Sevendust “Blood & Stone” Tour, with Special Guests Kirra and Austin Meade | The Ballroom at Warehouse Live | Houston, Texas | July 21, 2021 |


There was a distinct and pleasant buzz in the air at Warehouse Live last Wednesday, when Sevendust appeared with special guests Kirra, an alternative heavy metal band out of Oklahoma, and Austin Meade, a Texas-based hard rocker who’s music includes a familiar but refined ‘70s rock flavor. After waiting over a year to see their live music favorite Sevendust, the crowd at Warehouse Live was ready to receive.

Warehouse Live is a standing-room only venue with a cement floor and industrial décor. A large, elevated stage sits front and center and is easily seen from almost every angle. Groups of two to four that purchased a table were seated on an elevated platform along one side, with a bar conveniently embedded within the space. A small VIP section was set up in the back of the venue on a platform just behind the sound board, and the merch tables dotted the sides and back of the space. When occupied with say, 1000 or more of your besties, it feels quite cozy. The sound seemed to improve over the course of the evening, as fans arrived to soak up the headliner act.

Kirra opened the show to fans hungry for live music. What they got was the band’s signature style of hair-thrashing, horns up hard rock, and they loved it. It’s apparent that two and a half years of recording and performing live (both in person and online) have improved their stage presence and polished their sound from my first glimpses of the band a couple of years ago. Lead singer Gabriel Parson’s voice has a distinct, whiskey-soaked growl that has become a hallmark of the band’s vibe. Guitarist Daxton Paige and bassist Ryne McNeill round out the melodic portion of the band, with Zac Stafford on drums. Stafford gives an impressive performance, which is exactly what I remember most about the band. Their short set included recently released single “Crutch”, that has a blues-rock tilt sure to be an instant favorite, especially for fans of that genre. I’m sure we’ll see more of Kirra on the alt hard rock, and possibly the mainstream scenes. 


Austin Meade is a relative newcomer, having published his first EP in 2014, but who’s skillful songwriting and guitar work is mind blowing nonetheless. Austin, lead singer/guitarist, who’s long red hair and Fu Manchu mustache are unmistakable, rounds out the band with David Willie on guitar, Jordan Pena on bass, and Aaron Hernandez on drums. Meade is no stranger to the music scene; he played drums to help get himself through college. The inspiration of 70s and 80s rock is apparent throughout his music, and is true to its roots. However, Meade’s unique twist on this golden era of rock makes it much more palatable, especially for younger generations who might otherwise dismiss it. Austin Meade is definitely not your parent’s rock and roll, but as someone who witnessed those two decades first hand, I can say that the flavor of the melodies that classic rock fans like me know and love, is certainly evident when you watch Austin Meade perform. With an EP and three albums under their belts, this band will continue to entertain audiences for a very long time. You can download their new album, “Black Sheep” and more on your favorite music platform.


Almost two hours in, and as fans poured into the venue in preparation for Sevendust, there was a noticeable shift in the energy level; people were more cheerful and animated in anticipation of the band. Once technicians stepped on the stage to adjust instruments, a loud cheer emanated from the crowd, knowing that the band would appear in only a few moments. The house lights dimmed, and the intro music began. As the band took their places, the cheers became down right deafening. As intense blue lighting washed over the stage. Lead singer Lajon Witherspoon, with his trademark braids and dressed in a black shirt, black jeans, and black boots, appeared from the darkness. The crowd went wild, and it was obvious that the band was happy to finally see their adoring fans after the long absence of live music during 2020. Smiles washed over their faces several times during the first few songs as they soaked it all in, and the energy exchange between both them and the crowd was unmistakable.

Opening the set included “Dying to Live” from their latest “Blood & Stone” album, followed by and explosion of lights for “Pieces” from their 2005 album “Next”, and “Reconnect” from their “Home” album.  Lajon talked to the crowd several times between songs, telling them how glad he and the band were to be back on the road, to see the fans and to reconnect with them. The energy level went up exponentially as the band performed “Black”, “Driven” and “Inside”. Only two of the songs on the entire setlist of the night were from the new album “Blood & Stone”. Fans took delight, when they recognized each song, and happily sang along during the course of the evening. There was not a single person in the house who was not fully involved with the show the entire time Sevendust was on stage. All I saw from every angle were happy, sweaty (perhaps slightly inebriated) fans who didn’t just watch the show, but who became part of the show. This was encouraged by Lajon, who, at one point, had a small group of fans dancing around in a circle. At some point, it became a sort of impromptu mosh pit, but without the flying bodies. Even with that, many fans were not deterred, and kept their eyes on the show.



Lajon Witherspoon – Lead Vocals

Vince Hornsby – Bass

John Connolly – Lead Guitar

Clint Lowery – Rhythm Guitar

Morgan Rose – Drums



The band continued to bang out Splinter, Skeleton Song and Waffle. At several points during the set, Lajon stopped to talk to everyone; to express his gratitude that the fans (who he referred to as “family”) continued to support them after 27 years of making albums and performing live. He relayed the story about how the release of “Blood and Stone” occurred during the pandemic, and how some in the industry told him that 2020 was not a good time to release it, because “things are too crazy”. The band’s response was that 2020 was in fact, exactly the right time to release an album, BECAUSE things were so crazy. They were right; a few months later, they received a Billboard plaque in the mail engraved with “NUMBER ONE HARD ROCK ALBUM – 2020”.

The set continued with “Blood From a Stone”, “Home”, “Denial” and ended enthusiastically with “Praise”. As the band walked off stage, they said “thank you so much for all your support! We love you”.  After a short time of non-stop cheering, the band reappeared to play an encore of “Face to Face”, which was the last song of the evening. As band members left the stage, they tossed out picks and Morgan even gave his drumsticks to fans.

After having a few days to reflect on the message during this tour, it’s this: Sevendust is exactly the right band for this moment; the juxtaposition between their explosive onstage performance and Lajon Witherspoon’s sincere and gracious demeanor, including pleas that we “tell one another we love them and take care of each other”, is the right medicine for a world suffering from the sicknesses of isolation, anxiety, anger and fear. They are why we should support live music; it brings fans together with they artists they love, and it’s good for everyone. If you haven’t seen Sevendust in awhile or ever, do it now.



Setlist (7/21/21, Warehouse Live, Houston TX):

1.)  Dying to Live (Blood & Stone, 2020)

2.)  Pieces (Next, 2005)

3.)  Reconnect (Home, 1999)

4.)  Black (Sevendust, 1997)

5.)  Driven (Alpha, 2007)

6.)  Inside (Chapter VII: Hope and Sorrow, 2008)

7.)  Splinter (Cold Day Memory, 2010)

8.)  Skeleton Song (Seasons, 2003)

9.)  Waffle (Home, 1999)

10.)  Blood From a Stone (Blood & Stone, 2020)

11.)  Home (Home, 1999)

12.)  Denial (Home, 1999)

13.)  Praise (Animosity, 2001)

14.)  Encore: Face to Face (Seasons, 2003)




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