with Nonpoint, Audiovent and Mad at Gravity
(Royal Oak Theatre, Royal Oak, MI – July 16, 2002)
Last Tuesday will definitely be a night of music to remember as the 'Locobazooka Tour' rolled into downtown for an incredible show at the Royal Oak Music Theatre. With the heavy hitting headlining act, Sevendust, one would think that would be enough. But, let me tell you my expectations were met above and beyond as every band playing that evening completely tore off the roof with their own unique style and sound. Kicking off the show was Mad at Gravity, who was also celebrating the release of their new album, Resonance the very same day. Usually, the first act is not given any credit, but let it be known that they got everyone going with such songs as 'Time and Time Again' and 'Walk Away,' which is featured in the new movie Reign of Fire. Although, they are not as metal as the other bands that followed, which progressively got more metal as the night went on, they got the crowd moving and I believe will gain a huge and diverse following in time.
When Audiovent took their turn next, I was very excited to see their live performance, because one I had not seen them play and second, I got the opportunity to interview the California quartet earlier that night. I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting such a charged and eclectic performance. Donning retro t-shirts and pants, they had an appearance of the awesome East Lansing bands of the mid-ninties. However, their sound and strong vocals had the power of any of the heavy hitting rock bands of today. Lead singer, Jason Boyd has craziest body language resemblance to Jim Morrison that I have ever seen, swaying with the mic close to his face and swinging his head to the music. Their rock influences could not be hidden and, let me just say that it all works together very well for them. The crowd was into the songs from their debut album, Dirty Sexy Knights in Paris, especially 'Energy,' which they performed three days later on the Craig Kilbourn show. And, Jason knew just how to work everyone as he jumped into the audience and sang from there. According to fan Don Lopez, “Boyd is a combination of Robert Plant and the lead singer from Incubus." Well, that isn’t too big of a surprise considering Jason and Brandon are brothers !
As I said before, the music got heavier with each passing minute, but it took a giant leap when the next band, Nonpoint took the stage. I am not sure if any words can completely describe how completely intense, hypnotic and flat out kick ass rockin this band’s performance was. First off, drummer Rob Rivera shook up the norm as his drum set was placed sideways center stage. You don’t normally see this, but you don’t normally see a drummer that can capture an audience with his melodic crazy beat like he can either. With songs like 'Back Up' off of their Development CD and 'Your Signs' which can be heard on your very own radio, lead singer Elias Soriano’s dreadlocks were swinging to the music and his own rumble and roll voice. All I can say is that this band completely tore up the Royal Oak Music Theatre and gracefully set the stage for the next and final act, Sevendust.
When the Atlanta based band Sevendust came on, I had to wonder how they were going to fill the big shoes that the bands before them had made. It was not a problem. With a huge picture of a tree on stage and the words 'Animosity,' which highlighted the title of their new CD of the same name, these guys started up and did not let go. The crowd was elated and the mosh pit grew larger, as they sang songs like 'Denial,' 'Live Again' or even the slightly slower, 'Angel’s Son.' Lead singer Lajon Witherspoon’s efficacious and unwieldy grumbling voice could not have been in better form as the crowd yearned for more at show’s end.
People just hung around by the stage doors and the tour busses to get glimpse at these guys. Not bad for a school night and I can’t say that I blame them because Sevendust was the perfect topper for a perfect night of rock out musical exhibitionism.
Interviewed By G.M. Pasfield
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