December 9, 2019 Stone Sour – Hello, You Bastards: Live In Reno (Album Review)
100% live, in your face, and with none of that overdub crap! The Grammy Award nominated Stone Sour deliver Hello, You Bastards: Live In Reno with a ferocity on Friday, December 13th, 2019, via Cooking Vinyl.
If you love Rock-n-Roll, then you already know all about the internationally acclaimed Stone Sour. Fronted by the incomparable Corey Taylor (famous for some band called Slipknot), the Iowa quintet delivered their eponymous debut in 2002, immediately receiving two Grammy nods and cementing their place in Rock history. Then came 2006’s Come What(Ever) May, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Rock Albums chart, followed by 2010’s Audio Secrecy and 2012’s monumental House Of Gold & Bones—Parts 1 & 2.
Hydrograd, their sixth studio recording, arrived in 2017, and set the stage for an epic headlining tour that made a truly memorable stop at the Grand Sierra Theatre in Reno, Nevada, on October 5, 2018. Thankfully, the performance was recorded for posterity and that is what provides us with the 16-song Hello, You Bastards: Live In Reno. Promised to be 100% live with zero overdubs, the quintet’s very first live album is available on CD, digital, and as a numbered, limited edition (2500 copies) 180gram double vinyl package, which includes some enticing extras.
Hello, You Bastards: Live In Reno opens to the two minute intro, “YSIF,” as Stone Sour—Vocalist Taylor, Guitarists Christian Martucci and Josh Rand, Bassist Johnny Chow, and Drummer Roy Mayorga—take the stage. Taylor immediately greets his congregation, who go wild, setting the perfect mood for the fun play on words “Taipei Person / Allah Tea.” Heavy from its very first moments, the track provides some stellar guitar work from Martucci and Rand as the quintet dig in and rock heavy.
Next, they stomp into “Do Me A Favor” then follow it up with Chow’s bass grooves on “Knievel Has Landed.” Still rocking out, they caution all know-it-alls to beware on “Whiplash Pants,” before offering up the crowd favorite “Absolute Zero.” With the band and their fans feeding off one another in a perfect symbiosis, Taylor takes a moment to slow it down and chat. Introducing first major single, “Bother,” off 2002’s Stone Sour, he manages to ease into a tender, acoustic moment that truly allows his vocals to shine—and Reno eats it up.
Die-hard rockers fear not: they quickly stash the acoustics and blast it back up for “Tired” and a “dumb song” called “Rose Red Violent Blue.” Blast beats permeate the truly heavy “30/30-150,” which is one of several tracks representing the aforementioned Come What(ever) May. Thick with heaviness, the set continues into the monster of “Get Inside,” vicious howls of “Reborn,” and another crowd favorite, as well as one of the highlights of the Hydrograd album, “Song #3.” It’s moments like this that the fans seem to especially cherish, when the band fire on all cylinders to perform one of their catchiest songs.
Appropriately, this all flows right into another infectious moment with “Through Glass” as the show begins to wind to a close. In fact, a delicious bass intro builds “Made of Scars” as Taylor gets the crowd jumping, going off one last time before the ultimate closing number, “Fabuless” (that video!), and a promise that Stone Sour love the Biggest Little City in the World.
Unfortunately, if you are a fan of 2010’s Audio Secrecy, sorry, it is the sole album that receives zero representation among the set list. Understandably, of Stone Sour’s six studio offerings, Hydrograd weighs the heaviest as that was the album they were touring at the time of this recording. All of this aside, as far as live albums go, Hello, You Bastards: Live In Reno is fairly standard—its no frills approach allows the quintet’s stellar musicianship and infectious energy to shine. An enjoyable experience, while they probably won’t feel as though they are in the middle of the pit, fans will still rejoice to have this raw, unedited concert recording in their collection. For this, Cryptic Rock give Hello, You Bastards: Live In Reno 4 of 5 stars.