A lot of people are surprised when they learn that Sevendust is one of my favorite live bands. I think I have been watching them play longer than just about anyone, and I am always impressed when I are at one of their shows. They are touring behind their fantastic new album, Black Out The Sun, and on Friday April 20, they brought their show to The Stone Pony in Asbury Park.
As much as I love Asbury Park, I do not generally like shooting at The Stone Pony. The photo pit is insanely small, you are literally climbing over the other photographers, and the lights can be a challenge, at best. But on this night, the lights were beautiful, and having the stage so close to the crowd worked well for Sevendust. They made the most of it, constantly reaching out, grabbing hands, and making everyone in the room feel special.
They mentioned early on that they had not played The Stone Pony in 14 years, and I am pretty positive I was at that show. They are working on a 20 year career, but they still play with the same fire I have seen over the last 14 or so years. Their current line up is the original one: Lajon Witherspoon on vocals, Morgan Rose on drums and backing vocals, NJ's own John Connolly on rhythm guitar, Vinny Hornsby on bass, and Clint Lowery on guitar and vocals. There were a couple years when Lowery wasn't playing with Sevendust, but he has been back in the band for a while and I always loved the balance between him and Witherspoon. Clint really has a fantastic voice in his own right, and it sounds amazing when melded with Lajon's.
Sevendust is one of those bands who never quite blew up like they probably should've. They came up and toured with some bands who went out to sell millions of albums, while Sevendust quietly carved out a 20 year career. Their last album came out hitting #1 on Billboard's Hard Rock Album charts, and I was thrilled for them. As many bands as I see play, it is hard to see one that puts on a better live performance than the guys in 7D. Any time they are in the area I will be there to support them, and if they come through your town you should check them out. I think you would be pleasantly surprised.