After a two year wait Sevendust dropped a bomb on the fans with their 13th studio with Blood & Stone. I say they dropped a bomb due to how much of an explosive album this is. It is just packed with great song writing from the first note to the final track and truly is some of their best work and lets not forget about their incredible cover of Soundgarden’s iconic “The Day I Tried to Live”. With a year that has all but put touring music to a complete halt, Sevendust have made up for lost time by gifting the fans not only a brand new album but delivering their first stage show of 2020 on the very same day. What more could you ask for as a fan? Since the beginning, Sevendust has always been incredibly loyal to the fans and always makes them feel appreciated and involved at their shows and Live In Your Living Room would be no different.
As the event kicks off we get a vintage interview of singer Lajon Witherspoon probably 2001 or 2002 around the Animosity album. During the interview he talks about essentially growing up with all the fans and them being part of the bands lives and you don’t really think of it, but he’s absolutely right. I can remember a friend giving me a recorded cassette tape of the first Sevendust album when I was a freshman in high school and just being blown away. But that was beginning of my fan relationship with the band 23 years ago and it really puts his comments into perspective. Following the interview we go on a visual tour with a timeline of the band from album to album on top of live footage and before long, the count down to showtime begins.
Much like the energized intro to Blood & Stone the show blasts off with “Dying to Live” and you can literally feel the adrenaline coming right through the screen. One thing that always stands out with a Sevendust show is the blanket of vocal harmonies coming from 4 out of 5 members of the band that make the verses and chorus through out each song sound so full and powerful. As the song ends in a cloud of red light you can hear a voice behind the banner of the next song say “What I played at the end of that was unacceptable” followed up laughs including my own. My money is between Clint or John. During “Denial” Lajon being the consummate showman that he is, works the viewing audience at home, doing his best to make the fans feel like they at the show themselves.
Sevendust kept the momentum going by playing back to back heavy hitters with “Splinter” and the bands hit “Waffle” off of their sophomore record Home. Something that has always impressed my about this band is that the music is always elevated to another level when they hit a stage. Even when it comes to playing some music that is 20 plus years old, it’s always played with pure energy and honestly sounds even better and tighter than during the songs original periods. One song that I had really been looking forward to seeing played live was “Blood From a Stone“. The sample leading into the song added a dark tone converting into that galloping intro riff. The track is just a powerhouse of crushing riffs and harmonies that really showcases John Connolly’s chops on the mic as his vocals soar across the room. With this marking the first time the track has ever been played live I’d have to say it exceeded all expectations.
Through the blackness we can begin to hear an ominous rumbling and soon, a very familiar sound begins to emerge. That sound intensifies with every pass as the stage lights start to dance across the floor. With a couple flicks of a guitar string, Morgan Rose counts off into one of the most recognized Sevendust songs of them all with “Black“. This is the song that started it all for me as a fan and all the elements that drew me in are only intensified through seeing it live. The punishing drumming, crushing riffs and Lajon’s powerful vocals are what move this locomotive of a song as well as every member on stage. From brutality to moving, the band switch gears with their emotional tribute to former Snot singer James Lynn Strait with “Angel’s Son”. In much contrast to the bands last song, this gave Lajon Witherspoon the opportunity to to put his vocal talents on full display as his emotion and passion carry his words to all that watch and listen.
Following the stampede of “Thank You” and “Shine” Sevendust move on to performing their first single off of Blood & Stone with the iconic Soundgarden track “The Day I Tried to Live“. This would mark the songs first live appearance as well and what a performance it was. The band has done an incredible job with staying true to the original while also making it their own. Next Clint Lowery tees off the opening riff for “Praise” as the silhouette of Lajon’s dreads are whipping through the air. Off of 2001’s Animosity which is now being displayed on the LED screen behind the drums, this heavy entry in the setlist had you yelling the chorus back at the band and banging your head all the way through the devastating closing breakdown.
Morgan Rose plays a little drum fill that gives away this next song as yet another classic “can’t wait to hear” Sevendust track “Bitch“. John Connelly plays the opening leading up to a slight build up before Morgan leads the band into insanity as the lights on stage begin to strobe around them while cranking out that heavy bridge section. Even after 23 years since this song and the bands first album was released, it still has the same effect on the fans in large part to the same ferocity and drive as they played it back then.
Closing out this epic live stream would be “Face to Face” off the bands 2003 record Seasons. Intense would be a huge understatement to describe the energy of Sevendust while playing their final song of the afternoon. Between the aggressively fueled vocals and what seemed like a menagerie of breakdowns with its explosive climax after the “Fucked me for the last time!” line, the only way to properly finish off the song and set would be with some smoke and lite pyro which Sevendust delivered.
True to form, Sevendust exceeded all expectations we could of had for this show and delivered an amazing performance. Paired with the release of Blood & Stone this would be a great day for fans around the world to be able to hear that record and see the band play live for the first time this year. This new album in my opinion is another successful step in the bands history and is a testament to how they continue to evolve and put out original sounding music. Hopefully this show is just a taste of things to come from the band for 2021 and with any luck maybe get to attend a show in person. Speaking of thing to come, drummer Morgan Rose is set to release his debut solo album Controlled Chaos sometime this month with more info coming soon! For you copies of Blood & Stone and all merch go to the bands website and the album is available on all major streaming platforms.