Ever experience that great feeling of anticipation to see one of your long-time favorite bands for the first time, only to be a little let down when the night finally arrives, and they don’t play the one song you’ve been waiting years to see in person? A pretty specific feeling, I know. Nevertheless, this is precisely how I felt after walking away from last year’s Rock on the River in downtown Fort Wayne. Sevendust had been tasked with closing out the festival, just one day removed from releasing their twelfth full-length, All I See Is War. While the Atlanta natives rocked through their entire set, they neglected their hit “Waffle,” a personal favorite of mine that I had spent years looking forward to hearing live. Needless to say, when I saw that the veteran hard rockers were coming back to northeastern Indiana just one day removed from playing back-to-back Home anniversary shows at the famed Machine Shop in Flint, Michigan, I couldn’t help but wonder: maybe was this my chance?
Although Sevendust has been touring on this current album cycle for just over a year now, 2019 also marks the 20th anniversary of their sophomore LP Home, so it’s no surprise that the quintet has recently been pulling out all of those deep cuts. Before now, some of these tracks hadn’t been performed in quite some time, and their May 19 stop at Angola’s Eclectic Room was no exception. In fact, Indiana fans were treated to roughly an hour long set that drew entirely from the band’s first five albums, playing the most amount of cuts from—you guessed it—Home.
The band themselves sounded just as tight as I remember them sounding the first time I saw them, which was around this same time last year. Frontman Lajon Witherspoon channeled the rest of the band’s energy and intensity while providing some of his own to top it all off. He also offered up some fun commentary interspersed throughout the band’s set, and at one point even had a touching interaction with a young fan. Even in the midst of a hard rock show, there was an overwhelming sense of care and sincerity that permeated throughout the room. That’s something Sevendust has become relatively known for throughout the course of their two decades–long career, and one thing I’ve always appreciated about them, aside from their music, obviously.
As for the music itself, Witherspoon and company found a nice balance between doing a “best of” set and folding in many of those deep cuts, and yes, they played “Waffle.” Though their entire set was phenomenal, as a fan there was no better feeling than witnessing them kick into their 2003 smash “Enemy” after they had just finished “Waffle.” Honestly I could never see the Atlanta-based hard rock quintet again, and I’d probably be perfectly content. With the type of show they put on night after night though, I don’t expect that to actually happen.