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Sevendust / Coal Chamber 2013 Tour Flyer

In the realm of music appreciation, I am certainly not the world’s most ardent concert attendee. I have issues with crowds, and my general misanthropic outlook tends to make me intolerant of most concert goers— not the least of which being the random drunken reprobates that seem to populate the shows I aim for.
With that said, when one is offered the opportunity to see one of your favorite bands (which you’ve never seen live previously) and concurrently partake in another group’s first U.S. tour date in over a decade you don’t balk at the chance. Thus, when I heard that Sevendust would be hitting The Marquee Theater in Phoenix two days after the release of their latest record (concert date March 28, 2013)— and that it would be the first date of their co-headlining tour with Coal Chamber—  it took very little prompting to get me to cover it.
The evening began with a set by Candlelight Red. While I’d never heard the group previously, they certainly fit the bill. They share many stylistic and musical aspects with Sevendust, and their energy was an excellent opener to the evening’s festivities.
Highlights of their set were their performances of, “Closer,” and the set closer, “Demons.”

Candlelight Red set list:

1. In Your Hands
2. Cutter
3. Like a Disease
4. Medicated
5. Closer
6. Reflecting
7. Demons

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Next on the lineup was Lacuna Coil, a group I’ve greatly enjoyed since the release of their third album, Comalies, in 2002. The band hit the stage in matching apparel which, coupled with the excellent interplay between dual vocalists Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro, lent a glorious operatic theatricality to their set. Their banter between songs led to enthusiastic fan reaction, up-to-and-including a scrum between two concert attendees over a drum-stick that was thrown into the crowd (which resulted in both gentlemen rolling around on the floor in a grade-school game of tug-of-war). Overall, I was exceptionally pleased with seeing the group live for the first time— and their set sent me running back to their records with renewed fervor.
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Highlights of the set included their renditions of, “Fragile,” “To The Edge,” “Kill the Light,” and, “Trip the Darkness.”

Lacuna Coil Set list:

1. I Don’t Believe in Tomorrow
2. Kill the Light
3. To the Edge
4. Upsidedown
5. Fragile
6. Survive
7. Intoxicated
8. Trip the Darkness
9. Spellbound

Next to the stage was Coal Chamber, and from the crowd reaction alone you knew this was going to border seismic activity in intensity. Vocal contingents of the crowd were chanting, “Coal Chamber… Coal Chamber…” while the crew was simply setting up the stage. When the band’s banner was raised a roar erupted from the crowd that rivaled the cheer for many bands on stage. When it was brought to light that this was the first United States tour date the group had performed together in 10 years, it is very easy to understand the enthusiasm. Given what had transpired the last time the group performed in Phoenix, the mounted tension was overwhelming.
Given the accumulated energy leading into the set, once the band took the stage the crowd was expectedly raucous. Opening their set with, “Loco,” and moving into, “Big Truck,” front man Dez Fafara whipped the crowd into a rich, foamy lather with his growls, piercing screams and creative sign language (which the audience vehemently mirrored).
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With a blinding light array, overwhelming energy and years of anticipation building toward this performance the group definitely did not disappoint. It certainly felt like a watershed set for the band. If the group were the soul headliner for the evening, they would have certainly left the crowd feeling more than satisfied. However, there was another group still waiting in the wings.
Set highlights were, “Loco,” “Fiend,” and, “Sway.”

Coal Chamber set list:

1. Loco
2. Big Truck
3. Fiend
4. Rowboat
5. Something Told Me
6. Clock
7. Drove
8. Not Living
9. Dark Days
10. Maricon Puto
11. I
12. No Home
13. Oddity
14. Sway

When Sevendust finally made their way onto a blacked-out stage, the roof was nearly sheared off of the building. The band began their set with their newest single, “Decay,” from the album Black Out the Sun (which was released two days prior to the show), and then proceeded to decimate the audience with a slew of their heaviest hits. There was a palpable sense of joy from the group, with broad smiles creeping across their faces at various moments throughout the set. Guitarist Clint Lowery was not present for the show, as he was home awaiting the birth of his second child. The band was aptly supported by friend Troy McLawhorn (Seether, Dark New Day, Evanescence) in his absence.
As I had only seen Sevendust live on DVD’s, I was definitely unprepared for how kinetic the band is in person. With each successive song the group’s vitality swelled, with no tangible sign of let-up throughout the set. Amid blasts of smoke, front man Lajon Witherspoon and company made a point to interact with their audience often, frequently connecting with individual members of the crowd by word and gesture. At one point Lajon even halted activities between songs to ensure security could effectively escort an individual who appeared to be injured through the throng. The music was perfectly performed, and the mood in the room (just like the instruments) was electric from beginning to end.
Lajon also helped to adequately put the evening into perspective, relaying the tale of first meeting Coal Chamber at OzzFest in 1998 and the subsequent years of close camaraderie between the two bands. It was a perfect arrangement to have the groups co-headline Coal Chamber’s reunion. As Lajon put it, “This isn’t just a reunion tour. This is a family reunion.”
While I would have loved to hear more tracks from their recent release, the show was absolutely enthralling and chalk-full of perennial favorites from their brimming back-catalog. It was an evening to remember— and if you have the opportunity to enjoy these groups on future dates in this tour you will be exceedingly pleased with the performances!
Set highlights were, “Denial,” “Waffle,” “Rumble Fish,” “Bitch,” and, “Black.”

Sevendust Set list:

1. Decay
2. Praise
3. Denial
4. Alpha
5. Waffle
6. Strong Arm Broken
7. Rumble Fish
8. Bitch
9. Pieces
10. Black


11. Splinter
12. Face to Face

If you’re looking to catch up with this tour, you can check out the upcoming dates through our previous post here— and if you’re keen on hearing what we thought of Sevendust’s Black Out the Sun, you can read our review here. Stay tuned, Kickers— there’s plenty more where this came from, I assure you.

Photos by Scott Ruggles- AmpKicker.com


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