On February 5th 2019 Jannus Live in St. Petersburg Florida played host to one of the hottest tours that this year will probably see. Under a perfect starry night, Sevendust, Tremonti, Cane Hill, Lullwater, and Kirra rolled into town and took over the venue. It’s not often that five bands of this quality are on the same bill, so this really makes it a must see show. Not only was there a show to see, but Sevendust offered more than the typical meet and greet package. They offer a drum clinic with Morgan Rose, and a guitar clinic with Clint Lowery and John Connolly, so one can make a full day with this show!
One of the fun things about going to concerts is discovering new kick ass bands. That is a perfect description for Kirra the first band to hit the stage. The band was formed in Oklahoma City in 2013 and is made up of Daxton Page the guitarist, Gabriel Parson the singer, bassist Ryne McNeill, and drummer Zach Stafford. Gabriel Parsons has a great voice and Daxton Page’s guitar work was dynamite. His style of going from a heavy rhythm part to screaming leads really worked well with the whole style of all the bands on this tour; as did the whole style of this band. It was a shame that they only had a short thirty minute set. For sure this is a band that is worth keeping an eye on.
The next band to hit the stage was Georgia’s very own Lullwater. This band is another up and coming act. With two full length albums out and a third ready to drop any day now, they are really starting to get noticed. Lullwater got their start in 2007 in Athens Georgia. Consisting of John Strickland the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist, lead guitarist Daniel Binnie, Roy Beatty the bass player, and drummer Joe Wilson these guys have a really cool sound that is a mix of southern rock and grunge. With a short but vicious set, this band left their mark on the audience. John Strickland’s powerful voice filled the venue and the rest of the bands energy and musicianship quickly won over the crowd. After their set, during the change over the crowd was really buzzing about the performance they just caught. You could hear people commenting about how good they were and wanting to see more.
Just when the crowd was beginning to catch their breath, it was time for Cane Hill to show the crowd their stuff. This foursome from New Orleans is made up of singer Elijah Witt, James Barnett on guitars, Ryan Henriquez the bassist, and drummer Devin Clark. To say their set was high energy would be an understatement. Kicking off their set with “Lord Of Flies” off of their 2018 release Too Far Gone, these guys really brought it big time to the stage Elijah Witt was a man possessed on stage. He was Constantly moving and getting the crowd fired up. With near constant strobe lights going off, Ryan Henriquez was a blast to watch with his hair flying all over the place. Guitarist James Barnett sounded amazing. With wah drenched solos and plenty of aggression complimenting the songs you couldn’t help but bang your head and cheer for them. The set continued on with “10 Cents”, “Ugly Idol Mannequin”, “It Follows”, “Erased”, “Swamp”, and “Too Far Gone”. This high energy band put on a killer show that could have easily been worthy of headline status.
Now it was time for the big boys to come out and play as Mark Tremonti’s band Tremonti took the stage. For the few that don’t know him by name, he is the guitarist from Creed and AlterBridge. Those that do know his stunning guitar work also know above and beyond that he is a rare triple threat. Not only is he a beast on the guitar, but he handles the singing and his song writing skills are beyond reproach. He is currently touring in support of his 2018 release A Dying Machine. When Mark and his band made their way to the stage the packed crowd was cheering for him. He kicked off the set with “Cauterize” from the 2015 release of the same title. From the first note on, he was amazing. Of course, his guitar work was incendiary, but his voice was flawless. The next song up was “You waste Your Time” from his debut solo album All I Was. This was another in a series of flawless performances. Dipping into his 2016 release Dust he continued the set with “The Things I’ve Seen”. Finally, it was time to play a track from his latest album A Dying Machine, “The First The Last”. As great a talent as Mark Tremonti is, he has definitely surrounded himself with great musicians. Playing guitar along side Mark is Eric Friedman, Tanner Keegan handles bass duties, Ryan Bennet is the drummer. Throughout the show it was a blast watching Mark and Eric trade licks. Tanner and Ryan provided an absolute rock solid rhythm section for sure. The rest of the set consisted of “Flying Monkeys”, his latest single “Throw Them to the Lions”, “A Dying Machine”, and finally “Wish You Well”. What a great set he played. Every song he played was flawless. The only complaint anyone could have is he didn’t play enough!
Finally, it was time for Sevendust to come out. When the lights dropped, the capacity crowd was eagerly chanting “Sevendust!!”. When the lights came up and the band started with the first notes to their hit song “Black” from their self-titled album Sevendust, the place exploded! With the whole stage to themselves there was plenty of room for Morgan Rose’s huge drum kit as well as risers in the middle of the stage for singer Lajon Witherspoon and one on each side for guitarists Clint Lowery, John Connolly, and bassist Vince Hornsby to use. Of course, they had a badass backdrop that looked like the cover of their latest release All I See Is War, which they are touring in support of. If you have never been to a Sevendust show, be prepared. It is one of the most intense high energy experiences you will ever have at a concert, and tonight was no exception. Their blistering set was filled with songs from their entire catalog. When they played “Pieces” as the the second song, that is when the bodies started to fly, and the crowd surfers started to make their way to the stage. The show continued with “Reconnect”, an amazing version of “Praise” that stunned everyone, “Dead Set”, “Trust”, “Enemy”, a beautiful version of “Angel’s Son” that had the entire crowd singing to the delight of Lajon. Speaking of Lajon, the power of his vocals is obvious on records. But live, he takes it too a completely different level, he is the definition of a powerhouse. During this point of the show, the band brought out Landon Charles, a twelve year old guitar prodigy who also attended the guitar clinic that Clint Lowery and John Connolly hold, to the stage and let him show the crowd just how good he really is. Lajon commented that he is the future of rock, and boy is he right. This was a great gesture by the band, and I’m sure Landon will cherish this rare opportunity that the band was gracious to offer him. After this the band continued on with “Shine”, “Thank You”, “Dirty”. After a brief break, They finished the night out with “Splinter” and “Face to Face”.
What an absolutely breathtaking night of music. All five bands brought their best to the crowd at Jannus Live. From exciting new bands Kirra, Lullwater and Cane Hill, to established veterans Tremonti and Sevendust, there is enough new music to classic song that everyone can sing to that will thrill even the most jaded concert goer. If this tour comes anywhere remotely near you, get your butt to it as tours this good don’t come around often.