On Friday evening, the hard rockers of Sevendust packed the house at Ziggy's in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for the second time this year. The band kicked off a headlining tour with Lacuna Coil at the same venue back in February, completely selling out the show days before. The enthusiastic and engaged crowd then must have been enough to entice the band to return and fill up the venue once again, this time sharing the stage with bands: 10 Years, Digital Collapse and American Fangs.
The doors opened up at 6:00pm, with a crowd slowly trickling in. Up and coming rock band American Fangs promptly hit the stage at 6:30pm. The alternative rock band formed in 2008 in Houston, Texas, by a group of guys that were united through the local music scene. Gabriel Cavazos (vocals), Micah Miller (drums), Kyle Shimek (bass), Kenyon Puntenney (guitar) and Chris Goodwin (guitar) pull their influences from the likes of Foo Fighters, Deftones and Stone Temple Pilots. American Fangs is signed to In De Goot Recordings record label and released their debut, self-titled album in May, this year. The second day of this year's Carolina Rebellion music festival included American Fangs on the line up. Though the crowd was still filling in, there were many people actively headbanging and even a couple singing along during American Fangs short, six song set.
Following American Fangs came a new and novel band, Digital Collapse. The Pennsylvania natives emerged only in January of this year, and consists of members Corey Kipps (vocals), Ian Zuckerman (guitar), Tyler Metz (guitar) and Tom Godin II (drums). Digital Collapse is currently unsigned, but judging by their youth, energized stage performance and ability to engage the crowd, it won't take them long to garner attention and a loyal fan-base.
By the time 10 Years began their set, the venue had significantly filled. The crowd cheered as vocalist Jesse Hasek raced on stage, flaunting a half black, half white face-paint mask. 10 Years is an alternative metal band has been around since 1999 and comprises of other members Brian Vodinh (drums), Ryan "Tater" Johnson (guitar), Chad Huff (guitar) and Ryan Collier (bass). They are arguably most well known for their first single "Wasteland", which reached the No. 1 active rock song in December, 2005. "Wasteland" is a track on 10 Years' third studio album The Autumn Effect. The song stayed on rock charts in excess of a year and has been RIAA certified gold. Since then, the band has released three more studio albums that have all reached top ten spots on US Alternative charts. With the exception of the songs "Wasteland" and "Beautiful", 10 Years' setlist was full of singles from their 2010 album Feeding the Wolves and 2012 album Minus the Machine. During their final song, Hasek took to the crowd barricades, reaching out to shake hands and even passing a setlist sheet along to an adoring fan.
There was a brief lull after 10 Years left the stage, but it wasn't long before anticipatory audience began chanting for Sevendust. AC/DC's well known classic "Shoot to Thrill" blared through the speakers of the venue, and Sevendust members Morgan Rose (drums), Vince Hornsby (bass), John Connolly (guitar), and Clint Lowery (guitar) gradually filled their places on stage. As "Shoot to Thrill" ended, vocalist Lajon Witherspoon dashed on stage with mic in hand and promptly appeased the masses, performing the first single "Decay", off their newest album Black Out the Sun. Continuing with a slew of some of heavier singles, including "Praise" and "Waffle", hyped up fans began moshing amid the center of the crowd. After "Waffle", guitarist Lowery took over the roll of lead vocals for a slower song "Got a Feeling". Sustaining the more subdued theme, Witherspoon and Lowery delivered a passionate vocal/guitar duet for the opening of "Angel's Son". Guitarist Connolly stood back and quickly snapped a photo of the crowd before he and the remaining members joined the song, kicking the show's intensity back up a notch. Two more songs were played before the members exited the stage in a low-key manner. Counting on an encore, hopeful fans chanted "Se-ven-dust" in enunciated syllables. After a few moments, the members returned to quell the masses, closing out the show with a vehement performance of singles "Splinter" and "Face to Face". Many fans left with tokens from the show - guitar picks, setlists and drumsticks - as Sevendust tossed them into the audience as they departed the stage.
Throughout Sevendust's nearly 20 year long career, the energetic heavy metal, Atlanta, Georgia, based band has garnered much success and respect. Formed in 1994, Sevendust released their first, self-titled, album in 1997. Though the album barely sold over 300 copies in the first week, it gained much support after extensive touring and eventually earned an RIAA gold certification. Sevendust's discography includes an impressive total of nine studio albums and thirty-one singles. The band never fails to deliver an unforgettable performance, one worth seeing every time they come through town.
Sevendust will be setting out on the From Death To Destiny Tour with bands Asking Alexandria, All That Remains, Emmure and For Today later this month. For those who haven't had the opportunity to experience Sevendust live, the From Death To Destiny Tour will make a stop at Amos' Southend in Charlotte on November 1, this year. Be sure to buy your tickets while they last!