Stone Sour, Papa Roach & Otherwise
Terminal 5, New York, NY
January 23, 2013
A freezing cold night. A jam packed crowd. Three bands that collectively span more than decade of rock music hits. That just about sets the scene for Wednesday night at New York City’s three levels of Terminal 5, as a hard rock bill as good from top to bottom as any in recent memory took over the west side venue. And with ticket prices set at just $35, you would be hard pressed to find a better value for such a rocking four hour show. It’s no secret that New York City crowds can be a bit tepid at times depending on the performer. Fortunately nobody with a pulse was standing still on Wednesday and an increasingly hot audience rendered the dropping temperatures outside moot, only amplifying an already intense live concert.
Concert Review: Otherwise at Terminal 5
With a co-headlining show led by two bands that have dominated the hard rock charts for so many years, it’s only fitting to equip the bill with an opening act that’s drawn critical acclaim from the same community. As such, Las Vegas Nevada’s Otherwise was tapped for the slot. Led by frontman Adrian Patrick, the only unsigned band to ever have a rock single reach number one at satellite radio promptly took centerstage at 7pm, ripping through a half hour of tracks from the band’s self-titled debut album. The impassioned vocalist seemed to be having some issues with his voice- he was sipping on a hot tea even during songs- but fans didn’t seem to mind or even notice as the band got the show off on the right foot with “Die For You.” Tracks like the riff rocking led “Vegas Girl” and recent singles like the catchy “I Don’t Apologize (1000 Pictures)” and the song that effectively launched the band “Soldiers,” livened up fans scurrying into the venue, forcing them to take note of the energetic newcomers to the Manhattan stage.
Concert Review: Papa Roach at Terminal 5
Despite having not performed in the Big Apple in four years, Papa Roach clearly didn’t miss a beat in engaging an already amped up set of fans. With a 75 minute set spanning the band’s catalog of hits- and the band certainly has a ton of them- frontman Jacoby Shaddix and company burst out toward the stage with unparalleled vigor. If the show was co-headlining, then nobody told P-Roach who literally owned the stage and this audience right from their set’s open. Recently released single “Still Swinging” from 2012’s “The Connection,” a slower, but relentlessly head pounding song began the show, before a throwback to the video game laden riffs of “Blood Brothers” from the band’s major label debut, 2000’s “Infest” reminded us of the Papa Roach’s roots. It’s no secret that this band hardly writes deep, thought provoking songs, but instead they manage to harness some of the more basic and primal emotions that we all collectively share and turn them into infectious songs that somehow make sense to us lyrically. What some critics may knock, is perhaps this band’s biggest strength.
At their core, Papa Roach has been creating radio friendly rock singles for the better part of the last thirteen years. But after each passing album and after reaching substantially more than just a modicum of success, the band’s live show has evolved into a more mature, well rounded performance that plays like a complete collection of their greatest hits. And coupled with the frenzy that the band brings to each show, you’re left blown away time and time again (pardon the pun). Shaddix explodes across the stage, his arms fluttering out of control as he tries to corral his energy into one place, parading from side to side, before repeatedly leaping on top of the small podium built in front of him. But at least that holds him relatively steady for photographers to catch him in motion. Papa Roach’s set brought out the old school (”Between Angels and Insects,” “Dead Cell”) and the more recent (“Burn,” “Lifeline”) but it was the songs that forced the crowd to belt out the lyrics that were particularly enrapturing. Rocking versions of the slow building “Forever,” the wild and unpredictable back-to-back hits “…To Be Loved” and “Getting Away With Murder” and the band’s signature lynchpin “Last Resort” as the set closer, each turned the floor space at Terminal 5 into a band-led release of aggression from its fans.
Concert Review: Stone Sour at Terminal 5
Even though the New York faithful had already been treated to two stellar performances, chants of “Corey, Corey” rang out long before show closers Stone Sour made their way to the stage. And as the house lights turned black, the chants turned into outright riotous applause in anticipation of the band that would assume their positions on stage. To casual listeners, what seemingly started as a Slipknot side project with the release of an acoustically driven yet massively successful single back in 2002, the band has blown up to levels of popularity that somehow rival the original, albeit in a slightly different genre. Lead Vocalist Corey Taylor has a certain unidentifiable swagger and confidence about him on stage- his raspy voice is virtually untouchable by any other singer in the genre, somehow hitting the notes that you would never expect him to and connecting with his audience as well as anyone in the game.
The band’s fifteen song set kicked off brilliantly with dual singles “Gone Sovereign” and “Absolute Zero,” which spotlighted the bearded singer’s incredible vocals from the very beginning. Familiar singles “Made of Scars” and “Say You’ll Haunt Me” each appropriately set the table for the crowd to explode for Taylor’s solo version of the aforementioned “Bother,” with a touch of Alice in Chains’ “Nutshell” thrown in for good measure. With the passion in the audience on this night, Taylor was rendered relatively superfluous during the song. The entire crowd decided to take on the song’s vocals on their own in certainly the most poignant moment of the show, forcing even Taylor himself to take pause and drink the adoration in. New tracks like “A Rumor of Skin” and “RU486” blended in with the remainder of the set adequately, before the crowd explosion associated with an outstanding rendition of “Through Glass” made this writer really stop and take notice of the crowd’s affection for this group of artists, and especially for their lead singer- one who has managed to utilize his supreme vocal talents to incomparable levels in a relatively uncertain time for rock music. Based on this bill of bands however, the genre certainly appears to be alive and well.
- Jane Van Arsdale