Heavy rockers Stone Sour and Pop Evil are two of rock’s hardest working bands, both in and out of the studio. It’s only fitting that these two juggernauts get together and hit the road for a hard-hitting U.S. run. Both bands are basking in the success of recent albums, and have been on the road for quite some time now on several tours. Stone Sour are still touring off the second installment of their monster double concept album, House of Gold & Bones, Part 2, which debuted at #9 on the Billboard Top 200 back in April via Roadrunner Records. Back in June, Pop Evil scored their first #1 hit on Active Rock Radio with “Trenches”, the first single off their third studio LP, Onyx.
Great support was provided by the unique and eccentric Stolen Babies. This past spring, Stolen Babies supported Sevendust and Coal Chamber on their co-headlining tour, along with Lacuna Coil. The band is still touring off their 2012 album, Naught. Pop Evil stormed the stage next for one of their always heavy and heartfelt performances. You could tell that these road warriors are getting a bit worn down at this point in their album cycle, but that certainly didn’t stop them from putting on one hell of a show. They opened with their blistering Onyx track, “Deal With The Devil”, which ranked #17 on TheRockRevival.com’s list of The Top 25 Rock Music Videos of 2013. From there, they proceeded to cranked out hits like “Last Man Standing”, “Hero”, “Boss’s Daughter”, and Trenches.
A notable missing piece of this tour’s puzzle is the absence of Stone Sour guitarist Jim Root. Root made the difficult decision to sit this leg out in order to be in the studio focusing on new Slipknot material. The band didn’t miss a beat, though, with Philly native Christian Martucci filling in. At his hometown show at The TLA on South Street, Martucci was sporting his Philadelphia Flyers t-shirt as his fingers were gliding up and down the fretboard like skates on ice. Stone Sour grinded out a monster 18-song set that featured hits like “Made of Scars”, “Through Glass”, “Bother”, “30/30-150”, “Absolute Zero”, “Gone Sovereign”, and more. The band also squeezed in two cover songs by Alice In Chains and Judas Priest.
It was great to see bassist Johny Chow hit the road once again with the band. The one-two punch of Chow and drummer Roy Mayorga makes for a devastating rhythm section. Guitarist Josh Rand was in top form as usual, and is certainly one of the most underrated guitarists in rock today. Lest we forget the one and only Corey Taylor. One of the great performers of a generation, I’ve never seen him off his game, whether it be with Stone Sour or Slipknot. He poured every ounce of himself into a fantastic vocal performance, with a particular highlight being his solo performance of “Bother”. The crowd sang along for the entire song, and at the very end, they absolutely nailed the final backup vocal line that overlaps Taylor’s – “And once I hold on (once I hold on)“. Astounded, Taylor replied, “Holy shit. Are you serious? You guys are awesome.”
Stone Sour released their 4th album, House of Gold & Bones: Part 1, back in October. The album’s lead single, “Absolute Zero”, hit #1 on Active Rock Radio. The album debuted at #7 on the Billboard Top 200. The sequel, House of Gold & Bones: Part 2, came out in April 2013 and debuted at #9 on the Billboard Top 200. With only 4 albums under their belt, Stone Sour have sold over 4 million albums worldwide. Their self-titled debut and sophomore effort, Come What(ever) May, were both certified gold. Their third album, 2010′s Audio Secrecy, debuted at #6 on the Billboard Top 200. The band has been nominated for three Grammy Awards through the course of their career. This past spring, the band toured Australia on the massive Soundwave Festival. In between dates, they supported Linkin Park on their Australian headlining shows.
Pop Evil broke out with their major-label debut, Lipstick On The Mirror, in 2008. The band worked with Kid Rock producer Al Sutton on the record, and it spawned the hit single “100 in a 55”. The band proceed to tour with Buckcherry, Saliva, Whitesnake, and Judas Priest on their British Steel 30th Anniversary North American Tour. Pop Evil have exploded onto the mainstream with the success of their sophomore effort, War of Angels, which hit #43 on the Billboard Top 200. The disc produced four hit singles. The album’s third single and huge radio hit, “Boss’s Daughter”, was co-written by Mötley Crüe guitarist Mick Mars, and Mars also makes a guest appearance on the track. On this album cycle, the band has toured with the likes of Drowning Pool, Trust Company, Finger Eleven, Escape The Fate, 3 Doors Down, Puddle of Mudd and Theory of a Deadman. Last Summer, the band toured on the Trespass America Festival, then headed to Canada for a run with Black Label Society. The band recently released their third studio album, Onyx, on May 14. The album hit #39 on the Billboard Top 200, and the lead single, “Trenches”, recently gave the band their first #1 Mainstream Rock Radio hit. – by Matt Bishop