Columbus, OH, Newport Music Hall, April 16, 2007

 

Written and photos by: Jason Perlman

 

As what seems par for the course, Sevendust came to Columbus with a back catalogue of great hard rock tunes and played each one to near perfection during their headlining show at the Newport Music Hall.

 

In December of 2004, Sevendust began to experience the druthers of so many other bands, when guitarist Clint Lowery left the band to pursue other projects. But the slot was soon filled by Sonny Mayo, formerly of bands such as Snot and (hed) PE, and with the addition of Mayo seemed a new-found energy and attitude of hardcore that seemed to seep from the band over the seven years of the same line-up.

 

But Alpha, the newest release from Sevendust, proved the perfect outlet for vocalist/songwriter Lajon Weatherspoon to release his negative energy through song after song about love, death and life. So when Sevendust took the stage, the common thought would be that Weatherspoon and the rest of the band would lead with Deathstar, but Sevendust came out blazing to a back catalogue of music that set the fans off like a bottle rocket on July 4.

 

Drummer Morgan Rose is one of the premier skin bashers on the business, but not just for playing, but also his showmanship and excitement he brings to the stage while behind is alien kit.

For nearly 90 minutes, Sevendust brought the atmosphere and exhilaration that fans expect and blew through a set that was beautifully mixed of old, new and unexpected. Whether it was a strong run-through of Driven or a blast from the past as the band slowed down the pace with Praise, Sevendust showed the chip on the shoulder the band always seems to have when playing is still ever-present in the live performance.

In 2005, Sevendust released Next after forming its own label, and that record and subsequent tour proved to be a blessing in disguise and the band seemed to locate the anger and animosity that made Sevendust so accepted with their diehard fan base. Alpha was a definite off-shoot of Next and again Weatherspoon was able to lend his vocal talents to making a record that gave as much emotion lyrically as it did musically. But the true test was the live show and on stage, Sevendust brought its two-dimensional songs to the three-dimensional live show with bravado, sincerity and a love that even newer bands can learn from.

 

Although Sevendust wrapped up this leg of the tour, there is little doubt the road dogs will take too much time away from their first love of playing live. And it is that love of playing and respect for each fan in attendance that keeps Sevendust's live show fresh and clean show after show after show.

Sonny Mayo
Morgan Rose
Sonny Mayo
Lajon Weatherspoon
John Connolly
Lajon Weatherspoon