Southside Double-Wide: Acoustic Live

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September 2003 found Sevendust on the road, but without the amps, which they left in Atlanta in favor of acoustic sets. Southside Double-Wide documents that jaunt with a CD and DVD set capturing the band's September 12, 2003, gig at the Georgia Theatre in Athens. While the deluxe version's collectible box and postcards are nice, fans should be most excited about the music, which emphasizes musicianship over amplified heft and passion over full-bore aggression. Lajon Witherspoon's vocals have always had more soul than most of his peers. This lighter setup emphasizes his vocal, as well as the impressive harmony work of guitarist Clint Lowery. Morgan Rose opts for a full drum kit, only occasionally shifting to hand percussion. This is wise, as even without the electrification, Sevendust's grooves are pretty muscular. "Trust" and "Seasons" especially benefit from the heavy covering fire laid down by Rose and bassist Vince Hornsby. Animosity's "Beautiful" and "Follow" are both highlights, as the acoustic setup intensifies their changes and illustrates not only Witherspoon's soulful range, but his gravel-pit scream. Lowery handles lead vocals for Johnny Cash's "Hurt" -- Sevendust's version sort of sounds like Staind, but it's tinged with a bittersweet melancholia instead of glowering melodrama. "Angel's Son" continues the set's lighter midsection, before a finale that includes versions of "Too Close to Hate" and "Prayer" that artfully mix melody with acoustic power. A slightly abbreviated yet still aggressive "Bitch" ends the set. Fans should invest readily in Southside Double-Wide, especially attendees of the acoustic shows. Sevendust's famously confrontational sound smolders, and damn it if their sensitive side isn't just as fiery. [Double-Wide includes a bonus studio track as well as a DVD with the entire concert.]

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
blue highlight denotes track pick