Live albums are always a dividing line for fans – for some, they’re a throwaway until the next studio album and, for others, an important document of a band at a specific time that adds colour to the discography. Certainly, not many folks can deny the impact of huge live albums that have changed the way we listen to music, such as Made In Japan by Deep Purple and Live After Death by Iron Maiden, but for every one of those classics, there are dozens that have been nothing but a contractual obligation with little or no atmosphere. Modern bands especially need to put out live documents that hit hard with the classic legacies looming over them, so expectations were rather great for the first live album from Stone Sour, a band that has already achieved much in their 19 successful years.
Obviously, it’s also somewhat odd timing-wise, since singer Corey Taylor also released the highly anticipated new album from his other band, another little group from Des Moines called Slipknot, earlier this year. But, with that in mind, one has to separate the two as separate entities (something most fans struggle with), and it’s high time we had a live record from the ‘Sour as their live show is always something to behold.
Recorded live at Grand Sierra Theatre in Reno, Nevada in October of 2018, this is a full show with (as per the band) zero overdubs or changes made to the original recording. This naturally gives us a fairly raw sound, but the recording is extremely well-balanced and clear, and the rawness lends itself nicely to give an accurate view of the group as you would see them on stage.
Check out the live audio for “Absolute Zero” here:
The track listing is evenly taken from their catalogue, with all the big hitters taken into consideration and balanced from the blasters to the quiet, introspective songs that have made them who they are today. Highlights include “Absolute Zero,” “Bother,” “Through Glass,” and the immaculate “30/30-150,” but the guys give everything they have throughout, with an intensity rarely seen by a band that has been together for as long as Stone Sour. Taylor issues his trademark banter between tracks and keeps the crowd hungry for more until the very end, and the rest of the group are as professional and kickass as ever. It’s always great to hear a band interact musically to the point where it’s second nature, and Stone Sour flow through each intense song with ease and comfort.
This is an hour of solid, solid entertainment with enormous songs and a band that ooze personality, and that is not easy to capture on tape. Whether it will become one of the classic live albums remains to be seen but, even if it doesn’t, it will be a precious addition for the fans of the band and, well, a damn good time. Stone Sour are a modern hard rock success story and, with Hello, You Bastards: Live In Reno, they show that they are always a force to be reckoned with. And isn’t that ultimately what live albums are for?
Here’s a live video for “Whiplash Pants”:
Hello, You Bastards: Live In Reno Track Listing:
02. Taipei Person / Allah Tea
03. Do Me A Favor
04. Knievel Has Landed
05. Whiplash Pants
06. Absolute Zero
09. Rose Red Violent Blue
11. Get Inside
13. Song #3
14. Through Glass
15. Made Of Scars
Run Time: 1 hour, 6 minutes
Release Date: December 13, 2019
Record Label: Cooking Vinyl