Sevendust Concert Reviews – 10/10 & 10/12/2011 – Yost Theater & Key Club – Santa Ana & W. Hollywood, CA
Itâ€™s been a good week so far. When you get to see the best live band in metal twice in three days, itâ€™s safe to say that things are going pretty well.
Sevendust is currently touring as part of the Uproar Festival, another one of those huge package tours that are so ubiquitous itâ€™s impossible to distinguish one from the other. Sevendust is sharing the bill with Avenged Sevenfold, Seether, Three Days Grace, Art of Dying and a host of others. They played in San Diego on Sunday and will be in Sacramento tonight. In between, Sevendust played a couple of headlining shows in the area.
Monday nightâ€™s show was at the historic Yost Theatre in Santa Ana. The Yost is the oldest theater in Orange County and it is stunning. Itâ€™s a gorgeous venue and not your typical rock n roll club. The highlight of this evening was gaining stage access from the venue. Even though the sound isnâ€™t very good when standing on stage, I thoroughly enjoyed the vantage point. After seeing Sevendust so many times, it was a special treat to be standing with the guys before they went out and be the first one to tell them they played a great show afterwards.
The setlist was great and pretty well-rounded, although nothing from Home was played. Iâ€™ve become a big fan of â€œSplinterâ€ and was very pumped to see that song as the opener. â€œAlpha,â€ â€œPieces,â€ and â€œStrong Arm Brokenâ€ were all in rotation and had the crowd and mosh pits flying. Clint Lowery had a lot of vocal time and sounded fantastic. It was another perfect performance.
Wednesday nightâ€™s show was at the Key Club in West Hollywood, a much more traditional rock club and a surprise booking, if you ask me. Itâ€™s a much smaller room than the House of Blues, where Sevendust usually plays. The reason is probably because Seether booked the House of Blues the very same night for an off-date of their own. Needless to say, it was slammed.
Unfortunately, the setlist was exactly the same. I donâ€™t quite understand that because with 8 albums worth of material, there is much to choose from. Obviously, they have their set and theyâ€™re destroying the stage with it everyday, but I would consider switching just a couple of songs if youâ€™re playing multiple dates in the same market. I doubt I was the only person in Southern California that went to more than one show!
I was still having a blast, as was two-time MLB All Star Johnny Damon, who was standing behind me in the VIP section. I thought it was going to be an exact repeat of Santa Ana, which was fine by me. But wait… Stop the presses! Because towards the end of the set, LaJon introduced Sonny Mayo to the stage!
For you Sevendust aficionados out there, Sonny Mayo played in Snot and Amen before being asked to fill the guitar spot left by Clint Lowery when he exited the band in 2004. Sonny was in Sevendust during the Next and Alpha album cycles and actually contributed in writing for the latter.
Obviously, Clint has been back for a few years and most fans, including myself, are thankful for it, but I will never forget that time period with Sonny. When Clint left the band, I was crushed. I just couldnâ€™t imagine anyone being able to fill the void because Clint is such an important part of the unit. Heâ€™s amazing.
However, when I first saw Sonny on stage with them, I realized they were not only going to be ok, but were going to continue to be the premier live act in all of heavy music. Sonny did such an outstanding job with Sevendust and Alpha is one of my favorite albums of all time. Heâ€™s also terrific on stage. Iâ€™ve seen him with Snot too and am a huge fan.
Therefore, I had mixed emotions when Clint came back. Of course I was happy because heâ€™s awesome and you canâ€™t beat the original Sevendust. However, I was also sad to lose Sonny. During a capricious time for the band, he somehow kept the expectations and subsequent results at a lofty level. I donâ€™t believe many other guitar players couldâ€™ve done that and for longtime fans like myself, it was more than just a relief that the band was still going… There was still genuine excitement for Sevendust. Hell, Alpha charted at #14 with over 42,000 scans in the first week!
Anyway, Iâ€™m sure there were some hurt feelings in the process and I never thought that I would see Sonny Mayo on stage with Sevendust again. I couldnâ€™t believe my eyes when he walked on stage with a guitar.
Sonny was greeted warmly by the band and the audience as well. They played â€œPiecesâ€ together and it went off. It was truly spectacular. Afterwards, he waved goodbye, Clint came back on stage and they finished the show.
Sevendust is one of the greatest live bands you will ever see…. Period. I know that we talk about them a lot on this show, but consider this: Our guests talk about them just as much as we do, most often unprovoked by us. John Falls of Egypt Central and Marty McCoy of Bobaflex are two recent examples of All Knowing Force guests who spoke highly of the band.
They are so well respected by their peers and it speaks volumes to not only their character and work ethic, but because of their sheer talents in the studio and on stage. There is no band like them in the world.
The Uproar Festival is nearly done and Sevendust is already writing their next opus. Theyâ€™ll tour behind it, probably for quite some time. If you donâ€™t buy that record and go see them live, than I really donâ€™t have much to say to you. Youâ€™re nuts.
Strong Arm Broken
The End Is Coming
Face To Face
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