A Different State of Sevendust

By on November 27, 2014



Sevendust (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Sevendust showed their “softer” side when they came to St. Petersburg for their fall acoustic tour to promote their latest album, Time Travelers & Bonfires. Although the overall tones of the songs were changed, the passion was still evident. Combined with the crowd interaction throughout the set, the performance had an intimate feel inside St. Petersburg’s historic State Theatre.

If you’re not familiar with Sevendust or their distinctive sound, take a listen to their previous albums such as their self titled debut or their recent release, Black Out the Sun, to get a feel for what they regularly sound like.


Lajon & John (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Sevendust has been touring throughout the country non-stop, with tonight’s performance being their seventh show in a row. Showing no worse for wear, they put on a memorable performance due to the original band being back and because they were “stripped down.”

Opening with a surprise choice in “Trust” of their third release Animosity, Sevendust took the stage like they were home again for the evening and performed a soulful and passionate rendition of one of my personal favorites.

Morgan Rose (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Morgan Rose (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

There were special moments throughout the set. Two of them was during the tracks “Denial” and “Come Down.” Tonight’s performance of “Denial” was a haunting rendition of a fan favorite, and “Come Down,” gave rise to a sense of inspiration throughout the crowd. These songs set the mood for a night that would put this band’s talent in a deep contrast compared to the other two or three “plugged-in” sets that I previously experienced from them. The energy was still present, but just as in the physics world, energy never really goes away, but rather exists in a different form.

During the breaks between the 13 song set, singer Lajon Witherspoon set some time aside to have genuine, mini conversations with the fans in the crowd.  Showing his appreciation for their support, it was evident that this tour was an emotional one for Lajon as he teared up a few times during the performance. This interaction also relayed how appreciative and humble these guys are even after the success that they have earned.


Later in the set when “Angel’s Son was played, the crowd erupted with applause, cheers and their own tears that showed just how relatable and powerful their music, truly is. Angel’s Son was written in memory of the late James Lynn Strait from the band Snot and has been a staple in their setlist. It felt like I was standing amongst friends in a musical cathedral where everyone felt a unity with one another as perfect strangers. I believe that some of this was due to the ambiance of the venue. While I have seen various bands, rap groups, and performances at the State Theatre, I have never had access to the upper level.  For the very first time, I was able to listen to a performance in what I believe to be a more acoustically sound upstairs area. It was here that John Connolly and Clint Lowery’s guitar playing really stood out. They are great players and songwriters and are very underrated. The vocal harmonies that these two provide along with “The Octopus,” drummer Morgan Rose, are in the same class as the original Van Halen. No exaggeration, just listen and you will understand why I believe this so strongly. Different tones, same effect.

Clint Lowery02

Clint Lowery (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Speaking of Morgan Rose, he is one of the best in the business. He is highly respected in the community not only as a drummer, but his back up vocals are unique and extreme and they are an integral part of the Sevendust sound. Rose and bassist Vince Hornsby are the backbone of Sevendust and its also a pleasure to watch Hornsby interact and smile with the crowd.

Vince Hornsby01

Vince Hornsby (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

They played a variety of tracks spanning their twenty year career with “Crucified” and “Skeleton Song,” standing out.  While the lyrics to their songs are always meaningful, the emphasis on emotion seemed to shine through a bit more in these two when performed in this style.

As the band was closing out the night, I wondered what hit that they would finish the set with.  Would it be “Face to Face,”  “So Close To Hate” or “Black?” It would be “Black,” which was their debut single and arguably their most successful and recognizable song of their career. As the fans gave them the applause they deserved and we departed from the venue, I wondered why the band would take at least a 15 minute break during the set and when they would be back again to provide us with another brilliant performance.


Sevendust (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Tonight’s setlist: Trust, Crucified, Under It All, Skeleton Song, The Wait, Denial, Disgrace, Gone, Karma, Come Down, Got a Feeling, Angel’s Son & Black

For more information and tour dates, check out http://www.sevendust.com/

Morgan Rose02

Morgan Rose (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)


Lajon Witherspoon (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Vince Hornsby02

Vince Hornsby (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Clint Lowery01

Clint Lowery (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)


Lajon Witherspoon (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Special thanks to Aaron Field of 489 Entertainment Group LLC for help with this article.

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