This Thursday started like any other, I got up at 6am, binged on caffeine and headed into the city. There was something different about this particular Thursday however and it can be summed up in 3 little words;
SEVENDUST ARE BACK!
The Atlanta five-piece finally bring their no-frills, energetic live show back to the UK for the first time in 7 years. With them are All That Remains who share the headlining duties on this tour with Finnish violent pop band Blind Channel were given the task of opening.
After Giffgaff’s national outages left me without 4G and, by extension, google maps, I took the wrong turning and went up the wrong road on the way to the venue. Fortunately I managed to work my way back to get there in time for opening act, Blind Channel (6.5), who wasted no time in getting in your face with a heavy opening riff, lighting which was (almost) literally blinding and moves which looked like watching a bunch of wild animals trying to become a choreographed boy band (complete with white tops of course).
They blast quickly through a string of songs such as ‘Over My Dead Body’ and ‘Bullet (with your name on it)’ in a dynamic performance. After being accustomed to poor opening acts, these made me sit up and take notice as one of the best opening acts I’ve seen in a while. However, it seems I was in the minority of this opinion as Blind Channel’s attempt to interact with the small number that made it in time, fell mostly on deaf ears. With solid tracks with an energetic live show, they have enormous potential but it didn’t work out for them tonight.
All That Remains
After quite a short changeover where there was just enough time to grab a drink and have a nose at the merch tables, we let out an almighty cheer as signature track ‘Two Weeks’ roared into life. This cheer was nothing compared to the cheer we gave halfway through when Phil Labonte talked about Oli Herbert, (founding guitarist) who tragically passed away less than 2 months ago. This led to loud chants of ‘Oli’ and ended in a round of applause as Labonte described how they decided to carry on without him because he was proud of the new album.
They showcased the new album, ‘Victims of A New Disease’ with tracks such as ‘Wasteland’ and ‘Fuck Love’ which made you feel like you were kicked in the balls. The kicking eased into a gentler serenade with ‘What if I was Nothing’ which I’ve been assured if you sing it to your partner you have a 70% higher chance of getting laid.
All That Remains (6/10) were tight but I found myself getting restless and slightly bored, checking my watch frequently. There was no ‘performance’ and It felt more like I was listening at home on a CD than at an actual gig. I’m sure hardcore fans will have most likely of loved it, but my fellow casual fans wouldn’t have been won over.
After another relatively short changeover, Sevendust came out to a hero’s welcome. Seven years of anticipation let loose as the whole place went wild from the first note.
Lajon Witherspoon soon gained control and built up even more anticipation as he directed us to walk around in a circle in what must be the world’s slowest circle pit. That was until ‘Pieces’ kicked in and suddenly the room turned into a whirlwind of bodies which made the walls shake.
Sevendust (9/10) plough through hits like ‘Denial’,’Praise’ and ‘Bitch’ where I felt like I was in the ring with Anthony Joshua, having to weave and dodge to ensure I didn’t get smacked in the face by the hair of the many long-haired headbangers around me. The highlight of the evening came when they made a sincere and touching tribute to Oli, dedicating ‘Angels Son’ to him, the whole place sang along loudly in his memory.
Sevendust dominated the stage, mainly due to Witherspoon’s commanding stage presence and strong vocals. They brought bags of energy but we’re still clearly energised by the crowd as they became more energetic the longer the show went on. It’s been seven years since they last graced the stages of the UK but it’s been a triumphant return. A great back catalogue of songs combined with as much passion as they always had, makes Sevendust a great night out.
Don’t forget to check out our interview with Sevendust’s own Clint Lowery here