headlining this very venue. Momsen is able to have the crowd in the palm of her hand as she covers every inch of the famed stage. The band open up with “Follow Me Down”, “Since You’re Gone” and “Oh My God” and that last song is what the majority of fans here are saying to one another. There is a terrific chemistry that Momsen has with guitarist Ben Phillips who is happy to let her have the stage as he slays each and every note.

It’s been quite a year for The Pretty Reckless, who have undertaken a world tour in support of 2016’s ‘Who You Selling For’, their 3rd album. This included supporting Soundgarden in what would fatally be the Seattle legends last ever gig when lead singer Chris Cornell committed suicide after the bands show in Detroit back in May. The Pretty Reckless have carried on and whilst their music has certainly been influenced by classic 90’s grunge they are refreshing especially to catch live and it’s an environment where their studio songs open up, always ready to surprise you.

Stone Sour have been around for a scary 25 years off and on and with them comes Corey Taylor a living legend in rock music, and when he appears the crowd tonight literally go nuts. You have to just give yourself a quick history lesson here, Taylor aged 44 has been there seen it and done it. He is of course when not fronting Stone Sour fronting Slipknot another band who are massively huge. He’s worked with the likes of Dave Grohl, Rollins Band, Korn, Damage Plan, Biohazard, and for a complete change of genre Steel Panther.

Tonight Taylor is on fire, engaging and happy to speak in-between songs. He tells the crowd that London is the best city in the world before whipping off his jacket to reveal a London tourist t shirt this is inevitably followed by a huge roar of approval. He loves the venue, the fans, hell even the security get a mention. In the 2000’s Taylor had a well documented struggle with alcohol abuse, the guy since then has simply been reborn and he seems genuinely happy to be alive and kicking. It comes over in the show as the band run through “Knievel Has Landed”, “Reborn”, “Say You’ll Haunt Me” and “Do Me a Favor”. There’s time for the quieter moments too during the classic “Hesitate”.

The production values of the show leave you slack jawed, fire spitting from the stage, and at one point Taylor gets out a mock rocket launcher! The energy coming from the stage is infectious. Bassist Johny Chow never misses a beat and lead guitarist Christian Martucci wearing a classic Munster’s t shirt plays it all so flawlessly well. Five songs are played from latest release Hydograd. The band include Black Sabbath’s ‘Children of the Grave’ just before the encore which leaves fans screaming for the band to come back on. Which they do and by then they have seen came and conquered Brixton for a second time in 3 days. Final song of the night taken from Hydograd is “Fabuless” which perfectly sums up Stone Sour tonight.