Gig Review: Sevendust + Support

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Review: Sevendust + Graveyard Rockstars
170 Russell, Melbourne
18 March, 2016
Review by Rod Whitfield

Photos: Sevendust + Horrorwood Mannequins + Tensions Arise
Metro Theatre, Sydney
19 March, 2016
Photos by Britt Andrews

I’ve been a big fan of the Atlantan five piece, Sevendust, since 2001’s epic Animosity album, but had missed them the previous times they’d come over, so this night was a big deal for me.

Firstly, I have to say that when an unknown band gets a massive break, in the form of scoring the main (and in this case only) support for a big international act, they must seize the opportunity with both hands and wring every last drop of opportunity out of it. I actually didn’t see this from Sydney’s Graveyard Rockstars this night. They play a fairly run of the mill form of goth-ish rock, their songs don’t really reach any great heights and their sound was a little lacklustre. The singer hit a number of pretty flat notes as well. The drummer had cool tatts which he was very forward about showing off, and one of the members wore face paint. That was about it.

The anticipation for the mighty Sevendust had hit fever-pitch by the time these masters burst onstage. And why not. For myself, it had been 15 years of build-up, and even for the people who’d seen them the last time it was six years in between dustings. And they did not let the sold-out throng down.

A more slamming energetic band you will not see, and almost two decades on the road has made them as tight as a clenched fist. The set list was an excellent selection of just about all eras of their epic career, with highlights being, Enemy, the beautiful, Angel’s Son, Shine, and titanic encore, Face to Face. At the end of which, drummer Morgan Rose ripped off one of his cymbals and slammed it to the floor.

Rose’s performance was a true highlight, so dextrous, so hard hitting and with such a naturally massive groove, but he makes it all look so effortless at the same time.

And of course, powerhouse singer Lajon Witherspoon must also be singled out. What a consummate pro, huge voice, massive stage presence, controlled, positive anger and aggression and he seemed truly and sincerely grateful to be singing his lungs up for their ravenous Aussie fans.

This show was one hour and twenty minutes of power, passion, enormous grooves, soaring choruses and incredible performances. Twenty years down the road, this band are ridiculously consistent on record and give their absolute everything onstage. Let it not be another six years before they come again.

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