I have a beef with Sevendust. Or maybe, they have a beef with me. Maybe it's not direct, but it's there. Some days I think they are out to get me.
Now before I start any rumors, let me explain...
Everyone, no matter what their status, has at least one someone that they would be in awe if they met. Considering that I'm surrounded by music, and those in the industry - being around what some might call 'celebrities' is not something that phases me. It's the environment I'm comfortable in. But just like everyone, I still have that one artist that if I ever met, I would actually be speechless and somewhat starstruck.
Not to date myself, but when I was just an angry young teenager, I walked into the record store and asked for something heavy to spite my parents. The clerk said, "Well, we got this new Animosity album in...I think it's pretty good." I purchased it, along with Slipknot's Iowa, and that was the beginning.
I own every album, and have listened to them for months on end (literally), and have never gotten tired of the music. Every time I listen, I hear something that I've never heard before. It's rare that a band does that for me...but there is not one Sevendust song that I haven't loved. Those guys have gotten me through the best and worst of times in my life.
But what's it like when your most idolized band is one that you can never see? Here's the lowdown:
Case 1: Minneapolis, Minnesota.
I had never been to a Sevendust show, and with every passing year, and every new album I had been telling myself one thing: "This year I will see Sevendust." 2009 was finally the year, and I bit the bullet and booked a flight to their show with Black Label Society in Minneapolis. I had actually been at a BLS show the night before in Canada, so it was interesting seeing the same show twice in less than 3 days, and in two different countries.
Midway through the show, I began having the worst kind of chest pain imaginable. Not even an exaggeration - every breath, every laugh, every bass drum kick was like a knife going right through me. I barely made it through the set, and then found my way to a quiet area of the venue and curled up in a fetal position and tried to make it stop. I managed to suck up the pain for a little bit, and had an opportunity to say hi to the 7D guys. They were nothing short of kind, and I did my best to hold back the obvious pain I was in. After leaving the venue, I was sure I was having a heart attack. Being terrified of not knowing what was happening to me, I began to cry. That increased the pain ten fold.
Shortly after, I ended up in the Emergency Room of a hospital. It wasn't a heart attack (thankfully, because I am still young!), but nearly every muscle in my chest had a massive spasm, causing strain. Which, according to the doctors, feels very much like a heart attack. I had a flight to catch in less than 48 hours to Vancouver for music meetings just before the Juno Awards. I barely remember going to the airport, and given the fact I was limited to the amount of movement I could make, I'm not even sure how I got my bags packed. By the end of it, I had enough pain medication to last me a lifetime. I'm not sure how I got through the next few busy days. Needless to say, the Sevendust show which I had anticipated for so long ended to be nothing more than a blur.
Case 2: Fargo, North Dakota
Alright, so my first 7D experience was remembered as painful. I figured I'd try this again. In context, Fargo didn't seem too terribly far away. Driving seemed doable. A bit of harassment at the border, and being quite directionally challenged...13 hours later, we made it. So far, this 7D experience is looking up!
Upon arriving to The Venue (yes, that's what it's called)...I made my way upstairs and ordered two drinks. I was being quite modest that night, as there was no way I was NOT going to remember this show or have anything ruin it. I had just driven 13 hours! After mingling a bit, I finished the first drink and gave the second one to what I thought were watchful eyes. Sevendust was starting, and there was no drinking in the show area, so I left it behind.
I know what you are thinking already. Yes, that was the first mistake.
I returned to that drink after the set. That's the last thing I remember. I have photos of mingling with the 7D guys...and wow, I did not look like myself. I turned into a stumbling, belligerent a**hole to say the least. If it wasn't for those pictures, I would have no memory of even being in Fargo. I woke up the next day, and was sick for days after. See this picture --> well, that's not even really my face...this picture was so awful and I looked so F'd that I had to get a 'normal' facial expression of me photoshopped into it.
The drive back to Canada was nothing short of miserable. Not only was I sick to my stomach, I didn't even remember seeing the show. I couldn't understand what had gone wrong, or why this was happening. Once again, I was scared and in a different kind of pain.
After returning home, I headed to the doctor. I am not a big drinker in the first place, and if in the event I want to have a good time - I know how to handle it. I knew something was not right. They confirmed traces of Rohypnol in my bloodstream. If it's not a heart attack, it's someone drugging me! It was my own naivety of course - because I didn't realize that people actually do this to others.
Not only was that 7D experience one I wish I never had, I'm sure I left a bad taste in their mouths too.
So, second time was a big bust. I like to think it didn't even happen...but, it did. Can't change the past, I suppose.
Case 3: Texas
I didn't even go to a 7D show in Texas. It happened to be that when I was in Austin for a week for SXSW, they played just about every city (Houston, San Antonio, Dallas) while I was there. This was crazy...what is the likelihood that the band I have been vying to see is playing the same State that I just happen to be in?
I debated driving to San Antonio as it was only and hour away. Did that happen? Not a chance. I became ill in New York City a few days before, and ended up coming down with Mononucleosis while at SXSW in Austin. After catching that, I was ill for nearly 2 months. Only just now am I starting to get back to normal.
I was only in the same state as 7D...not even at a show, and my bad Sevendust karma is kicking in!
Either they are out to get me and don't even know it, or I am just meant to admire the music from afar.
So...I'm thinking of going to Minot in a couple weeks to catch their show with Puddle of Mudd and Adelitas Way. It's been a long, and relatively expensive journey trying to enjoy an hour of my favorite music. I really hope to finally experience a show fully and without anything bad happening to me.
I'm a little bit scared though. Perhaps I should cover myself in bubble wrap, wear a bullet proof vest, a helmet, and get every single vaccination shot in the books.
There was a time where listening to 7D actually became painful as it had reminded me of everything that had gone wrong. I refused to listen to any songs and packed up my albums. After getting past it, and forgetting about looking like a moron in front of my favorite band, I picked up with the music exactly where I had left off - in awe. Knowing that I will never be able to ignore the music that has gotten me through many life experiences, I picked up the newest album to add to my collection.
Sevendust just released their latest album Cold Day Memory. I'm pretty sure these guys just keep getting better. In my opinion, they are one of the most underrated bands of the past decade. The album, however, peaked at the highest yet for them...debuting at #12 on Billboard's Top 200.
If you know me, you know that I'm a huge believer in Karma. It's a little bit odd that my favorite song off the album is entitled Karma. It's one of those songs, lyrically, that triggers just about every emotion one can have. And just like true Sevendust fashion, every song's lyrics are crafted well and have a story to be told. With the writing styles these guys have, it's no wonder they've gotten me through a lot of sh*t.
So I say cheers and raise my non-roofied glass of kool-aid to the next performance and the success Sevendust deserves. And if you're a fan like me, or just an angry teenager looking for something heavy to piss of your folks...Cold Day Memory will not disappoint.
Now to plan out my attendance to the next show...which I'm still debating. I don't feel like dying quite yet!
Let the Sevendust curse that has been bestowed upon me be broken!