SEVENDUST, REDHOOK// The Tivoli, Brisbane // 25th April, 2019
At times you wonder how bands who emerged in the alternative lovin' 90s endure and retain relevance in today's mad world of digital worship and cookie-cutter artists. But based on the heaving agility on display from American alt-rockers Sevendust at The Tivoli in Brisbane on Thursday night, time has only spurred the hard rocking quintet to greater heights, while sustaining their powerfully loyal following along the way.
For an Anzac Day adventure, there's a slow but steady trickle of black shirts and tattoos as the charming interiors of The Tivoli reveal themselves and unveil Sydney's poppin' and rockin' chameleons RedHook to warm the stage. Unleashing their brand of acerbic sonic candy, the group yank the crowd on a lively jaunt across rap, rock, nu-metal and everything in between, charismatically led by the blazing Emmy Mack who quite literally takes flight at times, both vocally and physically. Forging into a huge couple of months, including an upcoming appearance at the hallowed Download UK festival, this certainly won't be the last time we hear the fiery lashings of RedHook, and it's a dynamic entree for the evening ahead.
REDHOOK//pic by The Faction
As both the crowds and prevalence of freshly bought Sevendust shirts swell in numbers, there's a moment's pause and suddenly the thunderous twangs of 'Dirty' roars to life, with the Sevendust gents erupting onstage against a backdrop boasting their 2018 album cover, 'All I See Is War'. If there was any doubt as to why this bunch have garnered such significant career longevity, a Grammy nom and tours all over the world - look no further than a Sevendust live show. As expected for a band with so much live experience under the belts, it's a taut and polished set that balances brutality with technical panache.
Covering a solid serving of old and new-school Sevendust (including a heap of newbies from 'All I See Is War' as well as a very welcome showing of early 2000s jam 'Waffle'), the ravenously powerful vocals of frontman Lajon Witherspoon fuels the crowd, while the frantically beautiful stylings of drummer Morgan Rose damn near steals the show as he blasts his way into a parallel universe, hemorrhaging drumsticks as bassist (and resident hype-man) Vince Hornsby continually hurls sticks into the crowd while covering every last inch of the stage.
Crowd favourites 'Denial' and 'Praise' jolt an extra sense of nostalgia to the evening, and despite the occasional water bottle thrown perilously close to Witherspoon, it's a sense of mutual love as the Sevendust gents whip the crowd into a dignified (walking) circle pit, plenty of crowd karaoke and beats that splinter into the balcony and beyond. And while guitarists (and serious fitspo inspos) John Connolly and Clint Lowery nearly tear the roof off with their relentless riffage, it's frontman Witherspoon that glues the ferocity with his deep, chesty vocals booming into your bones and effortless hair flicks that would give Ariel from The Little Mermaid a significant run for her money.
The night closes out not totally unexpectedly with an encore of two slightly more vintage tracks: debut single 'Black' and early 2000s bop 'Face to Face', dishing up some tasty nu-metal treats and reminding those (who weren't already convinced) that Sevendust are a musical and professional class-act who can shred your face off with a touch of blasting class. 'All I See Is War' may be the name of the game tonight, but all I see is some hard rock wizadry in the hands of one of the most enduring heavy acts of our generation.
SEVENDUST + REDHOOK ARE STILL HITTING THE ROAD, WITH MELBOURNE KICKING OFF TONIGHT, AND ADELAIDE AND PERTH STILL TO COME. FOR TICKETS, HEAD TO: www.mjrpresents.com
FOR MORE SEVENDUST INFO, HEAD TO: sevendust.com
FOR MORE REDHOOK INFO, HEAD TO: www.facebook.com/weareredhook
BY TIANA SPETER