at The Gothic Theater, Denver, Colorado, USA, February 14, 2006

Over the mystical keyboard and thundering hum of the bass came a lone voice: “This first song is called ‘One’.” Just like that, the energy level was through the roof and the audience was immediately into what Wicked Wisdom (WW) was delivering. If you haven’t yet heard the underground rumblings of the WW enthusiasts, take note.

Fronted by Jada Koren, a.k.a. Jada Pinkett Smith, Wicked Wisdom is a powerhouse Metal outfit that has been laying the ground work for their Metal Army the old fashion way, touring their asses off. With a drop B tuning and a distinctive rapid-fire delivery from Jada, WW has one of the most unique sounds going. Combining a Korn meets Cradle of Filth kind of vibe, WW is a hard band to pigeonhole.

As the opening act for this four-band bill, WW came out fast and furious, and kept the crowd on their feet for their set. This is a band you want to keep your eye on. With the release of a CD slated for February 21st, Wicked Wisdom is going to be a force to reckon with.

Next up was Socialburn (SB), a band that has been charting some air time on the local radio stations with the single, “Touch the Sky.” On disc, vocalist/guitarist Neil Alday sounds a lot like Gavin Rossdale of Bush, but tonight Neil sounded a little horse. However, anything lacking from Neil’s vocals was made up for by the enthusiasm from the band. Playing catchy Rock with a sometimes Punk fervor, it isn’t hard to get into the spirit of SB. Relying heavily on their latest release, The Beauty of Letting Go, SB stuck with their faster numbers to keep this Metal crowd fed.

Nonpoint took the stage next, and was met with a thunderous reaction from the crowd. After venturing into a more melodic phase on “Recoil,” the band has returned to its crunch-heavy roots for “To The Pain.” When you’re opening for Sevendust, it is a good idea to stick with your biggest chest-thumping numbers, which Nonpoint did. The crowd was into every note, singing along with vocalist Elias Soriano and enjoying a solid throw-down from these seasoned Metal Heads. The set was derived from To The Pain, peppered with a couple of tracks each from Recoil and Statement. The sound was louder at this point than the previous two bands, and the cleanness enjoyed during Wicked Wisdom was now awash in the standard mush of Metal on ten.

After the previous three bands had everyone jumping and crushing into one another, it was hard to imagine that anyone would still be standing for Sevendust. It is amazing how one can recover from exhaustion with the release of a backdrop curtain and the blaze of light accompanied by a monstrous bass drone. The ground literally began to shake as Lajon and company took the stage. The stage area wasn’t large by any means, but Sevendust made apt use of it with ramps and dynamic lighting. This is as close to a stadium show in a small shed as you may ever see. As for the performance of the band, one would have thought they were playing Rock in Rio, the energy was so intense.

For anyone who hasn’t had Sevendust on their radar since Animosity, it is high time to get back on board this war craft. There was a sense of confidence radiating from the stage, and everyone in the sold-out show of thirteen-hundred knew it. “Black,” “Bitch,” Waffle” … they played all of their big songs and gave a solid heaping dose of their latest masterpiece, Next.

Not a bad night for a Tuesday; almost six hours of a Hard Rock party that makes one wonder how bands go out and do it night after night. If this bus is swinging through your town anytime soon, you have to jump on it. Front to back, this is a great line-up that deserves to be filling much larger venues. For the fortunate few who are in “the know,” it’s a great show, up close and personal.


  • Jeremy Juliano

    Jeremy was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He's been involved with and has been following the Metal scene since the early 1980’s. He started out his Metal journey with heavy doses of Maiden, Accept, and Saxon. And in recent years, he has enjoyed the new age of Metal with bands like Hammerfall, Edguy, and Nightwish, to name a few.

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