I was fortunate to have the chance to catch Sevendust on tour in support of their upcoming record, Black Out the Sun, as they rolled through Marathon Music Works in Nashville, TN on February 10.  Rounding out the lineup were Lacuna Coil and Avatar.  If you haven’t heard of the latter of those two, Avatar hails from Sweden and was picked up by eOne last year.  The first act of the night, these Swedes put on an entertaining show, with frontman Johannes Eckerström sporting some sort of leather mask during the first two songs, only to disappear and reemerge wearing circus-themed face-paint (see photos…).  And while all this was a bit odd, musically they were damn impressive.  Having heard their debut record ahead of time, and now having seen them live, I feel like Avatar is one of those bands that really is in their element live.

Up next, Italy’s Lacuna Coil took the stage, playing a set of their newer material peppered with several songs from their older releases.  This was my second time seeing Lacuna Coil, and just as when I first saw them a few years ago, I was floored by how good frontwoman Cristina Scabbia’s vocals are live—she’s got a hell of a range!  Their set featured several tracks from their new album, Dark Adrenaline, and several from their prior release, Shallow Life, including the singles, “Spellbound” and “I Won’t Tell You,” and while I was disappointed that they didn’t play the fan-favorite single “Swamped” off of their 2002 release, Comalies, I was surprised at how well they pulled off the new material live.

Sevendust took the stage next, playing a good mix of songs from all of their current releases and a couple of songs from their upcoming record, but before I say much more, I need to admit a bias.  In the past year and a half, it’s seemed like the band has happened to be on every tour that I wanted to see, and I had thought that I’d seen enough Sevendust (I saw them 3 or 4 times within 5 months) to last me a while.  This night, however, seemed to showcase a completely different, reenergized band.  I can honestly say that this performance was completely different from any I’ve ever seen before, and is definitely the tightest and most intense performance I’ve ever seen from them—I’m thinking it may have something to do with them having some time off while recording their new full length, which is set to be released March 26. There are a few more dates left with Lacuna Coil and Avatar on this first leg of the tour before the second leg kicks off in mid-March, featuring Coal Chamber, Lacuna Coil, and Candlelight Red.  As far as I’m concerned, it’s definitely worth catching either leg of the tour!

Check out photos of each band’s set in the gallery after the jump.

[Nathan Katsiaficas Photography]