Sevendust proved on November 3 that they have everything that makes up a killer metal band: rib-crushing power mixed with angelic grace, infinite energy and crowd recognition, and most important, a great lead man in Lajon Witherspoon.
The dreadlocked warrior and bandmates hail from Atlanta, Georgia, and they certainly brought the heat with them to this show. Opening the show with a hit from their previous album, Home [TVT], the crowd erupted as Lajon’s eyes grew and bulged with each chorus as he poured his soul into the microphone. The intensity only heightened the longer the show went on, whether with older material like the closer "Bitch", or new crushers like "Crucify" that sent the pits into overdrive. Sevendust has enough power to kick your asshole right off of your backside.
The true power of the band lies in its guitarists, Clint Lowery and John Connolly, along with bassist Vince Hornsby. Lowery is a mammoth of a man, and his sound is even bigger than his frame, as he pounds out some of the deepest chord in metal today. Bassist Hornsby roams the stage like a kid in an all-you-can-eat candy shop, always going right up to the crowd, and even talking to certain members during songs. Connolly also packs quite a wallop with his axe, even though he looks like a tattooed and buff Joey Fatone.
The deep crunch that Sevendust cranks out is what drives their audiences wild. But tonight, the biggest response came from their lightest material. “Angel’s Son”, a song that Witherspoon originally wrote for deceased Snot frontman Lynn Strait, was dedicated to all those in NYC and Washington who suffered during the recent months. “This is dedicated to them, and to you. We will get through this!” Those words quickly spawned a “USA! USA!” chant from the crowd, as Lowery strummed the harp-like chords of this touching piece.
The band had some tricks up their sleeves on this night though. Witherspoon stopped the show at one point, and even surprised his band. Joe, a buddy of Lajon had arranged for the singer to ask his girlfriend to marry him from the stage. “Will you marry him?” Lajon asked three times, and when a “Yes,” came through the speakers, the house rocked harder than during any song. He then dedicated their new cut “Trust” to the newly engaged duo.
The second golden-nugget of a surprise came when Lowery picked the tunes of “Sweet Home, Alabama”, playing out the first verse, eventually melding it into the metal epic anthem “Walk” by Pantera. All this while Lajon strutted around in a pentagram-bearing Motley Crue sleeveless T-shirt. Now THAT my friends, is rock ‘n’ roll.
For more on Sevendust, check out their website at Sevendust.com