When Sevendust released its self-titled debut in 1997, music fans had two words -- "Living Colour." It's an unfortunate and uneducated comparison based solely on the fact that the lead singer, Lajon Witherspoon, is African-American. But Sevendust and Witherspoon can rock with the best of them. Sevendust's members are considered "musicians' musicians" because of their deft ability to explore their instruments and Witherspoon's near-operatic vocals.
Although musicians recognize Sevendust's talent, the public has yet to fully embrace them. The Atlanta band's latest release, Seasons, was produced by another underrated artist, Butch Walker, who headed up Marvelous 3 before heading out on a solo career. Walker is an old friend of Sevendust; he produced the band's first batch of demos.
Mesa Amphitheatre, 201 North Center in Mesa
Scheduled to perform with Staind on Tuesday, November 4. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $26. Call 480-644-2560 for more information.
Sevendust is currently on tour with Staind, and Lo-Pro (which includes former members of Snot, Ultraspank and Godsmack). "It's like a big old family reunion," says Witherspoon of the tour. Sevendust, after all, took a fledgling Staind on the road with them as the latter's breakthrough album Dysfunction was making them a front-line band.
Speaking of reunions, when Witherspoon is in the Valley, he tries to head over to the Big Fish Sports Pub in Tempe, famously friendly to nü-metal bands. "I love that place. I get the best sushi when I'm in Phoenix," Witherspoon says. That's something that perplexes him. "It's like, where's the closest body of water? The Mississippi? Is there a lake or something back there?"