Sevendust @ Starland Ballroom

SAYREVILLE, NJ—Originally, I was going to take a pass on this show since the only band that I really wanted to see was Sevendust. At the very last minute, my girlfriend mentioned that she really wanted to see them again, so here we were on, a Tuesday night, at a packed house in Sayreville, NJ.

Now, we missed the first two acts, Anew Revolution and Since October, who were part of the Hard Drive Live Tour package. Anew Revolution and Since October are a couple of pretty popular bands on Sirius/XM’s Octane Channel, and from what I heard were full of energy on stage. To be brutally honest, I feel that these bands sound alike anyway. So, if we caught the main support, 10 Years, which we did, we pretty much heard and saw Anew Revolution and Since October. Don’t get me wrong; the performance that 10 Years put on was excellent and energetic. Singer Jesse Hasek really scored some points with me. That boy can sing! Then again, every song sounded the same.

After a quick changeover, the lights went down again, and it was time for Sevendust, who were on tour to support their latest CD, Cold Day Memory. They opened with the lead song off of the CD, “Splinter,” which kicked everyone in the ass. Sevendust hit that stage like a pack of wild animals full of energy backed by the hard-hitting Morgan Rose on drums.

Singer Lajon Witherspoon sounded amazing, as he led the charge; really working the crowd up. Newly shorn guitarist Clint Lowery and his cohort John Connolly shredded through Sevendust classics like “Denial,” “Enemy,” “Waffle,” “Suffocate,” and “X-Mas Day,” while adding in another new track off of Cold Day Memory, “Forever.” Slowing things down to mellow out the riled up crowd for a few minutes, guitarist Clint Lowery and singer Lajon Witherspoon broke out the acoustic guitar to perform their tribute to the late Snot lead singer James Lynn Strait with a song called “Angel’s Son.” After the sentiments, bassist Vince Hornsby, the man of many faces, led the way with my favorite Sevendust tune “Black” into another Sevendust classic in “Driven.” Once again, to honor the new CD, Sevendust tore into the first single off of Cold Day Memory, “Unraveling.” The boys would end their highly energetic set with a couple more classics in “Pieces” and “Praise,” but their night wasn’t over as they would come back out with an encore of another one of my favorite Sevendust songs, “Face To Face,” which feels like a sonic punch in the face.

This was the probably the best that I’ve seen and heard Sevendust yet! With all of its original members back in place, this band was back to running on all cylinders, and this night was a perfect example of that. They drew quite an audience, as well! I had the chance to hang with Trixter/Lita Ford bassist PJ Farley, Tommy Lee/Methods of Mayhem guitarist J3, God Forbid guitarist Doc Coyle, and I heard that there were even a few Yankees there. I’m not sure which ones, but Lajon did call them out while he was onstage. Either way, what an amazing night! It seemed Sevendust had something to prove, and I felt that they accomplished it!