A confession: I don’t like Slipknot. I’ve felt for years that if the Iowa metalheads went on stage in jeans rather than jumpsuits and Halloween masks, a gimmick which arguably isn’t even their own, they’d still be playing local clubs.
But since they’re broadly considered to be the second coming of Black Sabbath, if not even better, this bias presents a tough situation for a music critic, or any hard rock fan, really.
It was doubly impressive, then, to realize that Stone Sour is an amazing live act. The alt-metal band, which predates Slipknot but has since become something of a spinoff, absolutely shredded Denver’s Fillmore Auditorium on Feb. 17.
Singer Corey Taylor (also Slipknot’s frontman) seemed to enjoy taking a break from his freakshow persona. He spent most of the show grinning and talking about family, but his trademark hard-charging delivery still made the show an amazing spectacle. Guitarists Jim Root and Josh Rand dressed in dueling outfits (a denim jacket and a tuxedo) but volleyed scorching solos back and forth like Siamese twins.
Earlier, California band Papa Roach proved their early-millennium haters wrong simply by being there in 2013, let alone putting on a serious show. Listening to them spool out songs over the course of an hour, one realized that the group’s body of work (from 2000’s “Last Resort” to 2012’s “Still Swingin’”) is approaching classic duration, if not status.