Corey Taylor is no stranger to our shores Down Under, but it’s been a while since we’ve got to see that beautiful mug of his. Unmasked, with two solo albums and a new band under his wing, Corey is back in town for Good Things Festival. Tonight, we head to the increasingly popular Northcote Theatre for his sold-out sideshow.
Tonight’s sole support band, Sydney’s Clay J Gladstone, wastes no time as they hit the stage with high energy and determination to put us in as good a mood as they clearly are in. Self-described as “Rock.. Emo.. Punk.. What Evs..,” they stay true to their word as they genre hop with chaotic ease and no fucks given. Support slots can be a tough gig, but they make it look easy, thrusting, dancing and jumping through their set, with a good dose of shit-talking and crowd participation thrown in for good measure. Absolutely chuffed to have been hand-picked by Corey himself, the opportunity is far from lost on them and they prove their worth at every turn.
While singer Johnny jokes that “this is a new song, you don’t know who we are, so it doesn’t really fucking matter” and gets a good laugh from the crowd, the band doesn’t muck around when it comes to their craft. Piercing vocals, catchy guitar hooks, solid bass grooves, and tight drumming are matched with natural charisma, hypnotic energy and an oozing love for what they do. We may not have known them before we came, but we won’t forget them soon. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot more of them.
It’s time for the main act and as Corey & co. take to the stage while the haunting CMF2 album opener The Box plays, things are quickly turned up to 11 as the band launches into Post Traumatic Blues. The energy stays high as the band ebb and flows through a set full of twists, turns, mood shifts, and a few nice surprises, such as the pummeling Tumult, from the first Stone Sour album.
It’s a great mix of old and new from all of Corey’s projects, with them all fitting in together with ease, while also showing how diverse his back catalogue really is. Black Eyes Blue and Through Glass highlight Corey’s talent for fun and catchy radio rock, while Talk Sick and We Are The Rest bring a great punk rock flavour to the set, with the latter providing some great crowd interaction. We’re even treated to a few Slipknot favourites in Before I Forget, which sends the crowd into an absolute frenzy before Snuff turns the mood on its head with solemn electricity, goosebumps and some of the loudest singalongs of the night. It’s clear the Aussie fans have been waiting a long time to hear this and it doesn’t disappoint in the slightest. Never one to stay too serious for too long, Corey also manages to squeeze in the Spongebob Squarepants theme song, followed by his retort “I played it, I never said I’d play it great.”
Corey is one heck of a front person and is not shy in riling up the crowd and letting us know when he wants more, his grin oscillating between cheeky and maniacal throughout the night. His backing band, “The Morning Dudes,” have no trouble matching his energy. While we’re familiar with Stone Sour bandmate and guitarist Christian Martucci, it’s our first introduction to fellow guitarist Zach Throne, bassist Eliot Lorango and drummer Dustin Robert, each shining in their role and getting a lot of love from Corey, as every great singer needs a great band behind them. Zach and Christian’s shared lead guitar duties are especially a pleasure to watch.
After the obligatory pretend end of the set and mass chanting of “one more song, one more song,” we’re promised two more songs as Corey and crew return to the stage, on the proviso that we help sing along. Duality kicks off the encore and we all lose our collective shit as that 11 gets turned up to 12. As the encore draws to its conclusion, we’re treated to one last surprise, in the form of INXS classic Don’t Change, one of Corey’s favourite bands and songs. A fun, feel-good way to end an amazingly fun night.
It feels rare to expect a great night and then have those expectations exceeded significantly, but Corey Taylor manages to do that time and time again. One of the greats.
EVERYDAY METAL – SUPPORT LOCAL HEAVY METAL