Orlando, Florida (December 29, 2019) – As the year was winding down, so was the touring cycle for Sevendust’s most recent album All I See Is War. Instead of just calling it a year and heading home to their loved ones, The guys decided to give their fans a special treat; they made one last little three date tour with stops in Athens Georgia, Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale Florida. But this wasn’t just your usual tour, it was going to be a special acoustic only run. In honor of the holiday season they called it the Acoustic Xmas. Even the openers Stitched Up Heart and Deepfall were putting away the electric instruments.
Under a sea of blue lights shining on the House Of Blues Orlando stage, Stitched Up Heart ambled onto the stage to the cheers of the crowd. Taking to their individual stools with guitars in hand except for drummer James Decker who sat behind a keyboard. As they were getting ready to jump into their first song Decker laughingly quipped that the airlines lost his drums that’s why he was playing keyboards. They kicked off the nights festivities with “This Skin” off their latest album Darkness. Instead of trying to bring tons of energy to the performance, they pulled way back on the throttle. What the crowd got was an intimate hauntingly beautiful version that gave the everyone a taste of another side of this band. Throughout the rest of their set, they kept things this way. With half of the songs they played coming off of their latest album, you almost felt like a fly on the wall watching a band do a final well-polished run through on songs they had just written. At one point Mixi, the lead singer, said that Katy Perry was there and with that they launched into a cover of Katy’s song “Teenage Dream” that was performed so well you would have thought it was their own song and not Katy’s.
The next band to take the stage is relatively new to the scene. DEEPFALL, hailing from Michigan was formed in 2015. In such a short time they have opened for Hinder, Tantric, Saving Abel and have released a studio album. While they were also playing acoustic, they brought lots of passion to their time on stage. Lead singer Rich Hopkins rarely sat on his stool and was frequently leaning into his mic singing with gusto. Even though they relatively new band, you wouldn’t know it as they are a well-polished group. After they were done playing, you could hear people in the audience saying they would love to see them play an electric set.
With little fanfare, and tons of cheering from the sold out crowd, the guys in Sevendust took to the stage. Dressed like they were going to a party instead of the rock stars that they are you just knew this was definitely going to be a fun and unique show. When a heavy band does an acoustic show, you ‘d think that without the electric guitars and amps the heaviness would go away. From the opening notes of the first song “Trust” they brought every inch of heaviness they are famous for and they sounded great. Lajon Witherspoon who has arguably one of the greatest voices in rock music sounded phenomenal. Frequently he would get up from his stool and encourage everyone to sing with him. When they finished up the crowd started chanting “Sevendust”, then “Morgan” for their drummer Morgan Rose. As most of the crowd knew he had been hospitalized and the band had to cancel their European tour because of it, everyone was thrilled that he was back behind his kit and were showing him their love. Lajon then told the story of how everything went down much to the appreciation of the crowd and the band shared in their love for their drummer. He then asked the audience if they wanted to hear “Denial”, then they launched into a killer stripped down version of the hit song. In between songs Lajon talked about how years ago they thought how cool it would be if years later they would have families and kids to bring to their shows and here they are now doing it. Then an audience member yelled out “Face To Face”. Lajon said I don’t know how that would sound acoustic, then all of a sudden, the band went off setlist and launched into an impromptu version that floored everyone. That would be theme of the night. The guys would laugh and talk with the audience and tell stories from throughout their career. Of course, there was the music too. As much fun and relaxed as the band was, when it came time to play, they delivered time and time again. Whether they were playing “Crucified”, “Rumble Fish”, or “Prayer” they clearly were at their absolute best. With guitarist Clint Lowery soon to release a solo album, it’s no surprise that he can sing. So, it was now his turn to take the mic and he performed beautiful heartfelt version of the Nine Inch Nails song “Hurt”. If there was ever a Sevendust song that was made for an acoustic show it’s “Angels Son”. Lajon also related how the song came about and that not a lyric was written right up until they went into the studio and the words came to him as they were recoding the song. What a beautiful version that they performed of it and it was one of the highlights of show. After a quick break, Lajon told a story about an incident that happened a couple years back at a local festival they were playing at. A fire broke out by the bands RV and a friends truck was covered in soot and was now black, and with that they finished the night playing their hit song “Black”.
With three sold out acoustic only shows to end this tour cycle for their latest album All I See Is War, Sevendust gave their fans an incredible event that they will be talking about for years to come. It’s no wonder that people were flying in from around the country to see these very rare concerts. With this tour officially in the books, Sevendust teased everyone on their next album, so now their fans have something to look forward to in the coming year.
Stitched Up Heart:
House Of Blues Orlando: