Review + Photos
The return of the Rock.
After a devastating year and some change, the world is finally starting to spin again. We’re seeing our first bit of normalcy in what seems like forever. Things we’ve longed for are becoming reality again, and one of the things we’ve missed the most is live entertainment.
One of the first acts to get back on the road are metal mainstays Sevendust. The band is ferociously touring across the country, finally getting to support their 2020 album Blood & Stone in person. Last night in the shadow of the old Bethlehem Steel factory, Sevendust manufactured some serious metal for a sold-out crowd.
Local favorites Another Day Dawns kicked off the evening’s festivities. The band churned out a brief but bad-ass set to set to warm up the crows for Sevendust. They debuted two new songs – “Alive” and an untitled track that the band has dubbed “The Big JC” for now.
While it was a hometown show for the boys, we won’t be referring to them as a “local” act for much longer. Their stock has certainly shot up in 2021.With performances slated for Blue Ridge Rock Festival, Aftershock, Louder Than Life, and Rocklahoma this year, the sun is quickly rising for Another Day Dawns.
KIRRA have been grinding it out for a few years now, and this tour is a great rediscovery of the band for fans. Super groovy, they performed tunes from their last studio LP Redefine. Despite the album’s freshness, KIRRA have already unleashed a new single “Crutch.” A perfect combination of Down and Clutch, the track was the highlight of their set. It’s a perfect piece of southern sludge that’s rock radio ready. Judging by this new single, fans should be stoked about what KIRRA have coming down the pike.
Rowdy cowboy Austin Meade shook things up next. He slowed things down a bit, but it wasn’t a buzz kill. Great stage presence and a top-notch backing band, Meade had swagger for days and certainly showed Sevendust fans something new. His stage banner behind him reads, “Howdy Fuckers.” You gotta love how the guy rolls.
It seems like the days of the solo rockstar are long gone. Rock has been searching for the next Ozzy, the next Nugent, for a long time it seems. With his fun stage persona and Lemmy-like appearance, Austin Meade seems to have what it takes to go to the next level.
Sevendust need no introduction. Taking the stage to the first thunderous applause they’ve heard in over year, the band opened with “Dying To Live” from their latest studio outing. Immediately, it was clear how hungry the crowd was.
Sevendust’s 13th studio effort Blood & Stone, which came out in 2020. The record hit No. 2 on Billboard Top Hard Rock Albums and No. 10 on Top Rock Albums. Earlier this year, the band performed multiple livestream events, revising their classic LPs Home (1999), Animosity (2001), and Seasons (2003).
The band played a fairly balanced set, performing tracks from nine of their studio albums. Clearly favored, however, was their 1999 smash Home from with which the band pulled for tracks. The band also debuted “Blood from a Stone” from their 2020 album of a similar name.
Highlights included “Black,” “Driven,” “Waffle,” “Denial,” “Praise,” and their haunting ballad “Skeleton Key.” They closed out the evening in perfect Sevendust fashion with an encore of their punishing track “Face To Face.”
During the set, frontman Lajon Witherspoon spoke to the crowd about the how surreal it was being back on stage. He reminisced about other area venues like Crocodile Rock Cafe in Allentown ,and the Chameleon Club in Lancaster with succumbed to the pandemic. It was clear that Sevendust were grateful to be touring again for their fans.
Sevendust are one of rock’s most reliable acts. For over 20 years, the band has churned out some of music’s most muscular metal. A fan’s band, they are grateful to be on stage after two decades and folks are still lining up to buy tickets. Their experience is evident in the gray beards of Clint Lowery and John Connolly. As a fan since I picked up the Home CD 22 years ago, the gray in my beard is starting to match. For many like myself, Sevendust is a band we grew up with.
At festivals, we constantly count on them to absolutely obliterate our eardrums in their late afternoon slot.
As their silver anniversary approaches, the band have created a discography that’s seen nine albums crack the Top 25 on the Billboard 200. Three of their albums have been certified Gold by the RIAA. The numbers are great, but their legacy is in their live show.
It’s time to give Sevendust their flowers.
SEVENDUST: Live Photo Gallery
AUSTIN MEADE: Live Photo Gallery
KIRRA: Live Photo Gallery
ANOTHER DAY DAWNS: Live Photo Gallery