When it comes to continued quality of music and how that resonates with their San Antonio fans, you'd be hard-pressed to find a pair of more consistent bands than Sevendust and 10 Years. So putting them together on a tour made South Texans doubly appreciative on Friday the 13th when they rocked the outdoor stage at Backstage Live.
Joined by support acts Kyng and American Fangs, Atlanta natives Sevendust are touring in support of Black Out The Sun. They played only two songs from it, including the acoustic Got A Feeling with guitarist Clint Lowery handling lead vocals (watch here). As is their norm, Sevendust's tone was set by vocalist Lajon Witherspoon, who combined humor, audience interaction and storytelling with his fierce, passionate singing on older tunes such as Praise, Waffle and Strong Arm Broken with more recent ones Till Death and Splinter -- the latter segueing into Face To Face to end the show (click on video icon at left to watch). Witherspoon even found time, in the middle of performing Denial, to point to the SAMME and say, "I like that shirt, man," about yours truly's Riot Thundersteel top.
The downside of an outdoor show in downtown San Antonio, even on this Friday night, is that curfew limited Sevendust's set to 11:35 p.m. Indoor shows at the venue have been known to last till 1 a.m. or later. Therefore, Sevendust was not able to fit in more tunes. With the addition of Black Out The Sun offerings, older standouts understandably didn't even make the set. Take your pick as to which of your favorites may have been omitted, voluntarily or otherwise: Suffocate? Beg To Differ? What about the ever-popular Enemy?
But as is their custom, Sevendust made the most of their performance. Drummer Morgan Rose not only pounded the skins with controlled abandon but provided his customary vocal depth that not many bands have the luxury of doing with their backstop. Guitarists Lowery and John Connolly balanced the stage with electrical presence. And just try knocking the smile, and cowboy hat, off bassist Vince Hornsby every time he plays here.
The time constraints also had a hand in Sevendust and 10 Years each skipping a song from their original setlists. For the former, it was new tune Decay. For the latter, it was hit song Beautiful.
Nevertheless, 10 Years got things rolling with the title track to 2012's Minus The Machine (setlist in slideshow at top). Vocalist Jesse Hasek, who told the SAMME in 2009 that San Antonians show his band enough love to "rival our hometown" of Knoxville, Tenn., wasted little time making himself at home by leaving the stage and singing with the fans. Donning black wolverine facepaint while adorned in a red blazer, Hasek thanked "the guys up front" (photographers and security) for helping untangle his mic cable every time he got up close and personal. He ended things with a bang by bodysurfing through the crowd on set closer Shoot It Out.
10 Years, which played a pair of free shows at Backstage Live in 2011, has altered its lineup since its Fiesta Oyster Bake appearance supporting Buckcherry last year. Drummer/guitarist/drummer/guitarist Brian Vodinh once again finds himself behind the kit, while Lewis Cosby is out on bass, replaced by the headbanging dreadlocked Ryan Collier. Chad Huff now accompanies Ryan "Tater" Johnson on guitar. Watch them all in action on Wasteland here.
In terms of rock shows, it may not have been the pyrotechnically bombastic extravaganza put on three days earlier by Iron Maiden in Austin. In fact, there are never any displays of pyro at a Backstage Live gig. But if anything, that ensures you'll get nothing but good, clean, solid heavy metal and Rock N' Roll.
So when Witherspoon asked on several occasions, "San Antonio, do you know who we are," the truth is, he had little to worry about. When it comes to delivering the metal, they don't come much more consistently reliable than Sevendust and 10 Years.
For more of the SAMME's Sevendust and 10 Years coverage, including interviews with Rose and Hasek, click on the "Suggested" links in blue below.
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