Our Deputy Editor David McLaughlin hopped over to the French capital last week to catch this month's coverstar Ronnie Radke in action with Falling In Reverse. Here's what he found out.
COOLIO DIDN’T SHOW UP :(
Despite crossing our fingers and toes and wishing really, really hard, legendary '90s hip-hop don Coolio was a no show. There were even rumours doing the rounds before the gig that he might make a surprise appearance, too. Rumours that we definitely didn't start. *ahem*
THERE'S SOMEONE ELSE PLAYING BASS FOR FALLING IN REVERSE NOW
That’s Zakk Sandler. Who’s Zakk Sandler, you ask? Zakk Sandler is the dude who used to play bass in Black Tide, that’s who Zakk Sandler is.
He played his first live gig with Falling In Reverse here, but you would never have guessed it. Could he be the man to permanently take up the mantle? Time will tell, but with this audition he’s done his chances no harm.
YOU DON’T MESS WITH B.LAY
Who? At the side of the stage you’ll spot Ronnie’s right hand dude and man mountain MC B.Lay – but you should probably call him Mr. Lay just to be polite.
He’s on the road with Falling In Reverse on this 12-date European run and even joins the five-piece on stage to add a little flavour to the hip-hop breakdown on ‘Alone’. He gave us his card after the show, too. Which means we are now best friends.
NOT THAT RON NEEDS THE HELP…
Proving that he’s no slouch on the mic himself, Ronnie Radke rolls words off his tongue on the likes of ‘Rolling Stone’ with impressive speed and skill. In his own words, he really does have “that white boy swagger rapping right down to a T”.
You're reading about our 24 hours with Falling In Reverse, but have you watched the video yet? It contains Ronnie searching for McDonald's and "the wooden dick store", so there's no reason why you shouldn't watch it.
'ALONE' IS A MOMENT
And what a moment. Though nothing will ever top the open-mouthed reactions we had when we heard the song and saw that video for the first time, seeing this performed live comes damn close to matching the excitement.
Every part is perfect, whether it’s the swirling techno build up, hip-hop verses, the pit-inciting chug-a-chug breakdowns or the whole room singing along on the chorus. Big tune is big.
'BAD GIRLS CLUB' IS ANOTHER MOMENT
The cheer squad-style, sugar rush pop metal brilliance of ‘Bad Girls Club’ is still claiming victims all over the place. It’s a cold, hard heart that isn’t swept up in its tidal wave of tongue-in-cheek fun. In the city of love, Falling In Reverse turn hearts gooey.
Ronnie Radke is on the cover of our new issue, but that's not all that's going on in there. Pick up Rock Sound 197 for all this and more...
RONNIE HAS HIS OWN VERSION OF THE METAL CLAW
Wait, what? Stray observation this one, but when Ronnie twists his fist into a metal claw and stares mournfully into the rafters, it somewhat resembles the famous skull scene from Shakespeare’s Hamlet...
Well it does to us, anyway. We could totally see Ronnie doing Hamlet at the RSC.
“To be, or not to be, motherfucker?”
HE ALSO STEALS PHONES (FOR A LITTLE BIT)
Because if you’re in the front row and taking pics of the show on your phone, Ronnie Radke might just grab it off you, run around the stage and take mid-song selfies with it before handing it back.
RONNIE STILL <3 ESCAPE THE FATE
The setlist is pretty much perfectly split between ‘The Drug In Me Is You’ and ‘Fashionably Late’ material, with only ‘God, If You Are Above’ being aired from new album, ‘Just Like You’. But it’s good to see Ronnie still giving a nod to his past with huge Escape The Fate bangers ‘Not Good Enough For Truth In Cliché’ and ‘Situations’, both of which are greeted by the Parisian fans like they are the BEST. SONGS. EVER.
IT'S STILL PROBABLY NOT GOING TO HAPPEN IN THE UK ANY TIME SOON
Sadly, despite how much fun the whole experience of watching Falling In Reverse tear it up in Europe is, it’s hard not to get bummed out that this isn’t looking likely to happen on home soil any time soon.
We want to watch them again TONIGHT, dammit…
Ronnie Radke is on the cover of the new issue of Rock Sound. In the issue - which is in UK stores now - he opens up and talks love, loss and acceptance.
Not in the UK or can't find the magazine in stores? No problem, we can deliver the thing to your door or you can go online and check out the digital edition.
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"The music falls in between 'Iowa' and 'Vol. 3'" - Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor.