Sevendust and Static-X Close Out the Machine Killer Tour at Myth Live

Xer0 rocks amongst the bubbles, Photo by Wendy Nielsen

Last updated on June 15th, 2024 at 09:08 am

Metal veterans Sevendust and Static-X wrapped up their historic Machine Killer tour on May 18 at Myth Live in Maplewood. What made it one for the books is that the circuit actually began 25 years ago.

The crowd loves what they see. Photo by Wendy Nielsen

This latest group of stops was technically the third leg of a “reunion” tour featuring Sevendust, Static-X, and Dope, which originally kicked off in 1999. 

Now, more than two decades later, the three bands reunited with the addition of opener Lines of Loyalty, a Kenosha, Wisconsin-based trio.

Fans knew they were in for a full night of music at Myth Live with four bands on the bill. Lines of Loyalty came first, followed by Dope, a New York City-formed nu-metal band that debuted in 1997, and then headliners Sevendust and Static-X. 

Dope warmed up the crowd with their classics and the song that lead singer Edsel Dope humorously admitted he regrets ever playing: the cover of “You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)” by Dead Or Alive. The crowd loved it, though, so it appeared to be worthwhile.

Dope sings You Spin Me Round (Like A Record). Photo by Wendy Nielsen

After a short break, the lights dimmed and the sound crew queued up the dreamy “We’ve Only Just Begun” by the Carpenters. 

A minute or two into the unexpected tune, the song distorted and morphed into Sevendust’s “I Might Let The Devil Win” against a video board of moody graphics. About halfway through the track, the band’s five seasoned musicians filtered onto the stage and took the song over live. 

Sevendust at The Myth. Photo by Wendy Nielsen

The crowd erupted. Lead singer Lajon Witherspoon’s commanding voice enraptured those in attendance, his presence captivating from the first note. The band filled the small venue with raw, powerful energy during its entire set. 

Unfortunately, either the venue’s speaker system or the size of the venue let the band down, because the heavy guitars and drums at times drowned out Witherspoon’s vocals.

Tony Campos of Static-X brings Lajon Witherspoon of Sevendust a celebratory drink on stage. Photo by Wendy Nielsen

Regardless, Sevendust worked through its set. Next came the title track of the band’s latest album, Truth Killer, followed by “Alpha” from the 2007 record of the same name, and then “Till Death” from 2013’s Black Out The Sun.

Lajon Witherspoon of Sevendust. Photo by Wendy Nielsen

After that, Witherspoon addressed the audience for the first time and continued frequently throughout the night. Before or during almost every song thereafter, he consistently asked fans to bounce their hands and clap to the beat his bandmates were creating.

Lajon Witherspoon’s boots. Photo by Wendy Nielsen

No stranger to playing sold-out shows like this one, Sevendust, which formed in 1994 in Atlanta, Georgia, has carved out a significant place in the alternative metal scene for 30 years. They’re known for heavy riffs and expressive, powerful lyrics sung by the exceptionally talented Witherspoon. 

Sevendust plays at The Myth in Maplewood, MN. Photo by Wendy Nielsen

The 51-year-old vocalist, along with bassist Vince Hornsby, 57, guitarists John Connolly and Clint Lowery, 55 and 52, respectively, and drummer Morgan Rose, 55, have released a series of critically acclaimed albums and built a reputation for serving high-octane live shows. This one was no different. 

Interspersed with the signature rock that fans came to witness, a few moments of levity added a bit of humor to the night. 

Sevendust drummer Morgan Rose. Photo by Wendy Nielsen

At one point, Witherspoon asked the patrons in front of the stage to begin a mosh pit. That’s when a fan wearing an unexpected, full-body costume caught his eye.

“Spiderman, put your hands up. I want everyone to follow Spiderman. Walk around in a circle, Spiderman. Yo, Spiderman’s ready to f*ck things up,” he declared with a laugh. “What’s Spiderman doing here? I love it.”

Lajon Witherspoon of Sevendust at The Myth. Photo by Wendy Nielsen

Then, with a change in tone, he said earnestly, “If you can’t be in that pit, lemme see your hands in the air if you’re having a good time. This is beautiful. Y’all make sure you stay safe out there.“

Lajon Witherspoon of Sevendust. Photo by Wendy Nielsen

But a while later, the lead vocalist should have heeded his own advice. With “Pieces,” “Hero,” “Denial,” and “Black” in his rearview, Witherspoon walked toward the center of the stage. He was about to address the crowd once more when he tripped on a cord and stumbled. Hard.

Smoke billows and fans love it. Photo by Wendy Nielsen

“Somebody put some tape on [this]. God d*mn. I thought one of y’all grabbed me, I was like, ‘Security! Help?’” he laughed. “Nope, it was this cord and I fell right there. 

“I know somebody’s got it on f*ckin’ video. Everybody put their phone in a f*cking bag right now and give it to me,” he quipped as drummer Rose tapped out a comical rim shot.

“But really,” the singer continued. “Is everybody having a good time tonight? This is the last night of the Machine Killer tour, the third leg. Are you guys happy to be here? I feel like this is history, y’all. I hope that we do a fourth leg in the future because this has been one of the best tours I’ve been on.”

Then Witherspoon asked his fans directly, “Will you have us back again? I said, will you have us back again?” The crowd’s thunderous cheers seemed to imply that Sevendust was more than welcome to return to Minnesota any time.

When the cheers died down, the crowd scattered throughout the venue, eager to refresh before the night’s last act. But impatience took over as 15 minutes turned into 30 and then crawled to 40. 

Even the crew seemed to get restless, as the venue’s filler music alternated between songs from the Bee Gees, Pantera, Neil Diamond, and other varied artists. 

Machines on stage pumped out clouds of smoke three or four times, with each burst making fans think Static-X was ready to go. But time and again they did not appear.

Fans enjoying Sevendust play in Maplewood, MN at The Myth. Photo by Wendy Nielsen

Finally, after 45 minutes of restless anticipation, a huge, black-robed figure with a disco ball head and Jack-o-Lantern face crept on stage. The Vincent Price spoken word portion of Michael Jackson’s song “Thriller” filled the room.

Static-X makes their entrance at The Myth. Photo by Wendy Nielsen

Soap bubbles exploded over the audience, and Dope’s lead singer, Edsel Dope, who had changed to his new persona, Xer0, appeared alongside his Static-X bandmates: bassist Tony Campos, guitarist and keyboardist Koichi Fukuda, and drummer Ken Jay. 

Static-X is in its second act following the 2014 death of lead singer and rhythm guitarist Wayne Static to a drug overdose. 

Static-X drummer Ken Jay. Photo by Wendy Nielsen

Grieving the sudden loss, the band took a four-year hiatus. But fans and critics began talking about them again when a new frontman appeared with the surviving members during a tour that marked the 20th anniversary of their iconic 1999 album Wisconsin Death Trip

For a while, the new lead singer’s appearance was shrouded in mystery. Not only does he wear an ensemble that covers his entire body, but he also dons a mask that shields his face and eyes and features straight-up “hair” that resembles the late Wayne Static. 

Eventually, it was determined that this enigmatic leader is Edsel Dope, who goes by the stage name Xer0. For a long time, Dope denied being Static-X’s vocalist because he wanted the focus to remain on the original band members. He intended to create a “more machine than man” persona to perform alongside them.

Bubbles and smoke add to the ambiance of Static-X’s show. Photo by Wendy Nielsen

Tonight, on this last tour stop, Xer0 performed the first song, “Hollow,” on a raised platform. Next, for song Terminator Oscillator, a different monster walked around and sprayed the crowd with a large smoke gun. 

The theatrics continued with gas-filled bubbles circling the band. The crowd ate up every second of the artistic spectacle.

Tony Campos plays to the crowd at The Myth. Photo by Wendy Nielsen

The Los Angeles, California–based band has released eight studio albums since it debuted in 1994. Static-X’s founding members reunited in 2020 for a groundbreaking album that breathed new life into its music by repurposing vintage demos that included vocals by Wayne Static. 

Xer0 of Static-X. Photo by Wendy Nielsen

They then hit the road on tour with Xer0 at the helm. Since then, the foursome has released two albums, Project: Regeneration, Vol 1, and the 2024 record, Project: Regeneration, Vol 2, which include segments of work penned and recorded by Wayne Static. 

Koichi Fukuda of Static-X at The Myth. Photo by Wendy Nielsen.

The entire night—and tour—was capped off during Static-X’s encore performance of “Push It.” Before the band could finish the track, every band member on the tour joined them on stage, and bottles of bubbly were popped, drowning the performers and stage. It was a fitting end to a historic show and tour.

The Myth in Maplewood, Minnesota. Photo by Wendy Nielsen

Written by Christy Johnson


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