Sevendust – Over 20 Years In The Making & Still Evolving

Though officially it may have been a Sunday night you wouldn’t have known that by the intensity of the sold out Lancaster crowd – many of whom were wearing Sevendust apparel of all eras. In the minutes leading up to the band’s set time you could see the anticipation of the crowd growing, many fans returning for their 10th or more show and some just finally getting to see Sevendust for the first time. As 9PM rolled around the energy in the venue shifted and the crowd on the main floor lurched towards the stage as the house lights flickered off to allow the band’s lighting to take over. Shoulder to shoulder the sold out crowd moved as one with their horns in the air as the silhouettes of Sevendust taking the stage became visible through a rapidly back lit strobing effect.

A dramatic color wash mixed with a pulsating array of effects surrounded the band as Lajon Witherspoon was the last to arrive on the stage to a roar that would have been fit for a king. The band started the show off with the heavy and new track “Dirty,” the first song released off their upcoming album that has blended well with their original sound but as also allowed the band to evolve to a new era simultaneously.

Photo by Matt Christine

Sevendust has evolved over the years they have remained very self aware as to what their core sound is and their setlist on Sunday night was quite representative of that. A sample of new material was welcomed by the fans but the crowd truly got rowdy when the band dug deeper into their category for “Ugly” released in 2005 and even “Decay” from their album in 2013. The Chameleon Club’s bizzare, yet intimate, three story set up was rocking as the capacity crowd fed off the band’s energy.

The tiny club stage could barely contain Sevendust’s 5 members, lighting and sprawling drum kit for Morgan Rose in the back – the result was a chaotic energy that gave the show a fun vibe from start to finish. Lajon Witherspoon moved around as much as he could, even reaching forward to shove the mic towards the numerous crowd surfers who came across the barricade during the evening. There were a few minors collisions on stage but for the most part Clint Lowery, Vince Hornsby and John Connolly managed to rotate around the stage without issue. It wouldn’t truly be a metal show of any kind if some chaos didn’t happen right?

Photo by Matt Christine

Sevendust has long been a touring mainstay and for good reason as the proved on this early stop on the ‘All I See is War’ tour. While there is many bands within the metal genre touring not a lot are managing to sell out venues on Sunday nights and even fewer are putting on the type of high quality show that Sevendust delivers.

Lajon Witherspoon has taken care of himself over the 20+ years the band has been touring and it is no surprise to say that as he commands the stage with the same energy he did many years ago. Morgan Rose remains to set the bar for drum performances during their shows and though he was masked by a veil of dense haze for much of the Chameleon Club show you could see him cracking a smile during much of the set when the light hit him just right behind his massive kit. Collectively across the string instruments Lowery, Hornsby and Connolly took Witherspoon’s energy and tripled it (maybe even quintupled it) as they all interacted with the crowd during the set as often as they could.

As Sevendust gears up for one of the biggest album releases of their career they are able to remain the same they have always been as they ended their main set with “Thank You” – a true ode to the fans that have become family over the years. This sold out Chameleon Club show was an earlier stop on the tour and there is no doubt that Sevendust will return to Pennsylvania again during this tour to be greeted by many of the same fans who were at this show. Some things never change, they only get better – luckily Sevendust is one of those.

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