Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Sevendust at the PlayStation Theater

Lajon Witherspoon
Bassist Vince Hornsby joined drummer Morgan Rose in 1994 in a band called Snake Nation in Atlanta, Georgia. John Connolly, then a drummer in another band, switched to guitar and joined Snake Nation. The trio recorded a demo, but upon playback realized they needed a stronger vocalist. Snake Nation spent a year searching for a new singer before finding Lajon Witherspoon. Six months later, guitarist Clint Lowery joined the band, and they renamed themselves Rumblefish, then Crawlspace, but discovered both times that these names were taken by other bands. The band members then renamed themselves Sevendust, inspired by the insecticide Sevin Dust. Sevendust earned three consecutive RIAA gold certified albums and sold millions of albums worldwide. The band's 10th album, Kill the Flaw, was released on October 2, 2015.

At the PlayStation Theater tonight, Sevendust began its opening song, "Not Today," from behind a white curtain, with the audience seeing the silhouettes of the musicians through green back-lighting until the screen dropped halfway through the song. Witherspoon sang in rough voice, as the musicians played hard melodic riffs. The 13-song, 70-minute set ranged from nu metal rapcore crunchers like "Face to Face" to softer, slower songs like "Angel's Son," which Witherspoon dedicated to the late Prince. Witherspoon introduced "Denial" by saying it would be the acoustic version; actually, the song was performed softly but not acoustically. Immediately after, the musicians cranked up the energy. Overall, Sevendust impressed in how it highlighted its strong song structures first and the appropriate accompaniment second rather than the reverse. Despite Sevendust's faithfulness to these merits, the band's liability is that its 1990s alt-metal no longer sounds as fresh as it did two decades ago.

Visit Sevendust at www.sevendust.com.