Sevendust and Tremonti touched down in Sayreville, NJ, at the Starland Ballroom on September 9th. Their Twenty Twenty One Tour will take the bands on a 17 show trek across parts of North America before both bands head back out on tour again with Daughty in November/December for additional North America dates.
Tremonti did not let his fans down and delivered on his reputation of being a guitar hero for our generation. Throughout his set of 11 songs, Mark systematically performed all his signature techniques seamlessly, from gallop picking to lightning-fast legato runs to sweep picking and to all things shredding in-between.
Mark and Eric Friedman provided the guitar bombardment for the evening while trading off on the song’s solos. At the same time, bassist Tanner Keegan and drummer Ryan Bennett laid down the unflinching backbeat allowing them to soar. The band blazed through the perfect combination of songs and opened with “A World Away” from their upcoming album “Marching in Time.” There was no looking back on their fast-paced 60-minute set, while they performed a few gems and fan favorites from all five of Tremonti‘s records including, “Cauterize,” “Flying Monkeys,” “Decay,” “Dying Machine,” and then closed the show with “Wish You Well” off “All I Was.” All the songs were played with a level of perfection that left fans in awe of the band’s musical abilities, and Mark‘s voice drove the songs home with an edgy bite.
As soon as the first chord to “Dying to Live” was struck, Sevendust‘s ravenous worshipers rocked back and forth, pumping their fists in homage as all Hell broke loose. They then executed the perfect one-two punch with “Home” as their second song to keep the crowd revved up!
Lajon Witherspoon [vocals], Clint Lowery [guitar], John Connolly [guitar], Vince Hornsby [bass], and Morgan Rose [drums]played all 14 songs with a sense of ferocity like a locomotive speeding down the track. Perhaps it was the excitement of being out on a school night or celebrating their freedom from lockdown, but either way, fans were eager to dust the cobwebs off and get lost in the moment of a powerfully sonic live concert! Lajon visibly teared up after a few songs due to the audience’s energy, enthusiasm, and love. At that moment, he thanked and praised his New Jersey fans for the countless years of support.
Their setlist covered eight of their pivotal albums with the majority of songs from the “Home” album, with “Reconnect,” “Waffle,” and “Denial.” Songs like “Black” from their debut album, which was written almost 25 years ago and played with the unbridled passion and energy of when it was originally written.
Lajon has a smooth yet powerful voice as he sang for 70 minutes, tirelessly. He strutted the stage with an air of confidence and sang with passion, particularly on their heartfelt version of “Angel’s Song.” He is an entertaining front-man who exudes charisma and a rock star attitude. Guitarists Clint and John provided the sonic beatdown for the evening and played off each other nicely. Keeping up with the duo’s guitars playing is drummer Morgan and bassist Vince. Morgan‘s drum kit took a monstrous beating as he picked up more power with each passing song. With his bass slung down low, Vince ran the stage at a dizzying pace, pointing out to fans and smiling.
What has always impressed me about Sevendust is their ability to develop songs that offer a wide variety of styles as only true innovators can master that art, then tie the collection together with a ribbon, so they all sound like a cohesive unit whether written 25 years ago or from the most recent album.
I had the opportunity to ask Clint about that unique songwriting ability. He told me, “A long time ago when we started this band, we had a niche that set us up apart from everyone else. Three records in we started to see pattern and formula that always gets the results we wanted. We know our strengths and weaknesses. We also let our fans help us with our direction based on what we hear them talking about. We hear what they like and don’t like about the band and use that data. We enjoy hearing what our fans think about the band as we are fans of the bands.” Tonight Sevendust assembled the perfect combination of songs in the set-list that mirrored their strengthens and the ones fans love. To witness all these elements come together on-stage setting was pure nirvana.
Sevendust and Tremonti are musical masters as they can take pure emotion and angst to turn it into a defiant irreverent celebration. Tonight, Starland Ballroom was the epicenter of the carnage as both bands took the audience over the edge with their music and playing.
A World Away / Cauterize / Another Heart / If Not for You / So You’re Afraid / Marching in Time / Catching Fire / Flying Monkeys / Decay / A Dying Machine / Wish You Well
Dying to Live / Home / Pieces / Insecure / Reconnect / Black / Driven / Angel’s Son / Splinter / Waffle / Suffocate / Blood From a Stone / Denial / Praise
Face to Face