with Nonpoint, Socialburn, Wicked Wisdom, ONE

Milwaukee, Wisconsin • February 12, 2006

Making the hour trip north from Illinois to The Rave/Eagles Club in Milwaukee, Wis., $20 for a ticket, $15 for parking, $6 for a beer, and waiting four hours while standing through four other bands before Sevendust even came on was an exhausting mission. The Rave Ballroom is an enormous, hollow sounding place that has several other bars located within the establishment. The acoustics in the ballroom were somewhat boomy and muddy. One of the opening bands, Wicked Wisdom, fronted by Jada Pinkett-Smith, actress and wife of actor/rapper Will Smith, was worthwhile checking out. This girl can rock. Running through numbers off their latest self-titled debut CD, the crowd was thoroughly surprised and entertained by Mrs. Smith and crew, which boasts the versatile drumming skills of Fishbone’s original drummer.

I really don’t get what Nonpoint are all about. But the young crowd enthusiastically chanted their songs throughout their 30-plus minute set. With the stage decked out with running ramps on each side of the drum riser, Sevendust was ready to energize the anxious crowd that filled The Rave Ballroom. These guys have been churning out soulful melodies with a distinctive guitar crunch since their debut album in 1997. From the opening number, lead vocalist Lajon Witherspoon sang with grace and poise. The band blazed through many songs from Animosity; the songs “Praise” and “Trust” really stood out. Several numbers off their new opus Next were greeted with great response, with “Ugly” being the standout. Songs off Home including “Waffle” and “Rumble Fish” rocked the house.

New guitarist Sonny Mayo, formerly of Snot, felt at ease as he roamed the stage along with longtime guitarist John Connolly and energetic bassist Vince Hornsby. Drummer Morgan Rose laid down a groovy beat, proving that he is one of the most creative and solid drummers in the business. Their barely hour and a half set went by quickly as “Bitch,” off their debut album, closed out the night. Overall, it was a decent show, but I would have liked to seen at least two bands dropped from the bill to allow Sevendust to play longer.

Sevendust: • Wicked Wisdom: • Nonpoint:

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