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Keeping metalheads drunk for years’

STONE SOUR

Jagermeister Music Tour 2007

STONE SOUR
SHADOWS FALL
LACUNA COIL


Electric Factory
Philadelphia, PA
April 7, 2007

Rams Head Live
Baltimore, MD
April 10, 2007


By GREG MAKI

Over the past several years, there has been no more loyal a supporter of metal than Jägermeister. The liqueur has long been a favorite of those in the genre (“Jägermeister: Keeping metalheads drunk for years,” Shadows Fall frontman Brian Fair offered as an endorsement on stage in Philadelphia.), and the list of Jäger-sponsored bands, including both national and regional acts, seems to grow daily. The Jägermeister tent, where fans can meet bands and get their hands on free merch (provided they are of legal drinking age), is always one of the highlights of Ozzfest. Jägermeister is stepping up its involvement in this summer’s free Ozzfest, rolling out its own Jägermeister stage for the second stage acts. And, of course, there is the biannual Jägermeister Music Tour, which since the original installment in 2002 has featured heavy hitters such as Slayer, Slipknot, Fear Factory, Chimaira, Hatebreed, Arch Enemy, Killswitch Engage and Disturbed. The spring 2007 edition features one of the best and most diverse lineups yet, with rotating regional openers along the way, and, once again, the tattooed freak known as the Lizard Man as host.

Aside from the opening acts (Showin’ Tell in Philadelphia; Unbroken in Baltimore ), there was little variation between the two shows Live-Metal.net attended. Italy’s Lacuna Coil quickly kicked the show into high gear with a far-too-short set of their unique brand of goth-inflected metal. Cristina Scabbia, one of the best singers in any genre, is the star, but fellow vocalist Andrea Ferro is coming into his own as a performer (see the new single “Within Me”) and relentless touring has made the band a tight unit. The set list leaned heavily on newer material (six of the seven songs came from the latest release, Karmacode), but the one holdover from 2002’s Comalies, “Heaven’s a Lie,” drew the most enthusiastic response each night. Both shows saw a large contingent of Lacuna Coil fans, proof that the band is more than ready for its first North American headlining tour, which kicks off in May.

LACUNA COIL

LACUNA COIL SET LIST: To the Edge, Fragments of Faith, Fragile, Heaven’s a Lie, Within Me, What I See, Our Truth

Shadows Fall, their latest release, Threads of Life, less than a week old, followed, immediately taking fans back to 2002’s The Art of Balance with “Thoughts Without Words.” As frontman Brian Fair prowls the stage, I’m amazed he doesn’t trip over his enormous dreadlocks. But the man to watch in this band is lead guitarist Jonathan Donais, whose soloing grows more technical and impressive with each release. You also want to keep an eye on Matthew Bachand, the guitarist at stage right, whose melodic vocals have become a stronger and stronger presence in the band over the years. It is largely through the contributions of these two that Shadows Fall has so completely transcended the limiting and now virtually meaningless metalcore label. The crowd reaction may not have been quite as enthusiastic as it was for Lacuna Coil, but the Massachusetts’ band’s 35 minutes on stage was as solid a metal set as there is today. The current single, “Redemption,” stood out, as did the trio of songs from the 2004 masterpiece The War Within.

SHADOWS FALL SET LIST: Thoughts Without Words, Enlightened by the Cold, Venomous, The Light That Blinds, Redemption, Destroyer of Senses, What Drives the Weak

The main attraction was up next, and whatever you do, don’t call Stone Sour a side project. This is a fully functioning hard rock/metal machine led by a dynamic frontman (Corey Taylor) and a guitarist with the opportunity to flex his muscles much more than he ever will in Slipknot (Jim Root). The crowd, especially in Philadelphia, went absolutely nuts for Stone Sour every second of their 80-minute set, which drew almost equally from last year’s Come What(ever) May and their debut. In Philadelphia, after Taylor announced they were shooting their next video, they performed “Made of Scars” twice in a row to ensure cameramen captured the necessary footage. (In fact, it appeared the entire show was filmed.)

SHADOWS FALL

When the rest of the band left the stage and Taylor stood alone with a guitar, everyone knew what was next. After playing a snippet of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game,” he gave us the smash “Bother,” which naturally inspired a thunderous crowd sing-along. Both nights, he informed the fans they won the award for loudest crowd of the tour (even though Philadelphia was a lot louder than Baltimore ), then played part of “Sweet Home Alabama” as a special treat. The mellow portion of the set concluded with the hit “Through Glass.” Following a couple more songs from the debut and an encore that climaxed with “Get Inside,” what was sure to be one of the best nights of music of the year came to an end. I can’t wait to see what package Jägermeister puts together next.

STONE SOUR SET LIST: 30/30-150, Come What(ever) May, Take a Number, Made of Scars (performed twice in Philadelphia), Reborn, Inhale, Your God, Monolith, Sillyworld, Wicked Game, Bother, Sweet Home Alabama, Through Glass, Blotter, Tumult, (Encore) Hell & Consequences, Get Inside

PHOTOS FROM PHILADELPHIA:
Lacuna Coil
Shadows Fall

PHOTOS FROM BALTIMORE:
Lacuna Coil
Shadows Fall
Stone Sour