Last weekend I saw Sevendust with a few other bands in New Jersey at Asbury Park’s The Stone Pony. Don’t let the time lapse fool you, that shit was awesome. I’m just now recovering!
I actually saw Sevendust earlier in the week at Manhattan’s Best Buy Theater as well, but The Stone Pony was a much more intimate experience, and for me a better one. The Stone Pony usually houses a few hundred people, as opposed to Best Buy’s couple thousand. This means the photo pit was that much closer, the sound was that much more omnipresent and the guys were that much more involved with the crowd. All around win.
Being in the photo pit for a band as amazing as Sevendust is a gem in itself, but lead vocalist, LJ Witherspoon, makes the experience even better with his propensity for paying special attention to the journalists and photographers who work so hard to keep the Sevendust name in lights. I lost count of the number of times Witherspoon waved and greeted me mid-song and even managed to snap a photo of him singing directly to me. What?!
Witherspoon isn’t the only member of Sevendust dedicated to giving the fans a good time. Guitarist, Clint Lowery, is known for sending numerous amounts of used picks into the audience and encourages his rocker fan-base to get up and active more than once during each show. His stage cohort, bassist, Vinny Hornsby, may even be the happiest, most hyper bassist I’ve ever seen on stage. He’s hard to keep up with as he moves from one side of the stage to the other and carries on full conversations with crowd members via lipreading in addition to tossing out the occasional pick or drumstick. Maybe that’s not cool to you. But you’re dumb.
Of course, one of the most important members of any band is the drummer, and Morgan Rose is no exception by far. Well-known as one of the best drummers in the metal scene, Rose practically becomes his massive drum set on stage. Massive meaning at the The Stone Pony, his kit took up 2/3 of the small stage. No one minded. Especially this girl, who managed to catch one of his drumsticks from the side of the stage. I mean…does it get better?
Oh wait! It does! Not only are these guys awesome, dynamic musicians onstage, they’re also legit cool dudes when they’re changed into their casual relaxation suits. Thanks to the wonderful Kate Hensler and her colleagues at Architekt, where Sevendust’s Black Out the Sun was produced, my adventure didn’t stop when the guys left the stage post-encore. After the VIP meet and greet, Sevendust was more than happy to accommodate us in their greenroom next door until we were forcefully removed by Stone Pony staff trying to close the place down. Even then, Rose objected.
Due to lack of time, I wasn’t able to make face to face contact with all the dudes in Sevendust, but I did have the pleasure of meeting one Vinny Hornsby and one Morgan Rose. Obviously I would have loved to meet the other guys, but Hornsby’s kisses and hugs paired with Rose’s appreciation of my claim to be the Sevendust drummer were a damn good cherry on my delicious Sevendust sundae (by that time it was actually SunDAY too).
Extremely talented onstage and super laid back offstage, it doesn’t get much better than these five veteran rockers who have kept metal fans moving through nine albums. Hell, I’m not that old, but I was in high school when I first got the Dust in my ear. Thankfully it’s still there, and the Sevendust guys are still making trips to my city. I can’t really ask for more.