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Photos/Review: Sevendust celebrate Twenty years of ‘Animosity’ at the Paramount in Huntington, NY – 5/06/2022

Posted by on May 16, 2022

Photo Credit: Andrew Fiero

 

After the pandemic forced Sevendust to hold off celebrating 20 years of Animosity, the Atlanta, Georgia natives decided to celebrate one year later with fans. Now of legal drinking age, the 2001 album was Sevendust’s third entry and helped solidify the group as a rock mainstay. Singles including “Praise” and “Angel’s Son” received a good amount of airtime. Some tracks, however, had never gotten a chance to shine on stage. Even lead singer Lajon Witherspoon admitted, “Oh my God. There are some songs on [that album] that we’ve never played, I think. It’s gonna be fun to get back and do it, and also to play some of those songs we’ve never had the time to play…”. The album is widely considered one of the band’s best efforts, coming out in a year dominated by many in the nu-metal genre.

So, the album was worth a live show. Fan demand was there; SD were ready to tour; the stage was set: both figuratively and soon literally. Shortly after announcing the first leg, which focused on the west coast, a second leg of the tour was posted featuring east coast dates, with the band receiving a well-earned break between the two runs. With tickets and VIP tickets selling at an alarming rate, the shows promised to be an excellent time for everyone involved. All that was left was to fill some supporting spots on the card. The west coast run featured the talents of Tetrarch and Dead Poet Society, while the east coast upped the ante with three acts instead of two as Deepfall, Plush, and All Good Things were each ready to spoil Sevendust fans during their east coast push. 

A little over a week into the second leg, the tour found itself in familiar territory at Long Island’s Paramount Theater in Huntington. The venue had seen Sevendust play to a packed-out theater more than once before. Soon after the doors opened, the first of the three supporting acts, Deepfall, was ready to take the stage. Hailing from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Terry Dewit (vocals), Tim Ossenfort (guitar), Taylor Brandt (bass), Jim Sully (drums), and Tim King (keyboard) admit they might all have different musical influences. Still, their separate enjoyments come together to create a distinct sound that is all their own. While fans started filing into the ballroom, Deepfall was there to award them for arriving early with a great set highlighted but a track that everyone knew in a cover of Lenny Kravitz’s “Are You Going to Go My Way?.” Their own material, from the opening song “Fly Me to the Moon” through the closing track “Revolution,” showed fans exactly why Sevendust has them kicking off shows.

 

Deepfall

Photo Credit: Andrew Fiero

If you really wanted to put Animosity’s 21 years into perspective, look no further than the night’s second act, Plush. Three of the four women who make up Plush were not even born when the album was first released in November of 2001. Lead singer/guitarist Moria Formica is the only exception. The former contestant of NBC’s “The Voice” turned all four-judge chairs, becoming the youngest competitor to ever do so at the age of 16. She’s joined by guitarist Bella Perron, bassist Ashley Suppa and Brooke Colucci on drums. Together, the four have quickly made a name for themselves, touring earlier in the year with the legendary Slash before joining Sevendust on their current run. 

The band’s self-titled album was the focal point for Plush as they made the Long Island stage theirs with the opening track “Athena.” The band took fans on a ride with original songs, including “Sober” and “Better off Alone.” Much like Deepfall before them, Plush threw in a cover of a well-known track to get the fans’ attention. Their rendition of Heart’s “Barracuda” is an absolute highlight of their live set. 

While their retro-inspired look might evoke thoughts of the past, Plush is clearly built to be the future of rock. Plush continues to make their mark on the music industry and are set to continue their dominance on Sevendust’s tour, with a festival appearance at Welcome to Rockville with Kiss, Five Finger Death Punch, and Papa Roach headlining the night. 

 

Plush

Photo Credit: Andrew Fiero

 

As the night reached its halfway point, All Good Things was primed and ready. Dan Murphy (vocals), Andrew Bojanic (guitar), Liz Hooper (bass), Miles Franco (guitar), and Tim Spier (drums) originally weren’t planning on being a band. By their own admission, their music was more so being made with video games, film, and television in mind. It wasn’t until the group saw the amount of attention the tracks were getting on social media before they realized what they had on their hands. Serving as direct support for Sevendust, All Good Things were ready to prove they were exactly what their name suggests.

Coming out in August of last year, their first album, A Hope In Hell, was tapped for a live showing in front of the New York crowd. From “Kingdom” to “The Comeback,” it’s easy to see the original intent of All Good Things. Each track is tailor-made to feel larger-than-life. Sadly, All Good Thing’s night would end early during the closing track, “For The Glory.” As the band became aware of an emergency situation taking place on the ballroom floor, they quickly stopped playing to ensure the safety of a downed fan. Once it became apparent that medical assistance was needed, the band announced they were done for the night with concern clearly on their faces. While it surely wasn’t the way anyone wanted their set to go, the announcement was met with full understanding from the fans in attendance.

If the Long Island show proved anything, All Good Things care about their fans above all else. Should there be an equation out there for perfect stadium rock, All Good Things may have found the solution and are making the best of every last bit of their knowledge. Their songs are made to build and sound epic. They wouldn’t, and haven’t, sounded out of place at major sporting events with the Los Angeles Kings utilizing “For the Glory” during a recent playoff run. What started without much planning or expectations has blossomed into a band that is capturing the hearts and minds of fans worldwide. Upon the tour’s completion, the band has planned several festival dates, including Upheaval, Rock Fest, and Louder than Life. 

 

All Good Things

Photo Credit: Andrew Fiero

Three supporting acts had come and gone. Now it was time for Sevendust. While familiarity can sometimes breed contempt, that’s never been the case for Sevendust. Aside from one hiatus over a decade ago, the lineup has remained unchanged since 1994. Joining vocalist Lajon Witherspoon is Clint Lowery (guitar), John Connoly (guitar), Vince Hornsby (bass), and Morgan Rose (drums). With almost thirty years and thirteen albums to their name, there is no quit in Sevendust. Their dedication to their fans over the years has only added to the band’s longevity, and now those fans had the Paramount’s ballroom floor filled at capacity. 

As the lights went down, fans grew loud with anticipation. For the first three tracks, the band stuck to the album’s original track order with “TOAB,” “Praise,” and “Trust,” kicking things off for the excited crowd. Between tracks, Witherspoon took time to tell fans what the album meant to the band. Even more admirably, he took the time to thank several fans who had become familiar faces over the years. While each track from the original cut of the album was on display, the rest of the songs were played mostly out of order which led to a less predictable nature.

While some of the songs are mainstays of any Sevendust show, others like “Redefine” and “Follow” were being heard live for the first time in many years, giving even the most dedicated of fans something new to enjoy at a live show from a band they loved. By the time the main set had ended, each of the thirteen tracks off Animosity was played entirely. Not a single track sounded out of place or second-rate and showed just how good of an album it still is all these years later. Closing out the set, the band played an amazing rendition of “Crucified,” spicing it up with interludes of Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” and Pantera’s “Walk.” Though Their main set was rightfully all focused on the album that gave the tour its namesake, the encore allowed the band a taste of some of their other favorites with the newer “Blood From a Stone” and the more classic “Face to Face” keeping fans in the venue before a final goodbye

Sevendust continues to make their mark along the east coast leg with dates set to finish off in Daytona Beach, Florida, as part of the massive Welcome to Rockville on a day headlined by Korn, Breaking Benjamin, and Megadeth. It’s hard to argue Animosity’s importance to Sevendust’s long tenure as a rock group. Twenty-one years later, the album still resonates with fans. Coming out at a time when it could have so easily been overlooked, given the amount of must-have metal albums that were being churned out at the time, it speaks volumes about how great the album was. The album may have been called Animosity, but the tour in its honor and really any tour by Sevendust is better summed up in one word, gratitude.     

 

Sevendust

 

Photo Credit: Andrew Fiero

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