This Event is at Freedom Hall (Lancaster County Convention Center)
Sevendust, POP EVIL, Devour the Day
223 North Water Street
Lancaster, PA, 17603
This event is all ages
Watch & Listen
Alternative Rock (Modern Rock) band from Memphis, Tennessee (USA).
John L. Cooper (vocals, bass), Korey Cooper (keyboards, piano, drum programming, samples, string arrangements), Seth Morrison (guitar), Jen Ledger (drums)
Skillet was formed in the mid-90s, with their first self-titled released through Forefront Records in 1996. The band's line-up remained the same until their third album Invincible, when John's wife Korey joined to play keyboards. Lori Peters joined on drums soon after the album's release. A third line-up change would happen after their fourth album, when Ben Kasica took over playing guitars. In late 2007, Lori Peters left and Jen Ledger took over on drums. In April 2011, Ben Kasica played his last shows and by April 16, Seth Morrison joined as lead guitarist.
The band's most dedicated fans are referred to as 'Panheads', and have been known to turn up to concerts with skillets, banners, writing on their cars, and so forth.
A truly meaningful song will always stand the test of time. It won't ever age, and its impact will only grow stronger as the years go by. Moreover, its melody will spark the same kind of emotion regardless of the era. That sentiment holds true for Sevendust's tenth offering, Time Travelers & Bonfires [7Bros. Records/ADA Label Services].
For the album, the gold-selling hard rock stalwarts re-recorded six classic tracks acoustically and cut another six new acoustic numbers. Despite inception at different moments over nearly two decades, all twelve tracks converge upon one distinct journey.
It's a ride that the Atlanta outfit—Lajon Witherspoon [lead vocals], Clint lowery [lead guitar, backing vocals], John Connolly [rhythm guitar, backing vocals], Vince Hornsby [bass], and Morgan Rose [drums]—invited fans along for as well. Those same supporters have been urging Sevendust to cut an acoustic album since 2004's live CD/DVD, Southside Acoustic Double-Wide.
"For the last ten years, people have been talking about it," smiles Witherspoon. "They kept asking us to do a full record like that. So, we had to do something unique and very special for them."
For the first time, they engaged their diehards via PledgeMusic. In the midst of supporting their ninth effort, 2013's Black Out the Sun, which debuted at #1 on Billboard's Top Hard Music Albums chart and #18 of the Top 200 Albums chart, the boys initiated a PledgeMusic campaign to fund what would eventually become Time Travelers & Bonfires. The response proved overwhelming, to say the least.
Within 60 days of a planned 130-day campaign, the band exceeded 155% percent of its goal, offering incentives ranging from dinner with the members to a jam session at a pledger's home. The idea initially spawned from Connolly and Hornsby's experience utilizing the platform to successfully fund the 2012 debut from their side project, Projected.
"That was the first time I got familiar with the whole idea of fan-funding," recalls Connolly. "It worked out so well that it felt obvious to try for Sevendust. People get to buy in on the front end, and they get some killer exclusives in return. We were floored by the amount of support we received. At the end of the day, it's about the fans. This gives them more power. They make us. We cut out all of the middle men and went right to crowd."
"We're a people's band," adds Lowery. "We're very accessible. We've toured these same cities for almost twenty years, and we've become family with everyone who comes out to the shows. They have a tremendous amount of loyalty to us, and we wanted to bring them into the process of making the record."
Rose says, “We got to see firsthand how much the people who support us really care. We’ve never taken them for granted. It was amazing to be able to do this record together with them. This is their record.”
The audience actually had the opportunity to choose which songs Sevendust would re-record via a poll on Facebook. As a result, they chose the six "classics" from the catalog that would appear acoustically when they hit Architekt Music Studios in Butler, New Jersey last December. Among those, their signature anthem and the set's first single,"Black," takes on a whole new life. Preserving the original's intensity, the group transposes it into a hypnotic and haunting gem.
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"That was literally the first song I ever wrote in 1993," Connolly says. "It was demo number one before we were even Sevendust. It's amazing that everyone wanted to hear it in this form. As far as we've gone and as many things as we've done, that one is the epitome of what Sevendust is. That's the embryo and the nucleus. We built this from zero, and it's incredible to revisit where everything began."
Hornsby goes on, “It’s probably the song we’ve played the most out of our catalog. To do it acoustically shows the longevity and strength of it.”
Elsewhere on the record, "Come Down" begins with an ominous guitar before building into a soulful and soaring refrain from Witherspoon. The singer explains, "Everything came together easily. This one felt so natural. It's dedicated to those people we've seen past. We want to see them again. It says, 'Come on back until we're all done, and then we'll go back up together.’ Experience and live what we're going through now."
There's also an extremely heartfelt tribute to Connolly's recently deceased father within "The Wait.” It's a song that speaks loudly to all of the members and anybody else who's ever lost someone.
"I was thinking about my dad a lot," he sighs. "I decided I would just write, and whatever comes out comes out. I wanted to channel him without trying. I initially wanted to sing it, but I couldn't make it through. I showed it to the guys without telling them who it was about. They immediately loved it. Then, I told them the story after the fact. Lajon started crying when I said it was my dad's song. It's extremely personal, and my brothers hooked me up on it."
"It's such a heavy song," agrees Lowery. "My father had passed too, and John and I shared that. It means a lot to both of us. There's a therapeutic release that we shared."
“That one gives me chills,” Rose adds. “I have a hard time listening to it. It reminds me of my own Nana. I think it’s the deepest and most emotional song we’ve ever written.”
The album title itself reflects its two halves, with the Time Travelers being the old songs and the Bonfires representing the new ones. Witherspoon explains, "When you play those old songs, it puts you back in that time and place mentally. They're like Time Travelers. The Bonfires have that fresh and new fire. It's a great juxtaposition."
“We’re bringing the old songs into a new format,” claims Hornsby. “It’s like time traveling and breathing fresh life into something we’ve spent so much time with. Also, after all these years together, we are time travelers.”
Ultimately though, this is for that "family" who have been with Sevendust since day one. They gave the group three consecutive gold records starting with their self-titled 1997 debut and followed by 1999's Home and 2001's Animosity. They've packed sold-out shows around the globe, and they elevated the likes of their eighth offering Cold Day Memory in 2010 to a career-high chart position of #12 on the Billboard Top 200. Still, there's more road to travel.
"We're blessed to still be doing this," Witherspoon leaves off. "We wanted to give everybody something to hold on to. I hope they enjoy it. It feels like a magical experience to me, and I just want to say, 'Thank you.’"
— Rick Florino, March 2014
Since re-releasing their ﬁrst record in 2008, Pop Evil has developed their following the hard way. They have toured the US continuously since their ﬁrst release, playing nearly 400 shows in two years and only
taking time off to record their new album, War of Angels.
Leaving no stone unturned, no fan's question unanswered, and no road untraveled, the group pulled themselves up from their bootstraps and built themselves into a radio rock powerhouse that conjures the
dirtiest hooks of the hard rocking 70ʼs, the hair metal 80's and the grunge - fueled 90ʼs…ﬁltering it all through a modern prism coupled with a philosophical and spiritual outlook.
War Of Angels is a testimony to Pop Evil's resilience. Having been down a major label route fraught with the frustrations felt by far too many bands, the group has emerged with a Top 5 Active Rock single.
They toured with Papa Roach and Judas Priest and created what Spin Magazine called one of the "10 Best Moments of Rock on the Range" where in front of tens of thousands of their heartland of the U.S.A. rock
fans, they ceremoniously tore up their old contract and announced a new dawn.
With an output that easily appeals to students of Guns N' Roses, Pantera, Motley Crue and Aerosmith, Pop Evil is still nevertheless possessed with a talent, charisma and overall musical aesthetic that is
decidedly and distinctly their own. They have put their stamp on the hard rock landscape with assured conﬁdence and expert precision.
"Weʼre just a bunch of guys that grew up together and are hungry for rock nʼ roll," frontman Leigh Kakaty simply states. "There are no othersecond options for us. Itʼs just music. Thatʼs what weʼve done, this is where we've always wanted to be, and grind is what weʼll continue to do."
Coming from Michigan, one of the states in the nation hit hardest by the economic downturn, Pop Evil knows something about hardship and the heart that it takes to persevere, to overcome and to conquer. They know the meaning of hard work, too. Their indie debut, Lipstick on the Mirror, resulted in a re- release through a major label and several inroads on rock radio but it's been word-of-mouth and live shows that have really driven the recently renewed momentum behind the band as their unique story continues to build.
"Weʼre just a good old fashioned Midwestern band that believes in grassroots and doing it from the ground up" Kakaty explains. "Weʼre the same band thatʼll rock your face with some heavy metal riffs then bring out the acoustic guitar and play some ballads."
Their very monicker represents something of a lifestyle to these ﬁve men. "Pop" represents the band's impressive hooks and well-crafted choruses while "Evil" conjures the more aggressive, hard rock side of the band. The band is a true mixture of pop sensibilities and "evil" sounding rock n' roll.
It's not so much about distancing themselves from the mainstream as it is about forcing the mainstream to come to them, on their own terms.
"I think all ﬁve of us didnʼt really ﬁt in, in our own ways, growing up," Kakaty reasons. "Pop Evil is kind of our way of saying, "this is our fraternity, our home.'"
The songs on War Of Angels reﬂect the various shapes, colors and emotions represented in a Pop Evil performance. The album provides a brilliant showcase for Kakaty's impressive range and various
approaches, the guitar showmanship of Dave Grahs and Tony Greve, the solid bottom end of Matt DiRito and the rhythmic pulse of drummer Dylan Allison.
"Last Man Standing" is a shot across the bow, serving notice to the rest of rock radio-land that Pop Evil crafts music of a higher caliber. "It's amazing to see the reactions we get from the fans and how much
the song means to them. That is priceless," Kakaty says.
"Bosses Daughter" was co-written with the legendary Mick Mars of Motley Crue. "It's got that rockin' vibe where it picks up and just doesn't stop," points out DiRito. "I get such a kick out of playing it live. I feel like
I'm in Motley Crue. It becomes my Nikki Sixx moment!"
Other standouts include "Monster You Made," which addresses some hard times and points to the power of positive thinking to overcome obstacles. There's also "Broken & Betrayed" which has beautiful melodies and incredibly memorable singalong harmonies.
"Next Life" is perhaps the album's most reﬂective song, particularly for Kakaty, who lost his father earlier this year. "Obviously itʼs a very personal piece for me as well."
"And the list goes on with every song," he adds. "I donʼt think thereʼs any one I love more than the other, I usually listen to the song that best ﬁts my mood."
With a career-deﬁning sophomore album in their arsenal, Pop Evil are primed and ready to take their rightful place in the hard rock pantheon amongst their contemporaries and heroes. "We want to be
known as a band with great music and a great live show," DiRito says.
Pop Evil is no ﬂy-by-night, fair-weather band. War Of Angels is just one more giant leap in a career that
has been built on a solid foundation and is intended to continue onward.
Kakaty concludes, "at the end of the day, we want our fans to know that we've sacriﬁced our personal lives for them. We want the people who listen to our music to know that they've become our new family. That's why weʼve given up so much to do this. They are loved. Music is Love!"
Devour the Day
Formed in 2012, DEVOUR THE DAY is born from the brain trust of Joey Chicago (Bass, Vocals, Songwriter) and Blake Allison (Lead singer, Guitar, Songwriter and Producer). Having much success with the band Egypt Central, Blake and Joey sought to break out on their own, writing and producing music without compromise.
Joey explains, "Our lives got to a point that we had lost trust, we lost our
compassion, feeling and our way." The water was so murky we didn't know which way was up." What we did know is that we should keep writing and keep fighting because that was the truth and our center."
What transpired is a new album scheduled for release May 7, 2013.
Painting a picture in listeners imagination is what this songwriting duo does best. Joey continues, "While our songs are very personal to our experiences we are very aware to keep it open for interpretation. There is nothing more gratifying when a fan explains how our songs help them in their lives. It's humbling."
Giving perspective Blake states, "the process of writing this record is something totally different than what we had done before. The pressure was enormous and we felt that every decision we made needed to be perfect. There was no room for mistakes. We needed to make choices that were sometimes very difficult but once made it felt like the weight we had been carrying got lighter brick by brick."
Look for DEVOUR THE DAY to hit the road in early 2013 in support of their new album.