I can’t even remember when I first heard the announcement that SEVENDUST was doing a brief run of shows to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of their-self titled debut record. Some of you know what I had to go through to get album, but for those that don’t it goes like this: I had to special order the goddamn thing from The Wall (remember them??) and pay out the ying-yang for shipping and that friggin’ lifetime guarantee. And they only had it on fucking cassette. Oh, and here’s the kicker: Christmas Day that year I find it at Tower Records on CD for $9.99!!! So anyway, the chance to hear this magnificent offering from start to finish was an opportunity not to be missed. This music has been a part of our lives for 20 years now, just think about that.
So I met with the lovely and talented Kate Drexel at the Electric Factory here in Philly and in we went to watch the festivities unfold. The house lights went down and you could hear that opening sound of “Black”, the sound that was the world’s introduction to SEVENDUST. As vocalist Lajon Witherspoon, guitarists John Connolly and Clint Lowery, bassist Vince Hornsby, and drummer Morgan Rose tore into it the crowd went wild, and rightfully so. “Bitch” was next, and when that first strum hit again, people went fucking nuts!
One of the biggest highlights of the evening came early for me as “Terminator” soon followed. This has long been one of my favorites from the group so to finally hear it sung/screamed live was amazing. “Too Close to Hate,” “Wired,” and “Prayer,” (which Lajon dedicated to his late brother) were all equally powerful. “Face” and “Speak” sounded exquisite before “Will It Bleed” dropped the hammer down on us. This was followed by the second of three major highlights in another of my faves with “My Ruin.” This will forever be one of my top SEVENDUST songs, so again, to hear it live practically floored me.
Set and album closer “Born to Die” was the perfect capper and if possible sounded even better live. The band disappeared for a bit before it was encore time. And what shocked me was they started, not finished said encore like they usually do with “Face to Face” from 2003’s Seasons (my favorite record to this day!). When Morgan yells that, “You can’t stop fuckin’ with my head, stop fuckin’ with my head!” it makes me wanna break things AND people every single time. And I can’t be the only one who feels that way.
Next up was a double shot from 2001’s Animosity with “Praise” and “Shine,” both of which kicked a ton of ass. Then latest record Kill the Flaw made its lone appearance with “Thank You” to close out the evening. The song is very much a tip of the hat and thank you to all the SEVENDUST family, one that we all appreciate very much, and really the perfect way to end a perfect show. This was my seventh time seeing the band and it sure as shit won’t be my last. Time and time again they deliver on every level, and there aren’t many bands who can hang with them. Here’s to another 20 years of SEVENDUST music, who’s with me?!?
LIVE IMAGES: KATE DREXEL PHOTOGRAPHY
LIVE WORDS: THE MAESTRO