Sevendust Conquers Their Hometown During The 20th Anniversary Show
A lot can happen to a band in 20 years. Losing members, losing money, reaching the brink of bankruptcy, being forced to change your name (twice), being forced during one incredibly weird year to collaborate with Daughtry; the list goes on. Any one of those events can cut an artist's career short. Against all odds, the Atlanta alt-metal band Sevendust survived all those blows and more. (Dead serious about the Daughtry thing by the way. 2008 was a weird year for everyone in music.)
Just speechless. The @sevendustofficial 20th anniversary show at @masquerade_atl last night was incredible. The energy, the love, the music - it was everything Sevendust has been about for 20 years. Here's hoping for another 20 and more! @ljspoon @clowery15 @morgan7d @jmc7d #sevendust #metal #music #therapy #legends
It’s easy to boil down their entire performance at the Masquerade to one theme; survival against all odds. But there’s more to the story than that. Not only has Sevendust survived 20 years in the metal scene, they remain with the same lineup. Even more miraculously, their fans and die-hards, who band frontman Lajon Witherspoon wasted no time in referring to them as their family throughout the night, came out in droves for this one-night-only 20th-anniversary show. The show had been sold out for weeks and packed with the Atlanta faithful and fans from every which way across the United States.
Heaven at the Masquerade was packed early and stayed that way for the rest of the night. Not to downplay the efforts of all the opening bands (LANSDOWNE, Bridge to Grace, and American Prophet), but even they seemed to know who the real draw was. The energy was in the room for Sevendust’s 20th anniversary. The band was there to celebrate with their fans by playing the entirety of their 1997 debut album, Sevendust, for the first time ever.
Such a feat isn’t one that can be taken lightly as a simple task for a band with a song catalogue that’s now over 100 songs long. Between songs, Witherspoon even jokingly confessed that some of the songs the band hadn’t played live since '97. But if he hadn’t said anything you wouldn’t have known it. From the opening notes of their self-titled album’s opener, “Black," to the final chords of their encore “Face to Face," the band and the fans didn’t miss a beat.
As Sevendust raged on stage for 70 minutes and Witherspoon prowled in full ringmaster mode, belting out lyrics to dusted off classics with the audience belting them right back. The Sevendust faithful had clearly done their homework. The whole band was in top form, clearly relishing their first show on their home turf in Atlanta in a long while. Guitarist Clint Lowery kept up a relentless sonic assault, bleeding into chugging riff after chugging riff. Drummer Morgan Rose was a red-headed, dread-headed whirring dervish behind the kit. The rhythm section duo of John Connolly (rhythm guitar) and Vince Hornsby (bass), rounded out and held down the quintet.
Arguably one of the best moments of the show had little to do with the music. It was when the band reached the end and profusely thank not just their fans and families for sticking with them through all the years. Their families proceeded to come up on stage with them, wives, children, and all. You had to be a cold heart to not feel your heart melt a little when Witherspoon choked up on stage talking about being so lucky to have, “Our fans, our families, our beautiful babies!” And then held his youngest child up to the microphone.
After teasing their encore and eliciting a few laughs with an out of nowhere 15-second rendition of “Jessie’s Girl," Sevendust rolled into the only two songs of the evening not from Sevendust; “Pieces” from their 2005 album Next, and “Denial”, from their 1999 album Home. The band then closed things out with the fan-chorus driven hit from their debut record, “Face to Face”; a song all in attendance seemed to have been waiting for as the gleefully screamed out the hook back to the band, “Stop @#$%ing with my head! Stop @#$%ing with my head!”
Sevendust showed up and conquered on that stage at the Masquerade that night, celebrating the 20 years they’ve been fortunate enough to have as a band. And while it felt like the best kind of fan-appreciation tribute show, it was far from a definite ending. With the announcement at the beginning of the month that Sevendust was heading into studio to start working on new material, the Atlanta lads are likely to play to their home team again soon.
Check out the full setlist here.