So here’s part one of what was a busy weekend of gigs!
Thursday night I went to watch Stone Sour, Avenged Sevenfold and Hellyeah in Manchester Academy. It was the second night they’d done in the Academy on this tour (they did one about a week or so before) but we decided the second date was better – Thursday November 4th – as it started our 3 night gig run. First Stone Sour/A7X, then the ‘Never Say Die!’ tour with Parkway Drive and ending with Job For A Cowboy. We were sorely tempted to make it a 4 night run, watching Alexisonfire on the Sunday, but checked the cash and thought better of it! Still, a mad mix of music, I’m sure you’ll agree!
So let me start this with the most disappointing sentence possible for this gig. We were late and we missed Hellyeah. Gutted. I walked into the venue just as Vinnie Paul walked out of it. Ah well, shit happens. The show must go on, as a famous man once said. It was Freddie Mercury in Queen’s “The Show Must Go On” if I’m not mistaken!!
As some of you may or may not know, since very early in my gigging days, I’ve been something of an autograph hunter. By assuming the position of hovering about by the stage door or tour bus like a groupie slut, I’ve managed to meet loads of my heroes and fave bands over the years. From Fear Factory, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Sepultura, Deftones, Unearth, Lamb Of God, System Of A Down and more, I’ve done some serious meeting and greeting!
So, with a gig like this I thought…”Hmm, which CD covers do I need to take tonight to get signed??? Well Hellyeah are there, so that’s Pantera stuff needed for a start off. What else? Mudvayne, Nothingface and don’t forget Damageplan CD’s. Better take some Avenged stuff (only got the one) and some Stone Sour stuff. Ah crap, that means I gotta take some Slipknot bits too! Oh, and whatever Roy Mayorga has been in, like Medication or Soulfly…). You can see that gig prep for me and my mates isn’t just as straight forward as listening to the bands new stuff or warming up for some headbanging. To be honest, I probably should have warmed up!!! By Sunday, I had a bad neck!!
So yeah, we were late, through no other reason than we were just late. I was driving, so can’t really blame anyone! But we missed Hellyeah. To drown my disappointment, we hit the bar (Please note, I was not drink driving. My girlfriend drove home!). A few beers later, and some music from Star Wars (Episode I, methinks) kicks in and Stone Sour take to the stage. Starting proceedings with new track ‘Mission Statement’ and kicking into a set of tracks from all 3 albums. They did a set of decent upbeat tunes, like ‘Made of Scars’ or ‘Digital (Did You Tell)’ and some more melodic moments like ‘Bother’, ‘Through Glass’ and latest single ‘Say You’ll Haunt Me’. It was a decent set. They pulled my fave ‘Get Inside’ out of the bag too. I love that song. Heavy and really ballsy, with a shredding solo! Christ, I wish I could play like that!!!!
Corey seems to talk to the crowd like he’s in a room full of his mates, which is a pretty cool way of doing things. Well, I think anyway. It’s not your stereotypical rock/metal frontman persona, but he comes across as a pretty unique character anyway. So after what seemed like a pretty short, but good set, they finished on ‘30/30-150’. And back to the bar!
Avenged Sevenfold were tonight’s headliners. I’m not a massive fan, so maybe should have come the first night when Stone Sour ended the show, but hey, I was only really there for Stone sour & Hellyeah (Grrrrrr) anyway. A7X were like a bonus. I like a few of their songs, most of which they played. They opened with newbie ‘Nightmare’ which is a decent enough track, and did a set of tunes that sounded alright. They played songs that I do like, such as ‘Bat Country’ and ‘Seize The Day’, the latter of which M Shadows said they didn’t play on the first night. So when he said that, I turned to my mate Ross and said “Picked the right night to come then”, cause we both liked that song. To which he jokingly replied “Yeah, they played that, but they’ll probably drop ‘Beast and The Harlot’ now. Hahahahaha”. Surely not? How shit would that have been???
Anyway, they played a few more songs including my fave ‘Afterlife’. It’s probably the song that made me think they’re not as bad a band as I’d previously thought they were. But we’re near the end of the set now. My girlfriend is bored at this point. She loves Stone Sour, but isn’t a fan of A7X. So I said “They’ll play ‘Beast and The Harlot’ in a sec. You like that one. It’s the one where the girl goes round covering people in black stuff in the video”.
At this point I’m conjuring up cool things to happen at this show. I’m thinking “Avenged cover Pantera’s ‘Walk’. Hmmm. Vinnie fuckin’ Paul is in the building. Will they? WILL THEY?…”. They didn’t. Ah well, another dream shattered!!!
So I’m ready for ‘Beast’ now. “Thank you, Manchester! Goodnight”. Alas, no. No encore. They didn’t play it. I was a bit gobsmacked. I couldn’t fuckiiiiiin believe it. They never played ‘Beast and The Harlot’. I like that song!!!!!
So I left the venue half-cut and in disgust!…
…and straight into the loving arms of an Abdul’s Chip Naan. The perfect comfort food for the disappointed metaller!
As it was, it pissed it down so we didn’t wait around to meet the bands, though we did run into Stone Sour’s Jim Root and Shawn Economacki by the chippy! Anyway, I’ve met a few of them before, so it’s cool. Besides, I’ll save my signing session for tomorrow and Parkway Drive… unless it rains again!
Stay tuned for the second part of the trilogy. Can’t guarantee a better story than ‘Attack of the Clones’, but it can’t be any worse!!
Episode 2: Never Say Die! Tour. Friday 5th November.