Back down to the amphitheater in Chula Vista that I had been to only four days prior. It was a smaller turnout of just Bob and I this time and smaller turnout in general as the whole lawn section had been closed off. This meant a free upgrade for us into the 300 level but probably some bitterness for the people that actually paid a little more for 300 level seats. We promptly found our way down to the front of the section dead center which was essentially the same view as the back of the 200 level. Score!
Stone Sour is one of my favorite bands but I am still sour about the departure of Jim Root. This appearance was for the new album Hydrograd that is set to drop on June 30th and is the first album without Root. Coincidentally or not the three songs from the new album they have already “released” and ended up playing tonight are not my favorite Stone Sour songs. The last time I saw Stone Sour over three years ago was the first time I saw them with Root’s replacement Christian Martucci and the songs just did not quite feel the same. Christian’s virtuosity cannot go unappreciated because he played all the old stuff note for note but again the songs just had a slightly different feel. I think part of it was also Corey Taylor who seemed to be doing the lazy thing of just not singing certain parts and kept doing this weird thing with his voice during screaming parts. To be fair maybe he was just trying to preserve his voice. Overall they still rocked and sounded tighter this time. The highlight for me was “Absolute Zero” which killed. Hopefully the other songs on the new album will make me feel like a big fat fuckface for some of the words I have just written…
SETLIST: Taipei Person/Allah Tea, Made of Scars, Say You’ll Haunt Me, 30/30-150, Tired, Do Me a Favor, Song #3, Through Glass, Absolute Zero, Fabuless
Stone Sour sounded good, Korn sounded GREAT. I am talking strictly on a sound quality level and feel bad for the opening bands because I am convinced this amphitheater dials everything back if you are not the headliner. It was going to be pretty hard for Korn to top the last time I saw them at Epicenter in 2015 when they played the entire first album, but I am not one to miss an opportunity to see my favorite bands when given the chance. Korn was touring for their 12th album The Serenity of Suffering that was released 10/21/16 but I somehow just learned about. Save for three songs off this album everything they played was from the first six albums. Head and Munky kept doing these badass call and response type things between songs that make them the best guitar duo in the biz. “Here to Stay” was as heavy as ever, “Somebody Someone” sounded thicker than the album version, Jonathan’s scat on “Twist” gave me flashbacks of the first time I had ever heard “Ball Tongue,” and “4U” was beautiful in every way. The visuals being projected onto a couple walls of white amps was a nice touch too.
SETLIST: Rotting in Vain, Falling Away From Me, Here to Stay, Did My Time, Somebody Someone, Clown, Black Is the Soul, Shoots and Ladders, Twist, Got the Life, Coming Undone, Insane, Make Me Bad, Y’All Want a Single, 4U, Blind, It’s On!, Freak on a Leash