Words by Terresa Allen.
Photos by Hannan Paul – Shot By Hannan.
The Australian leg of Sevendust’s 2019 Australian + New Zealand Tour kicked off last night in Brisbane at The Tivoli; the first of many dates that see the Iconic US Rock Outfit touring the country in celebration of their 2018 release ‘All I See Is War’.
Presented by MJR Presents and The Faction, GC Live’s Terresa Allen was there to watch magic happen and capture all the action.
With a mish mash of genres infusing their sound – think something along the lines of electro pop interjected with metal, rock and rap combined with lyrics both sharp, raw and disturbing and you’ll come close to an understanding of Redhook, the Sydney based support band fronting the stage for Sevendust last night at The Tivoli.
High on energy and enthusiasm, this vibrant young band delivered a solid set, which whilst may not have seared them into the hearts of diehard Sevendust fans, it did place them squarely on the map as live performers and included their much talked about current trio of singles Turn Up the Sterotype, Minute on Fire and Paralysed.
With her flaming red locks and attitude to match, there’s no doubt we’ll be hearing more from front woman Emily Mack and Redhook in the future, but last night there was no doubt the bands youthful exuberance was overshadowed by the spectre of rock icons Sevendust soon to be taking the stage.
Opening night of Sevendust’s 2019 Australian + New Zealand Tour at The Tivoli, Brisbane and the retro inspired art deco establishment was abuzz, the energy building. Moments before showtime, with the lower floor packed and crowds lining the top tier you’d be forgiven for thinking you were actually at the Colosseum, a real theatre of war, with the crowd keyed up in eager anticipation of the coming onslaught.
As the house lights went down, beside me, mid floor a chant started up – “The Dust, The Dust, The Dust” building and growing in momentum. Next minute sound exploded from stage and those lads were gone, charging through the crowd to the front of the venue. Sevendust had arrived, and they heralded their arrival on Australian soil in a blaze of raw heavy metal power straight up out of the dark, opening the gig doused in red light with the track Dirty, from the 2018 ‘All I see is War’ Album.
Sevendust are no stranger to Australian crowds and a solid Sevendust fan base populated the place, the mosh a heaving mass of bodies, 10 plus deep, front of stage from the start, crowd surfing inevitably beginning early in the piece. Up and over the security barrier they went with regular frequency, all the while receiving exactly what they came for – a deluge of unbridled energy and power, something the band is renowned for in their live performances. Dreads, sweat, spit, sticks and picks were all flying, the stage seemed barely able to contain the Atlanta 5 – piece at times as they took their task with gusto.
Driving from the rear, was the high octane, metal fuelled beast Morgan Rose on drums. His speed, agility and stamina are amazing to watch, he’s an ultimate powerhouse seated behind the skins and the sleight of hand he displays, deftly replacing the number of damaged and discarded sticks he goes through defies both logic and the naked eye, in his hands those sticks and the sound they produce are seriously nothing short of mesmerising heavy metal magic.
Front man Lajon Witherspoon’s (LJ) vocals were faultless, deep and dark they delivered the desired effect song after song, perfectly matched to provide the combination of aggression, angst and vulnerability that makes up Sevendust’s unique sound. He was flanked by his guitar guard, Clint Lowery (lead) and John Connolly (rhythm), whilst the irrepressible roving bass man Vince Hornsby could not be pinned to one spot, his presence was evident all over the stage – heaving drumsticks into the audience, bouncing and bounding about bass in hand, geeing- up both the crowd and band alike, he appeared in his element and the crowd appreciating his showmanship lapped it up.
With an incredible back catalogue spanning 12 full length studio albums, it was always going to be hard to come up with a set list to do these Grammy nominated artists justice, but deliver they did, driving through classics like Pieces, Praise and Bitch at the beginning of the set, coming up midway with Waffle and then with a poignant note to the memorial significance of Anzac Day, LJ and the band launched into an intense, full blown version of Enemy.
Next, bringing with it a change of pace, was Angel’s Son, the band’s tribute to Lynn Strait of Snot, whose life was tragically cut short alongside that of his beloved boxer Dobbs, in a car crash on Highway 101, California in 1998. Heartfelt and moving it paved the way for Shine, a song in dedication to LJ’s brother Reginald, who was also lost to the world far before his time, shot to death on a Nashville street in 2002. LJ, advising the crowd that it was on nights like this that he could feel his brother’s energy and hoped he was looking on, proud of what they, Sevendust were doing.
Cranking up the back end of the playlist, the guys set to with a roof raising rendition of Thank You, LJ’s vocals matched all the way by a crowd as eager to demand that someone “fall back” as much as the song’s lyrics. And fans didn’t leave it there either, raucously calling the band back for an encore, of which they were duly rewarded, when after a short break the guys were back on stage belting out the crowd pleaser Black and rounding out a killer show with fierce and fiery rendition of Face to Face from their 2003 ‘Seasons’ Album.
Intense, driven, hard hitting and as gracious as they are real, these metal rock legends gave themselves and all they had last night to an audience that gave it right back. So new and old fans alike, if you are after a night of blistering alternative nu metal rock, get yourselves along to one of the upcoming shows on Sevendust’s Australian Tour, these guys are tried and tested icons of their genre and will undoubtedly deliver you up exactly what you came for, they will not disappoint.
Get your tickets for the remaining shows HERE.
Link to full gallery HERE.