Live Review: Sevendust @ Fillmore Detroit 10/17

Review by James Hester

What could be better than two metalheads going to an elegant, rustic theater to see and hear some of their favorite “old-school” musicians shake the dust off the sparkling chandeliers?  According to the wisdom of this writer’s 11-year-old son Joseph, two midget wrestlers body-slamming each other in the back of a monster truck at Ford Field beats my musical odyssey.  Okay, this was pretty darn close!

Located only a few blocks away, just down the street, from Detroit’s home for NFL football and a variety of other events stands The Fillmore.  Located in the city’s historic district, it hosts similarly high-caliber events in a more intimate environment.  This venue removes the stress of finding parking and navigating through long lines of seemingly endless traffic.  Having heard Sevendust’s music performed at various WWE events, little did my son know that my event was equally entertaining and had an already established relationship with wrestling!

Having moved from the Atlanta area to the suburbs of Detroit, just last year, this was the first time I had ever been to The Fillmore.  The band Sevendust makes Atlanta its home.  My brother-in-law Eric Atkinson, who came with me to The Fillmore, is a native of the Detroit area and has been to several shows at The Fillmore through the years.  However, this was his first time hearing Sevendust live and in person.  Eric enjoyed the band’s sound, but was especially impressed by the group’s drummer Morgan Rose.  About three songs into the band’s setlist, Eric turned to me and yelled “Dude!  I can’t believe that guy’s drumming!  That man is a beast!”  

Indeed.  I explained to Eric that Morgan has a well-established reputation as an excellent drummer who endorses some major brands including Vater.  I first met Sevendust’s lead singer Lajon Witherspoon, in Knoxville, Tennessee at my friend Gary Mitchell’s club “Blue Cats” in 2002.  He shared with me that he “loved Knoxville” and cited Otis Redding and Marvin Gaye as two of his major vocal influences.  I enjoyed meeting the other members of Sevendust, especially drummer Morgan Rose who after he finished playing walked over to me and said “Here, have a pair of beat up, old, drumsticks,” and proceeded to drop the cherished relics in my hands.  

Similarly, Sevendust were generous at this show.  They routinely stopped before and after songs by throwing out guitar picks and drumsticks to members of the audience.  The first song the band opened with at this show was “I Might Let the Devil Win,” which sort of started slow and crept into the room before the excellent low-end rhythms of thick bass, thumping drums, and crunchy guitars entered the room and almost knocked fans over.  The next tune was the album’s title track “Truth Killer,” which was accented by the large screens with videos playing while the band performed.  About midway through the band’s set, the crowd favorite “Denial” was played.  It is a popular piece that the band recorded early in its career, and the crowd joined in to help Lajon sing it while the band played.  

The next song, “Fence,” showcased the band’s creativity with the official video playing on the big screen behind the band.  The video featured incredible claymation cartoons that strongly resembled all of the band’s members.  It was very entertaining semantics!  After that song, “Enemy” and “Everything” were standout tunes before ending this show with “Face to Face.”  The group’s performance in Detroit only furthered my appreciation for this company of very talented musicians.  Sevendust is currently touring with the bands, Static X, Dope, and Lines of Loyalty in support of its 14th studio album “Truth Killer.”  If you want to be entertained, then a Sevendust concert is highly recommended.


I Might Let the Devil Win

Truth Killer


Till Death





Strong Arm Broken






Face to Face


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