Sevendust have made their bones over the past decade primarily on the backs of both their wildly entertaining live shows as well as their contiguous relationship with their fervid fan base.
Although some of the band’s studio efforts in recent years, such as 2013’s Cold Day Memory and 2018’s Kill the Flaw each contained their fair share of high points, Sevendust has struggled, at times, to reach the heights their early career records often produced.
Enter 2020’s Blood and Stone, Sevendust’s thirteenth studio, which contains all the passion, earth shattering pugnacity and melodic hooks that put the band firmly on heavy music’s radar back in the late 1990s.
The COVID-19 pandemic prevented Sevendust from being able to properly tour and support Blood and Stone. Consequently, this deprived fans of experiencing the band introduce the record to the masses in their natural habitat, the lighted stage.
Sevendust wasted little time in Worcester, Massachusetts this past weekend indoctrinating their fans into the world Blood and Stone as they opened up the show at the Palladium with one of the stand-out tracks from the album, Dying to Live.
The song in a live setting provided a window into what makes Blood and Stone a return to form in many ways, as it straddles the fine line between aggression and melody, while also brilliantly exploring the depths of both the hard rock and the heavy metal universes.
As this current tour is Sevendust’s first live sojourn in quite some time it wasn’t too big of a surprise to see the band only add one additional Blood and Stone track to the setlist in Worcester in the form of the record’s not-quite title track, Blood From a Stone.
Despite only being the second song from the record the band performed on the evening, Blood From a Stone was an appropriate choice because it mirrors some of the best work the band has ever produced in their near close to thirty-year existence.
The song brilliantly showcased the band’s signature nu-metal chops while also delivering a bombastic mixture of Clint Lowery’s guitar pyrotechnics alongside Lajon Witherspoon’s ethereal vocals.
It would have been nice to hear the band perform a few more of Blood and Stone‘s tracks in Worcester, however, it’s completely understandable with their prolonged absence from performing live that Sevendust would choose to lean heavily on the material that bonded their millions of fans globally to them in the first place.
As an aside, I was personally hoping Sevendust would have blessed the Massachusetts faithful with a run at Blood and Stone‘s most surprising track, Dying to Live, their deft cover of the Soundgarden classic.
Perhaps the band will throw the song into their live rotation at some point on their current tour, however, in the meantime I strongly suggest you get yourself a copy of the record to, if not anything, hear Witherspoon gloriously tackle Chris Cornell‘s legendary vocals.
That being said, its not as if any fan in Worcester felt short changed as Sevendust used their time on stage to unleash a salvo of hits that left fans both salivating, as well as begging for more from the first note played, to the last strummed on the evening.
Classics such as Black, Denial and eventual show closer Face to Face certainly spun up the Worcester audience into a Sevendust induced fever.
However, the penultimate highlight from the band’s time on stage at the Palladium may have simply been the sheer amount of emotion that engulfed the venue throughout the course of the entire evening.
Sevendust has always had a tightly knit and almost symbiotic relationship with their fanbase. Thus it wasn’t entirely shocking to see more than a few fans crying in the audience before, during and even after the band’s performance.
Considering the fact that many fans in attendance may have been experiencing their first live show in almost two years, it was almost to be expected that emotions may run a bit high in Worcester this past Saturday.
What wasn’t a surprise, however, was how Witherspoon and Sevendust recognized this condition’s existence and instead of engaging in a lot of stage banter or having the show be buoyed by a plethora of on-stage bells and whistles, they instead chose to simply let the music speak for itself.
And when you get down to it, isn’t that exactly where all of our teenage selves got lost in the world in Sevendust in the first place?
By grabbing a pair of headphones, laying on our beds, reading through the CD booklets linear notes (remember those) and falling in love with the music as we listened to each track over and over again while we smiled from ear to ear.
It’s always been about the music and the bonds bands like Sevendust have allowed us to make with them as well as the countless fans who share this beautiful relationship can never overstated.
So in Sevendust’s own words I suppose there’s only one thing left to say about the band’s performance in Worcester, Massachusetts this past weekend, thank you.
P.S. Come back soon!!!!
Sincerely, your adoring fans……