Atlanta metal band Sevendust rocks SteelStacks in Bethlehem on July 9
From a press release:
This week, it was announced that Atlanta, Georgia metal band Sevendust, who debuted in the late ’90s with three consecutive gold-selling albums and hasn’t stopped recording and touring since, is getting back on the road in June after a long and difficult year for live music.
Their nationwide tour with Austin Meade and Kirra is coming to the Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks in Bethlehem on Friday, July 9 as part of the outdoor venue’s Summer Concert Series; more shows are set to be added next week.
Much like the spring series going on now, table seating and lawn squares that are good for single parties of up to four people will be available, with campus attendance limited to ensure proper safe social distancing. Following all CDC, state, and city health and safety guidelines, guests can enjoy dinner available from the ArtsQuest Center menu. Lawn spots will be spaced accordingly to follow safe social distancing, and food and beverages can be ordered via the Mack Truck Stop and bar on the lawn. No outside food or drink is allowed. Masks are required, but only when walking around; guests do not have to wear masks at their seat.
Gates at the SteelStacks (645 E. First St., Bethlehem) open at 6 p.m., and the music starts at 7 p.m.
Tickets, which range from $30-$150, are on sale now at steelstacks.org.
Under any and all circumstances, brothers depend on each other. Maintaining an unspoken, yet unbreakable bond for nearly three decades, Sevendust draw strength from one another on their 13th full-length album and second release for Rise Records, “Blood & Stone.” The Grammy-nominated quintet – Lajon Witherspoon (lead vocals), Clint Lowery (lead guitar, backing vocals), John Connolly (rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Vince Hornsby (bass, backing vocals), and Morgan Rose (drums, backing vocals) – weather anything the world throws at them as a unit.
Not only do they stand strong together, but they also come out swinging as a raw, real, and relevant force.
“At this point, we’ve gone through all of the shit you can imagine,” Rose remarked. “We’ve been beaten down to the ground, left on the verge of bankruptcy, and robbed blind by people who were supposed to be taking care of us. We’ve dealt with divorces and addiction. However, music has been our way of leaning on each other through all of it. We find a way to work through everything. This band means more to me now than it ever did, because we built something really special and still put on a show worthy of being in the game.”
“This is a bunch of guys who share a mutual respect and love,” Witherspoon added. “We grew up together. When we go in and write, it’s a cool and magical experience. It was relevant then; it’s relevant now. We always consider our fans family. Hopefully, ‘Blood & Stone’ helps them.”
Sevendust built a legacy out of records and stages left soaked in blood, sweat, and tears. Since their formation in 1994, they delivered three classic RIAA-certified gold albums – “Sevendust” (1997), “Home” (1999), and “Animosity” (2001) – and sold upwards of three million records worldwide. “Seasons” (2003), “Cold Day Memory” (2010), and “Kill the Flaw” (2015) each bowed in the Top 15 of the Billboard Top 200. The latter’s lead single, “Thank You,” received a nomination in the category of Best Metal Performance at the 2016 Grammy Awards, representing a career first.
Along the way, they sold out countless shows around the globe and lit up iconic festivals such as Sonic Temple, Woodstock, Ozzfest, and Shiprocked. 2018’s “All I See Is War” earned some of the best reviews of the group’s career as Associated Press claimed, “The band does what it wants and deserves as many ears as possible.” Energized by a particularly prolific period, Sevendust reconvened at Studio Barbarosa with Michael “Elvis” Baskette (Alter Bridge, Trivium, Slash) during late 2019. Fresh from “All I See Is War” and respective solo outings, Lowery and Connolly literally fired on all cylinders.
“John had just done a bunch of writing for Projected, and Clint had just recorded his solo album, so they were both in writing mode,” Rose recalled. “The riffs were developed. It had already started to take shape very early. With those guys being so prepared, the writing was seamless. Instead of getting tapped out, they got even better.”
Sevendust throw a curveball by introducing “Blood & Stone” to the world with a haunting, hypnotic, and hard-hitting cover of Soundgarden’s “The Day I Tried to Live.” It preserves the spirit of the original while bringing a sense of stark soul.
“I have no idea why in the fuck we tried to bite that one off,” Rose laughed. “Chris Cornell is arguably the greatest singer of many generations, and we’re all big fans. Overall, we did our homework and stayed close to the original, but Lajon killed it.”
“Clint and I actually went to see Soundgarden right when Sevendust was starting as a band,” Witherspoon noted. “It was an experience I’ll never forget. Chris Cornell had a fearless energy live. It was just incredible. They’re an inspiration to all of us and people everywhere. I came in with a humble heart and just did what I do.”
Meanwhile, the album opener and single “Dying to Live” tosses and turns between crushing distortion and harmonic squeals before Witherspoon carries one of the band’s catchiest choruses to date. Tight grooves give way to whispers on the bridge before screams take hold again.
“It’s one of those heavy-hitters,” Witherspoon grinned. “With what’s been going on in the world, it’s a song that really punches.”
“‘Dying to Live’ has everything the band embodies,” Rose added. “There are songs like ‘Denial’ we all agreed on. ‘Dying to Live’ is another one. It’s exactly what we’re about and might be the most profound tune we’ve come up with in a long time. There are hooks all over it!”
Clean guitar slips into a head-spinning bounce on “Blood From a Stone.” The track subsides on a sweeping refrain: “Sorry for the things that I have done. You took it from me like blood from a stone.”
“It’s any relationship where the other person wants to suck every drop out of you,” Rose continued. “It’s something everyone has been through.”
Elsewhere, an airy guitar lead resounds as “Criminal” runs towards a striking vocal run culminating on a question, “Who’s our hero now if I’m so criminal?” From the bludgeoning “Love” to the delicate delivery of “Kill Me,” “Blood & Stone” highlights the scope of Sevendust’s signature style. “Wish You Well” leaves off on a unified statement: “We pull together through the worst.”
“We wanted to end with something powerful,” Witherspoon affirmed. “It felt like the perfect conclusion.”
In the end, the brotherhood at the heart of Sevendust burns brightly.
“When we do anything, it’s real, and it’s from the heart,” Witherspoon left off. “We mean every word we write. … I hope it opens more doors. I never take this journey for granted. I can’t wait for what’s next.”
“We have the most loyal base of supporters I’ve ever seen,” Rose concluded. “They’ve been here for so long. We delivered a solid record. We’re a blue-collar band, and we’re going to grind it all the way out. I know our loyalty will keep us where we are.”
This post was compiled by the staff of NEPA Scene.