15 Dec 2018
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking
  • Articles »
  • Reviews »
  • City of Souls - Gig Review: Stone Sour with City of Souls @ Spark Arena, Auckland - 23/08/2017

City of Souls - Gig Review: Stone Sour with City of Souls @ Spark Arena, Auckland - 23/08/2017

24 Aug 2017 // A review by Alex Moulton

Looking around the venue and it is apparent that the stage has been brought forward. So Spark Arena (formerly known as Vector Arena) has a much smaller capacity compared to when Corey Taylor last performed with his other project, Slipknot. The crowds have packed the floor area and seating, and the smaller capacity does give the venue a fuller feel, which lends itself to a better gig atmosphere. The only opening act for the night is City of Souls, and the drummer Corey Friedlander, comes out on stage first to start the opening track Ferryman. The track has a slightly lengthened intro to allow time for the rest of the band to trickle out on stage. This is City of Souls first time performing on stage at Spark Arena, and they were determined to leave a lasting impression on the crowd with a great performance. It wasn't long before differences in vocals between prior gigs became apparent. It was initially unclear whether these were official changes made to the tracks (as the band are currently in the recording process for their debut album), or whether something else was affecting this performance.

It was later announced that vocalist Richie Simpson had been struck by the flu, so guitarist Trajan Schwencke’s role as backing vocals had been given more significance to allow him to reduce the strain on Richie's voice. Originally, it did come across as a very different sound by those that are familiar with and love Richie's long and deep abrasive vocals; any shortening and reduction of his parts has a large effect on the power of the song. After a couple songs, however, the additional harmonies provided a great balance and added extra vocal layers to the songs by the band that loves to add layers to their music.  A regular part of their set list is their cover of Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart, and was very well received by the crowd receiving a thunderous cheer. This was followed by Shimmer, at which point the toll on Richie's voice was becoming more noticeable, with more of his parts getting reduced or omitted entirely, leaving Trajan to step up and fill the void. For a vocalist to continue performing through a flu bout, it takes a lot of power and strength, and Richie managed to maintain a stable vocal performance throughout. With guitarist Marcus Powell out of the country, City of Souls enlisted the help of Set On End guitarist Matt Borsos (who almost looked like bassist Dan Insley’s doppelganger), and did a near faultless set, despite only a weeks notice. The band dedicated one of their softer crescending tracks White Ghost, to a recent loss in the NZ music scene, Kitty Taylor, with a message to not be afraid to ask for help if you feel bad. Their set consisted of several brand new songs that have only been performed live a couple times, as well as common live hits, and ending with popular singles, Water and Long Gone. Surprising crowd favourites were the Joy Division cover, and their newer track, Cruelty, which garnered a lot of crowd movement during the heavy choruses.

Starting their set with the introductory phrase on their Hydrograd album “Hello, you bastards”, Stone Sour took to the stage. The stage has been set with three large steps at the front, which will allow the crowd better visibility, though, throughout the performance, vocalist Corey Taylor is the only person to really make use of them. Opening with one of the new singles Taipei Person/Allah Tea makes for an interesting choice; as it is the least well known of the three singles released from the latest album, which itself was released only four weeks ago. If there was any question as to what sort of performance to expect, it was answered with Corey Taylor emerged from the side of the stage (not even halfway through the first song at this point) with a confetti cannon and starts firing confetti and streamers into the crowd. The love and admiration that the NZ fans have for Corey Taylor is so strong that he doesn’t have to do anything; Simply being in the country and standing on stage is enough to garner an extensive round of applause and cheers that require him to motion for the audience to quieten down so the band can perform. He does revel in the attention and knows how to get the crowd riled up, at one point commenting how he is aware that many bands will choose not to include New Zealand in their tour schedules, saying New Zealand has “some of the most passionate goddam music fans I’ve met” and pledging to tell bands to stop making excuses and to come perform here.

As far as the set list goes, it is odd to have a concert based around an album launch that includes so little of the album. Of the 17 songs involved in the set list, nearly half of the tracks originate from the debut self-titled album Stone Sour, and the follow-up sophomore album Come What(ever) May, with only 3 tracks coming from the latest release Hydrograd. This being said, it works out to their advantage, as the crowd is much more familiar with the older material, and in the cases of Bother and Through Glass, would often out-sing Corey. Auckland did receive a treat when Stone Sour performed a track live for the first time; needless to say, many phones were in the air recording Rose Red Violent Blue (This Song Is Dumb & So Am I). The mixing at the sound desk was a little bit off throughout the night, with inconsistent sounds around the arena; those near the stage were unable to properly hear the vocals, while from the stands, the bass guitar overpowered the two or three guitars on many occasions. This combined with some inconsistent levels on the drum kit was the only real negative part of the night’s performance, but Corey Taylor’s showmanship more than made up for it. His ability to move about the whole stage, climb up on steps and ledges, and go down to interact with the front row of the crowd, all while still performing with passion and energy, fed the crowd with energy. No inconsistencies in sound could take away from the performance. The crowd were keen to sing along at every opportunity, and it made very obvious as to which tracks the crowd were more familiar with; it wasn’t until Reborn that the crowd really started to mosh, and the first of many circle pits began to form.

The vocals of the performance were on point, despite Corey Taylor recovering from a sinus infection; there were differences between the studio recordings, such as many of the harsh growling vocals being reduced, or omitted, or letting the crowd sing them. This is, however, a common occurrence when translating studio recordings to live performances. Regardless, of whether Corey Taylor’s vocals carried the correct level of coarseness to it, he hit the correct notes at the right times, with a vigour that continued to rile up the audience throughout their 90-minute set. I couldn’t find fault in the guitars and drums, apart from the volume during some songs; the guitars interacted less with the crowds, but the drummer Roy Mayorga was a thrill to watch, with such variety in styles and actions. The stand-out tracks of the performance came during the encore, with Sovereign/Absolute Zero, with the largest circle pit of the night, coordinated fist pumping, loud crowd chanting, and even more confetti cannons. The final track of the night brought in some back-up dancers for Fabuless, in the form of five wacky waving inflatable arm-flailing tubemen. An unexpected end to the show, that brought a hit of comedy to the end of the performance

 

About City of Souls

Hype,

It is a word that Auckland six piece City of Souls were bound to deal with from their inception. Boasting members from bands that have etched their mark on the local and international hard rock and metal scene such as Blindspott, Blacklistt, 8 Foot Sativa, New Way Home, Cold By Winter, In Dread Response and Solstate, City of Souls was set to stir some interest, and stir they have.

Too often when something is hyped it is followed with disappointment, yet the first City Of Souls single Sleep arrives unashamedly explosive, touting emotive energy juxtaposed with a certain calm which will become this band’s signature. Recorded between Dreadstorm Media Auckland and Roundhead Studios, it was mixed by legendary engineer Clint Murphy, and mastered at Sterling Sound in New York.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for City of Souls

Releases

There are no releases to display for City of Souls.

Other Reviews By Alex Moulton

Mako Road - EP Review: Local Safari
10 Dec 2018 // by Alex Moulton
Local Safari is the latest release from Christchurch Indie group Mako Road The four-piece provide a very laid-back and relaxed (albeit short) EP as we enter the prime summer road tripping season.The EP begins with its titular track Local Safari, with some pleasant keys and a generally unhurried pace, controlled by a simple hi hat and snare drum combo.
Read More...
Kerretta - Single Review: Chroma Queens
10 Dec 2018 // by Alex Moulton
Chroma Queens is the first single from upcoming LP release Exiscens (due for release on December 14), which is the first release from Auckland experimental rock act Kerretta for over four years. The band are comprised of bass player William Waters; drummer H.
Read More...
Gig Review: Ghost Who Walks @ Anthology Lounge, Auckland - 30/11/2018
06 Dec 2018 // by Alex Moulton
Cheers and squeals are let out around Auckland’s Anthology Lounge as The Rubics take to the stage. The six-piece group have been working on making a name for themselves as the groove-makers of the Auckland scene, and from the sound of the audience, they know exactly what they are in for.
Read More...
Gig Review: 2Cellos @The Civic, Auckland - 3/12/2018
04 Dec 2018 // by Alex Moulton
People were abuzz as they filed into The Civic to get to their seats. Many eyes were enjoying the venue itself as one of Auckland’s last remaining atmospheric theatres, with its soft-top design that floats above the auditorium, with stars and clouds that recreate the Southern Hemisphere sky-scape.
Read More...
Lisa Crawley - Single/Video Review: Baby It's Fine
30 Nov 2018 // by Alex Moulton
Lisa Crawley’s latest single Baby It’s Fine is a delightfully unhurried and soulful pop track. Starting with a slow strum of the guitar and an almost acoustic vibe to the bass, there is a slow melancholic edge to the song.
Read More...
Night Bus - Single Review: Korean Restaurant
28 Nov 2018 // by Alex Moulton
Self-described as a lo-fi electronic bedroom pop from elusive Wellington figure, night bus is definitely an obscure act. With a Facebook page created less than a fortnight ago, only 5 followers to their name, and a moniker that is otherwise impossible to search for due to common use, any further information about the artist is not forthcoming.
Read More...
Baitercell - EP Review: Toka
23 Nov 2018 // by Alex Moulton
Toka is the latest release from Baitercell; an EP comprised of three Drum n Bass tracks with 100% Te Reo Maori lyrics. The tracks Te Wai Te Ora (The Water, The Life), Te Pukumeke (The Final Strike) and Hine Ruru (A goddess in the form of a native owl of Aotearoa), are inspired by Papatuanuku, Tangaroa, Ranginui (the respective Maori gods of earth, water and sky) and the connection we need to have with our earth.
Read More...
Gig Review: ZM's Friday Night Jams @ Western Springs, Auckland - 18/11/2018
19 Nov 2018 // by Alex Moulton
Ten minutes before gates open and the entrance way to Western Springs is packed to the brim with excited fans wearing cardboard Burger King Crowns in the hopes of receiving a free upgrade to the BK Stage. With some scattered cloud, the day was humid, but ultimately much more manageable, providing some respite from the intense sun.
Read More...
View All Articles By Alex Moulton

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • THANK U, NEXT
    Ariana Grande
  • SHALLOW
    Lady Gaga And Bradley Cooper
  • SHOTGUN
    George Ezra
  • WITHOUT ME
    Halsey
  • SWEET BUT PSYCHO
    Ava Max
  • SUNFLOWER
    Post Malone And Swae Lee
  • SICKO MODE
    Travis Scott feat. Drake
  • BETTER
    Khalid
  • HAPPIER
    Marshmello And Bastille
  • WHEN THE PARTY'S OVER
    Billie Eilish
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem