Wolf Den at Mohegan Sun
September 7, 2018
Any Friday night at the Wolf Den at Mohegan Sun is always busy, shows here are free, after all. Add in a band with a following the size of Stone Sour, and the place was packed. Before the doors opened, a line wrapped as far as you could see around the casino. While chatting with people in the front of the line, I spoke with Caitlin Lynch, who had traveled from East Providence, Rhode Island to get in line at 7:30 in the morning! When asked what inspired her to arrive so early, she said she didn’t want to take the chance of not seeing their acoustic performance. The benefit of getting her choice of seating in this first-come, first-served venue was just an added plus.
Indeed, the promise of a unique show seemed to be a big draw here. While there has always been a softer side of Stone Sour, going all the way back to their first single, “Bother,” their shows are known for being loud and rockin’. Few people in the crowd had ever seen the band play more than a song or two acoustically. As I watched the road crew preparing for the show, however, I noticed some electric guitars being setup, and I started to get a feeling that this, in fact, was not going to be an acoustic show. Once the band began, my thoughts were instantly confirmed.
Kicking into “Taipei Person / Allah Tea,” off of 2017’s Hydrograd, the band was as loud and powerful. Not only were they playing full electric, they were bringing one of the largest productions I’ve seen on this usually bare-bones stage, starting their show with pyrotechnics! I’ve never seen any sort of pyro in this venue, so this was quite the surprise to see, especially when I was expecting an acoustic performance. After they finished the first couple of songs, vocalist Corey Taylor addressed the crowd – wearing a Britney Spears t-shirt, naturally, stating how this show might be a bit louder than they originally advertised. He didn’t quite give an explanation more than just “for reasons.”
So here we are, getting a full-scale Stone Sour show. It may not be quite what was expected, but it was still a unique performance. The Wolf’s Den is a very intimate venue, so to see a band of this caliber in there is always a treat. If you were to see Stone Sour’s set on the Ozzy tour, you’d get about an hour’s worth of music from them, but tonight they played a full 90 minutes. While their recent albums have found great success, their first two, Stone Sour and Come What(ever) May are my favorites, and most of the bonus songs they played tonight came off of those albums.
Guitarist Josh Rand recently suffered a knee injury, but while he performed this show sitting down, he still gave it his all. He’s a guitar player well-known for tossing guitar picks into the crowd, and as Corey spoke in between songs (something Corey is well-known for doing), Josh was launching picks to all sides of the Wolf Den. His playing, of course, was still great, knee injury or not.
The whole band, rounded up by drummer Roy Mayorga, bassist Johny Chow and guitarist Christian Martucci, sounded fantastic. While they did showcase songs from all albums of Stone Sour’s career, the strongest emphasis was on Hydrograd. But no matter what was being played, the crowd seemed to love it. This was one of the most energetic shows I’ve ever seen here.
Despite it being a longer show than they’re currently touring, it still seemed like no-time before we reached the end. Still bringing extra production to their show, before kicking into “Fabuless,” five wacky waving arm flailing tube men began dancing on the stage. Well, four began dancing on the stage, but Martucci’s appeared to have performance anxiety. Even with only four-fifths of them on the stage, it was a fun element of the music video for the song brought to the stage.
Tonight was a great show, unique in it’s own way, even if not in the way that had been advertised. But I’d had the benefit of showing up not long before to review the show, what did the people who waited all day think? We again ran into Caitlin outside after the show, and asked her opinion of the night. “I’m not gonna lie, I’m bummed it wasn’t acoustic,” said Caitlin. “They put on a great show, but I could have gone last night, and skipped waiting in line all day. Even though it wasn’t acoustic, they were still amazing.”
Acoustic or not, this was one of the best shows I’ve seen Stone Sour put on in years, and certainly has me excited to see them the next time they come around.
Taipei Person / Allah Tea
Do Me a Favor
Knievel Has Landed
Rose Red Violent Blue (This Song Is Dumb & So Am I)
Made of Scars