Sevendust At The House of Blues Chicago

I love Sevendust.

Allow me to say again…


Now, I know I could be talking about elections, or runoffs, but at this moment I’d much rather talk about good music and nostalgia, and that’s exactly what I got in spades on Tuesday night when I went to see Sevendust at the House of Blues headlining a bill including TremontiCane HillLullwater and Kirra.

Unfortunately I missed Kirra.  I arrived midway through Lullwater’s set, and I really didn’t get a good read on their music, so I won’t offer any opinions.  From there, Cane Hill offered an excellent set.

The issue I have with the HOB is that it’s acoustically a little weird.  It has it’s sweet spots, and then it’s dead spots.  I had a hard time hearing the vocals of Cane Hill, but what I did hear, I did like.  I will take time this weekend to actually listen to their recorded music.  I did get an opportunity to speak with the vocalist briefly at their merch table, and I offered my appreciation.  My only overriding thoughts from their performance were that I really loved their heavier moments, but I think the audio I was experiencing also played to that.

Next up was Tremonti.  Mark Tremonti is an amazing guitarist.  I’ve never really listened to his band, but I was a fan of both Creed and Alter Bridge.  I was pleased by everything I heard. I definitely want to check out their new album; they played the title track and I really dug it.

Now…I’ve been a Sevendust fan since the late 90’s.  Back then, black (racially) metal singers weren’t the norm, and Lajon (Witherspoon) was a hero of mine.  Vocally, he is an amazing talent.

When I was still a music education major, and took lessons (saxophone), my professor would always tell me, “you should be listening to a lot of saxophonists, and finding the ones you like. Then try to emulate those qualities.”

I heard similar advice this summer, while attending a poetry summer camp with the organization Young Chicago Authors,

“You should be reading more poetry than you write.  You should be finding poets you like, and what you like about their art.”

As a vocalist (you probably didn’t know that I sang in several metal bands, did ya?) I would listen to Lajon Witherspoon, and try to emulate his voice.  That is who I wanted to sound like.  Unfortunately, I received a throat injury almost 10 years ago, and all that melted away.  Only within the last 4 years have I been able to sing at all, and the quality of my voice is nothing like it was, and certainly doesn’t have the robust resonance and caramel tone that Lajon’s has.

But I’ve been a fan for a long time.  Also, Sevendust is definitely the gold standard for live performance for hard rock/metal.  They always have been, and they haven’t lost anything over the years.  It’s a mix of enthusiasm and charisma that allows them to command the crowd, and the stage, and I’ve seen them a number of times. I would venture to say at least 10.

As they started their set, Lajon commented on how they hadn’t performed at the House of Blues Chicago in 15 years.  The comment took me back, because I was at that show to0.

The only reason I know that is because I never missed a show when Sevendust came to HOB. I even went and saw their acoustic show there, complete with Candles and stools.  They’re an amazing band.  Back then, Lajon would wear custom made t-shirts by a Chicago artist. He would start the show with one shirt, and change halfway through the set to a 2nd shirt.

Sometimes I would go with friends, sometimes I would go alone, but I wouldn’t miss.  Sevendust was too good to miss.  I even remember seeing them out in Frankfort, IL (can’t remember the name of the venue) with Nonpoint.  Both bands separately would sell the venue out.  Together, it was a mad house, and the venue oversold, and people were everywhere!

Ahh….the good old days.

And the show this Tuesday was sold out too.  And it was amazing.  After a long day at work, I didn’t have the energy to get into the pit, but I banged my head with the best of them.  Sevendust is still amazing to me…they’re still an event.  Seeing them again brought back tons of memories, and I’d like to say I felt young again, but nah…I felt like an older dude, listening to amazing music.

One of the highlights was Lajon dedicating their song “Enemy” to R. Kelly.  He also shared a brief story of the time he tried to get his wife to do a golden shower, in the shower, and she told him “No!” As Lajon says, this isn’t a concert, or a show, it’s a family reunion.  You share the embarrassing stories with family.

If you’ve never listened to Sevendust, I encourage you to check them out.  They’re one of the few bands where their hardest heaviest song, and silkiest ballad, can have equal power and emotion.  Few bands have that talent.

The Setlist:

  1. Dirty
  2. Denial
  3. Pieces
  4. Feel So
  5. Reconnect
  6. Dead Set
  7. Skeleton Song
  8. Splinter
  9. Waffle
  10. Enemy
  11. Shine
  12. Decay
  13. Thank You
  14. Bitch
  15. Face to Face

So, what was the last live performance that truly uplifted your heart?  Who are your faves to see live?  Any bands/performers that you simply refuse to miss?  Live performance standouts? 

I’d love to hear your thoughts, opinions, and remembrances down in the comments.  I swear there is a comment section down there.  


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This post was created on an HP Pavilion x360.
I hate this computer. 


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